Tiger Woods vs. Rocco Mediate - What Can You Learn From This Classic Golf Match?
Wow! Was that fantastic or what? Tiger and Rocco – Player e Player for 19 holes. That’s about as good as it can get.
But, I’m sure you’ve had your fill of hearing and talking about the match. Enough about them already - let’s get to your golf game. What could you take away from the US Open to help your golf game – and I’m not talking about one of Johnny Miller’s tips.
I believe that many people were rooting for Rocco because they could relate to him more than they could relate to Tiger. You don’t see Tiger struggling as much with his game, he makes shots that you could only dream of and he’s super long off the tee. And although Tiger has had to work and has worked harder than anyone on the planet to earn his superior skill – many people don’t see that and don’t understand that it’s not natural born talent that makes him so great as much as it is that he works harder than anyone on his golf game.
Though, people are able to relate to Rocco because he isn’t considered a world class athlete - he’s not 6 foot 2 and chiseled. And although he’s listed at 6 foot 1 – that’s a measurement that I’m willing to debate and put it down as Rocco must’ve been wearing extra long spikes the day the PGA Tour execs had him stand against the measuring stick – nobody would look at Rocco on the street and say to themselves: this guy has to be a Professional Athlete.
Let alone, here’s a guy with major back issues and up until a few years ago was pretty much 40 pounds overweight – he kind of had the body of fellow PGA Tour Player Tim Herron (who earned the nickname Lumpy - one bite at a time). But Rocco had to do something about it because the extra weight in his front was putting too much pressure on his back. So to his credit, Rocco went on a program of strengthening his core and losing pounds.
What strikes me most about Rocco was that in the biggest round of his life, he was 4 over par after 10 holes. Which, to many people reading this, would be the round of your life. Yet, to a PGA Tour Player playing on center stage – making Bogey on almost half your holes might be equivalent to a Golfer who averages 90 to scoring 50 on the front 9 and then making Double Bogey on 10 to start the back 9.
This translates into the 90 Golfer not being very happy with their golf game after their first 9 holes and then making things worse on #10 with the Double Bogey. And this unfortunately still happens after using the time it takes to get from the green on 9 to the tee box on 10 convincing yourself that things might turn around on the second 9 holes.
But now at this point with the Double Bogey erasing any glimmer you might’ve had of a resurrecting back 9 – most Golfers would throw in the towel and start the unforgiving self-talk of – ‘my game sucks’. Which is often followed-up by a couple of Bogeys, a few more Double Bogeys, a Triple Bogey on the 17th hole and then of course the infamous, ‘why can’t I just do this all the time’ Par on 18.
Yet, that wasn’t what Rocco did. Being 3 down to the best Player that ever lived – knowing that his talent isn’t even close to that of the great one – when everybody watching said to themselves after he made Bogey on the 10th hole: ‘That’s it. Here goes Tiger; he’s going to win again. It’s over.”
Rocco didn’t throw in the towel like so many Golfers that you might know repeatedly do week after week.
He Birdies 4 of the next 5 holes. Wow! Which is equivalent to the 90 Golfer I spoke about above making Par on 4 of the next 5 holes – so that now you’re only 17 over after 15 holes. Which might not be your best round ever, but you’re still on track to break 90. And at the very worst – if you Bogey the next 3 holes, you will have scored at about your average by shooting a 92. Which after 10 holes – you would’ve thought impossible!
How many times have you thrown in the towel before the round was over?
There are so many times that Golfers start making stupid decisions on the golf course because they’re not happy with the way they’re playing. They abandon their PLAN because in their mind they’ve played 9 or 10 bad holes – although, that same PLAN that they abandoned was the catalyst that allowed them to move from a 100 Golfer last year to a 90 Golfer this year.
You only had a bad score for 9 holes – big deal! Live with it. If it can happen to Rocco – it can happen to you!
And the funny thing is that all 9 holes probably weren’t bad. It was probably only 4 bad holes caused by 4 or 5 bad shots. With the other 5 holes being played at about average. But since you’re too focused on your score for 9 holes – you tell yourself that you played all 9 holes badly.
Rocco could’ve abandoned his PLAN. He still would’ve been carried away on everybody’s shoulders as a hero for what he had already accomplished. Nobody expected him to be where he was. He could’ve just given up like 9 out of 10 Golfers do after a bad first 10 holes. Nobody would’ve said anything negative about him because nobody expected much from him going up against The Greatest Golfer of All Time – except for maybe Rocco.
Use Rocco and what he did as your guardian angel the next time you start your round playing at a lower level than what you were expecting from yourself. You never know when it’ll turn around. The key is that if you abandon your PLAN – ‘it ain’t gonna turn around’; it’s just going to get worst and more torturous every hole. So you might as well just stick with your PLAN.
The Monkey abandons their PLAN and starts to make bad decisions every time they play if they don’t start off each round as if it’s going to be their best ever
The Player chants ‘Rocco, Rocco, Rocco’
Go Ahead, Be A Player!
Marc Solomon - Your Instructor For Life
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