When people think about sports, the first couple of adjectives that come to mind are rigorous and collaborative. What people usually do not mention is the effect of sports from the mental standpoint. Golf, a sport many look at as a relaxing hobby, is truly among the most mentally rigorous sports out there. It can be very frustrating because there are no teammates, so the results are solely based off of one person’s skill. The player must battle between the individual and their alter-ego. Unlike most sports which are typically reliant on physical ability, according to Jack Nicklaus, one of the most famous golfers of all time, “golf is 80 percent mental, 10 percent ability, and 10 percent luck.” What separates the professionals is truly their mental game. Everyone has a bad hole, but the best professionals move on and stay positive. In golf, you must have a short-term memory. Perhaps the best mental-game golfer of all-time is Tiger Woods.
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Tiger Woods has transcended the way people look at golf. Tiger has defined all odds in golf and truly is considered by many to be the greatest to ever play. He is one of the best things that ever happened to professional golf because he generates viewership like none other, transcends traditional cultural boundaries, and makes people stick to their couches or find a local sports bar to watch the tournament on Sundays. According to Forbes, in the 2018 PGA Championship last August, the ratings were the highest it had been since 2009 due to Tiger Woods being in contention to win the championship. More recently, the viewership of the Masters and the US Open were very high due to Tiger Woods’ familiar dominance and mental power on the golf course. To watch these majors in a social setting, many golf fans go to country clubs or a bar to cheer on certain players, similar to other sports where fans cheer on their teams.
There are four PGA majors: the Masters, the US Open, The PGA Championship, and the British Open. The Masters is played in April, the US Open is played in June, the PGA Championship is now played in May, and the British Open is played in July. This past Father’s Day, Gary Woodland had the lead going into the last day of the US Open. The past seven times Woodland had a lead going into the final round in the PGA he never won the tournament. Fortunately for Woodland, this week was different. When he was asked what made this tournament different, Woodland responded by saying: “I think from a mental standpoint I was as good as I’ve ever been. I never let myself get ahead of myself. I never thought about what would happen if I won, what comes with it. I wanted to execute every shot. I wanted to stay in the moment. I wanted to stay within myself,” (Golf Channel).
People used to look at golf and say that you do not need to be physically in shape to be a great golfer. Although it is not necessarily required, the best professional golfers are freaks-of nature physically. For example, Brooks Koepka has won the past two US Opens, along with a PGA Championship in the past two years. Koepka has won these majors because he truly has overpowered the course. Having mental discipline as a golfer also means you have to treat your body like a professional. There has never been a better time to be a golf fan! If you are looking for a great place to watch the tournament with other golf fans, make sure you check out FanWide.com, the world’s largest sports fan club network.