For starters, congratulations to Adam Scott and Australia for an awesome week of golf.
Through the week, Scott demonstrated strength, patience, and confidence over 74 holes of golf at Augusta National en route to becoming the 2013 Masters champion.
While his driving and putting were keys to winning, another all-important factor that can’t be overlooked was his demeanor and outlook over the entire week.
Last year, Scott led the final round of the Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Annes, but bogeyed the last four holes, finishing second to Ernie Els. Lesser golfers may have allowed such an experience to rattle and send them into a downward spiral. Unfortunately, we have all seen golfers experience a temporary setback and then tell themselves counterproductive things that no one should repeat.
Instead, Scott chose a different path. The tale he chose to pursue was about progress and improvement. He chose to focus on what he learned and how the experience would help him grow into a major champion.
Scott said, “Lytham just gave me the belief that I could win a major championship … The weirdest thing was, I still felt like I won that Open.”
This belief helped propel Scott forward.
It helped Scott tie for 11th at the PGA Championship just a few weeks later. It helped him make a 20 foot birdie putt Sunday on No. 10 in a playoff against Angel Cabrera possible. It helped Scott put on his green jacket in Butler Cabin. And it helped Scott become the 2013 Masters Champion.
If you take nothing else away from Scott’s win, take this – You can’t always control your outcome, but you can control what an outcome means to you. Great golfers choose to make meanings out of outcomes that help them continually play their best golf.
When a golfer plays well, they believe that represents their potential, and they gain confidence. When a golfer plays below their expectations, they learn and move on. Whether it is a poor shot, poor score, or poor tournament, the greatest golfers ask themselves questions which fuel growth and tell themselves things that make them better.
You might recall a previous article: Empower your golf game by asking the right questions.
The basic premise is: the statements and questions you say and ask yourself influence your mental game and golf game. The questions you ask yourself affect your confidence, concentration, commitment, and most importantly – your golf scores.
Scott could have listed countless reasons after the Open Championship about: why he lost. However, that’s not what the 2013 Masters Champion would have done. The 2013 Masters Champion would have looked at it as a valuable lesson that gave them confidence to win on the greatest stage in golf. That’s a major reason Scott won and is the 2013 Masters Champion.
So next time you make a bogey or fall short of a desired outcome, watch what you say to yourself. What you say shapes your golf game, shapes your life, and shapes your destiny.