Sergio Garcia Would Be A Major Champion If He Knew This

by Jordan on August 29, 2011

Adopt this mentality when play is slow

It’s sucks.

Having to deal with slow play on the course.

But everyone else has to deal with it.

The last thing it should do is ruin your game.

Not matter if it’s a tournament or casual round, I’ve got some good tips to help you overcome slow play and shoot lower scores.

One of the tips could have helped Sergio Garcia win the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Adjust The Mindset

Last weekend I played with a couple of friends.

We teed it at our local municipal golf course. It’s no surprise that the round was slow.

Many golfers who don’t play much were out in full force on this day. I’m all for more people playing the game though so it didn’t bother me.

I did my best to treat this casual round like a tournament.


Because we all know that playing in tournaments can take five hours or more. In essence I shifted my playing purpose from focusing on making balanced swings to staying patient and to dealing with this slow round.

The first thing you can do is adjust your mindset and accept that it’s going to be a slow round. When I play with golfers and it’s slow I cringe every time I hear them bicker or get upset. You have to accept that there isn’t a thing you can do about it. Besides everyone else on the course is dealing with the same situation.

Well just about everyone besides the damn group that’s holding everyone up! Where’s the marshal anyways?!

It’s Out Of Your Control

If you bicker and complain about how slow the round is, you’re wasting energy on something that is out of your control. Your mind is taken away from your playing purpose and now drawn to something else which is negative.

This negative energy will fill your body and mind. Playing golf with all those negative vibes is not how it’s done.

I hate to say it again but focus only on things you can control.

Once that is done you can work on your walking pace.

Slow Your Roll

Now that you’ve accepted the atrocious pace of play, you can sit back and enjoy being out on the golf course.

Take extra time when walking to your ball and soak in your surroundings. Blend into the nature around the golf course. This will take your mind off the slow play and help you become conscious during the round.

When you rush up to your ball you just end up sitting there waiting for the group ahead. During this time waiting chances are you‘ll get upset and irritated about waiting which again creates negative energy.

The last thing to do is go through your pre shot routine. When you do get to your ball, get your yardage and analyze the shot ahead.

Once that is done select a club but don’t pull the club out of the bag yet if the group ahead is not clear. Take a walk or talk to your playing partners until the group ahead clears.

This takes your mind off the shot ahead and blocks negative thoughts like Dikembe Mutumbo from creeping into your mind.

This is me paying my respects to the legendary NBA shot blocker Mutumbo!

Oddly enough this is Mutumbo’s second appearance on my blog.

Enough of that though!

Classic Scenario

“You can’t reach the green from here!”

Has a playing partner said that to you as you stood over a 220+ yard approach shot that mightily screwed it up?

It’s happened to me a lot!

The reason is because as we wait for the group ahead to clear, we’re standing at the ball all ready to go.

We’ve got the right club, our visualization all done up and we’re standing there with a a club in our hands.

During this time our body and mind fills with anxiousness and negative thoughts about spots we don’t want our ball to end up. We’re also pissed off at the group ahead for taking so long on the green!

Sergio Could Be A Major Champion

A prime example of this happening was back in 2007 at Carnoustie during the final round of the Open Championship.

Sergio Garcia was in the last group on the 18th fairway waiting for the group ahead to clear the green. Eventual champion Padraig Harrington and his playing partner were the group ahead. Padraig spent a lot of time on the hole as he ended up making a double bogey 6.

While this was going on Sergio waited by himself beside his ball in the fairway with a long iron in hand. After the group finally completed the hole a caddie had to rake the front bunker and this took an extra couple of minutes.

This was the tipping point Sergio.

His mind was already boiling by having to wait. It was set off when he waited longer for the bunker to get raked.

During this time his mind was not focused on the task at hand and rather the slow group ahead. His mind was distracted from the positive thoughts of trying to make a four for the win to now getting frustrated with waiting.

You have no one to blame but yourself here Sergio!

This is what Sergio had to say of the wait.

”Having to wait 15 minutes in the fairway doesn’t help when you’re trying to win the British Open,” Sergio Garcia said, apparently upset about the delay.

This is what cost Sergio from making a four and winning the 2007 Open Championship. If I was his caddie I would have taken the club out of his hand and told him to go for a walk back to the tee.

This would have done wonders for him and his mindset.

Next Slow Round Do This

Next time you’re in a tournament or playing a slow round, what are you going to do?

I hope you’re going to:

  • Accept the slow play because it’s out on our control. Peerless Golfers know to focus only on things they control.
  • Slow your roll. Walk in balance and conserve your energy.
  • Blend into nature and become conscious or your surroundings.
  • Pull the club of choice only once the group ahead has cleared. Don’t wait around like Sergio did!

Any questions please email me or post a comment as I would love to hear from you!

What Do You Think?

How do you cope with slow play on the course? What do you think can be done about it?


Jordan J. Caron is a former Canadian PGA Class A member who still wants to help golfers shoot better scores. He is also the President of Meaningful Marketing. In his downtime he likes to read, play squash and drink wine.

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