If you’re playing an eighteen hole round of golf, which hole is the most important:
The starting hole?
Your least favorite?
The number-one handicap hole?
The finishing hole?
Well, there are eighteen choices. With logical reasoning a sound argument can be made for each. Yet within the MindPlay principle of PurePlayGolf the tenth hole is the most crucial for every player.
By the time the player reaches the tenth he has navigated opportunities and achieved a mixed bag of success or failure over the outward nine. Maybe the player has it going. He’s fired a career best round and is looking forward to carrying that momentum through the back nine. The converse can also be said. Perhaps a player is stuck in his normal routine and is shooting a number slightly above his average. He could be resigned to the fact it’s “one of those days” and has few expectations for his inward nine. So what happens on the tenth tee?
In golf the tenth tee represents a “halftime” of sorts. Players usually regroup, grab a candy bar or drink and head back out. What is done is done and now the process starts again. The mind is a bit fresher as the extra few minutes making the turn has allowed a player to gather his thoughts. A new task is at hand. New possibilities exist.
This is the significant juncture of the round for MindPlay. Golfers like order. They like that rounds are split into two equal nines. While the par may differ, the fact that it’s halftime promises the player another opportunity. He/she can salvage a round. They can attempt to fashion a career low round. Others may look to improve their focus, par their nemesis hole, rally in the Nassau bet, or just improve their ball striking. The scenarios are endless. Yet for some reason it happens at the tenth tee. It can jumpstart or derail an existing round.
Some will say this mindset can occur on any hole at any time during the round. True. But the most significant timeframe for stopping, refreshing and refocusing occurs at the tenth tee. Our mind knows it’s coming. It happens at the same point every round we play. In a way we look forward to it and that allows a player to start fresh again.
The next time you play take note of what happens to you and your playing partners on the tenth tee. What differences are occurring as opposed to the seventh, eighth or ninth tees? Is the banter lighter? How are the outlooks for each player? Be the fly on the wall and observe what goes on. I think you’ll see my point.
Now, to go real low with this concept wouldn’t it be nice to step up on EVERY tee and have your mind ready to tackle the opportunity in front of you? You’ll see this in good players. Every hole is a new opportunity. The best tool to possess is a short memory. Good players are a walking cliché – they play one shot at a time. Average players may only be able to do this one time per round — on the tenth tee. Hopefully they use this “halftime” experience to be able to approach every hole with the same MindPlay.
While the tenth is the most important tee/hole during a round, the most significant green is the eighteenth. That is where handshakes are exchanged and the day’s antics recounted. It is by far the place where everyone who has ever played the game can revel in the experience and look forward to doing it again very soon.