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Barracking For Your Opponent


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#1 PapaBravo

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 11:05 AM

Sometimes the greatest change we can make, is a change of viewpoint.

 

There was an interesting discussion held on the teebox of a par 3 on the weekend, between myself and 2 other golfers, both much better than me. 1 was off 2, and the other was off 7. They were talking about an interaction during a pennant match, where the 2 was playing against an opponent, removed the flagstick and put it down on the green behind play to make sure it was no chance of being hit during putts. The opponent then claimed that the flag was being used as an aiming aid, and the hole was lost. He said this incident (which i have no idea if it was recent or a while ago) basically turned him off bothering with pennant golf ever again.

 

I believe this kind of thing can happen regularly during matchplay type scenarios, where people are constantly looking for a way to get the competitive edge so they look for obtaining it any which way possible, even if that means ruining their opponents day for their own benefit. I would suspect pennant golf would likely be more common to see this kind of thing, which is probably the highest level competition that the local golfer will ever play.

 

Isn't it interesting though, that these kinds of things which are more focused on hurting your opponent, rather than improving yourself could be one of the main reasons some people don't play to their full potential?

 

The best athletes in the world have a burning passion to beat the best at their best. They want to feel that pressure, and want to be able to rise to the situation through focus and determination. Tennis players have often overridden incorrect calls from umpires to the favor of their opponents. Professional golfers will call penalties on themselves that others may not have seen. I even remember watching an interview with an AFL coach who was disappointed that the opponents star player was injured the week they were due to play against each other.

 

I was given this advice from someone who mentored me when I was involved with Tenpin Bowling at an international level. She had won 100's of tournaments in her career, and was regarded as one of the greatest female tenpin bowlers ever worldwise.

 

With shifting a simple fundamental change in the way I approached head to head matches, all of a sudden I started winning alot more regularly. Not only that, I was also enjoying the competition more, because alot of the competitive stress was eliminated from my tournaments.

 

She taught me the art of barracking for your opponent. The change, is as simple as genuinely having the desire to see your opponent play well at all given times. This isn't something that can be implemented on the occasion. It needs to be adapted into our mindset and never strayed from.

 

By celebrating our opponents success, we feed off the positive energy, which improves not only our focus, but also the enjoyment we can draw from the experience we are having. Even if the results don't go our way on the day, if we approach it positively we can learn much more than wasting our time looking for excuses about our opponent. I feel overall it is better to have a bad result and learn from it than to have a good result at the detriment to our opponent.

 

Often, this kind of change in mentality can drag us out of a slump, and get us back to our peak and beyond. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, we can stay objective more often, and look at the whole picture instead. All of a sudden we can become a better person overall, and if you're really good at it, you can sometimes even change the mindset of people around you which is one of the greatest feelings of all.

 

So the question is:

 

Could a change of your viewpoint on how you see your opponent potentially serve you and your results?


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#2 Birdie_Blitz

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:36 PM

I love the concept but unfortunately I can't see it catching on in Club land. To really embrace the concept the player has to feel confident that their best will prevail and the idea that you support the opponent to their best will push you to yours.

 

What happens in club lands is that we focus on the limitations of our own game so there is doubt as to if our best is capable of winning it is really an unknown how my limitations stack up against my opponents limitations especially in the case of pennant.

 

In principle I love the concept as I believe the satisfaction of playing well and winning will always feel better than winning through derision and pushing rule boundaries. However, I can't see it happening any time soon.

 

I for one while not supporting my opposition will always try and focus on my own game and are happy as long as I play to the best of my own ability whether I win or lose (although it does feel much better to win).


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#3 Weetbix

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 12:50 PM

I don't play pennants so can't comment in regard to that, but within our own competitions- which are quite fiercely competed - I always hope for and celebrate my opponents successes

I just enjoy seeing others do well

And frankly I get no real enjoyment beating someone because they played badly if I'm also playing badly - I focus on my performance first and hope that it will be successful
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#4 BumpunRun

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 01:01 PM

slightly different mindset, but similar in theory is that you should always expect your opponent to make their shot.

That may be, hitting the fairway, always getting up and down, always making the putt. 

That plays on your expectation of what you have to do.

 

Bear in mind, a lot of the pennants I have played has been div 1, scratch matches where the boys will generally be making the putts and shots anyway.   


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#5 bazinoz

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 01:02 PM

My opponent is always the golf course.

 

I sure ain't gonna barrack for it to have tougher bunkers, longer, narrower fairways and deeper rough :D

 

 

And as for Pennants, if the sort of gamesmanship stories that you hear are true, you can stick it imho.

I'm with Weeti. Love seeing someone in the playing group playing really well.


Edited by bazinoz, 16 October 2017 - 01:03 PM.

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#6 Snappy McSnapperton

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 02:54 PM

If you're playing pennant, then you're trying to win, and whatever works inside your head to make you play well is the way to go.  Depending on the day, the course, the opponent, your mood etc., this might range from encouragement for them to hating on them.  If you keep it to yourself it doesn't really matter. 

 

Personally in pennant I'm a fan of ignoring my opponent, at least for the first few holes, and just worrying about my own game.  Sure, if they put their approach shot to an inch of a tight pin, I'm not going to play the safe shot to the centre of the green, but otherwise I figure if I play to around my handicap, I'll win. 

 

A good caddy might keep an eye on any potential rules infractions though.


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#7 golfguy33

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 04:30 PM

I think that you should always acknowledge an opponents good play, whether in matchplay or club competition on a weekend. As for the rules, they are in place for everyone and if you can use them to your advantage great but if you or your opponent transgresses the rules hard luck, cop the penalty and move on !

I find it very interesting that some golfers have a solid knowledge of the rules and tend to use them well, regardless of the outcome. Whilst alot of average golfers don't have a very good handle of the basic rules and will usually interpret them incorrectly and then be penalized for their poor decisions.

Being able to recognize an infraction during a match like the flag-stick rule that you quoted and then apply it to your advantage, is part of the game, unfortunately !

I've seen heaps of obscure rules used to great effect during matches :)

Jon...



#8 Francie

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 05:11 PM

I don't play pennants so can't comment in regard to that, but within our own competitions- which are quite fiercely competed - I always hope for and celebrate my opponents successes

I just enjoy seeing others do well

And frankly I get no real enjoyment beating someone because they played badly if I'm also playing badly - I focus on my performance first and hope that it will be successful

 

OH Noooooo!!!!!!     :o  :P  ;) 


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#9 OldBogey

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 05:13 PM

So, the idiot conceded the hole by accepting his opponent's claim? That was an easy hole for the opponent.

I would have just laughed at him and told him not to be an arsehole.
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#10 Can Break 80

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:05 PM

So, the idiot conceded the hole by accepting his opponent's claim? That was an easy hole for the opponent.

I would have just laughed at him and told him not to be an arsehole.

 

I think that you should always acknowledge an opponents good play, whether in matchplay or club competition on a weekend. As for the rules, they are in place for everyone and if you can use them to your advantage great but if you or your opponent transgresses the rules hard luck, cop the penalty and move on !

I find it very interesting that some golfers have a solid knowledge of the rules and tend to use them well, regardless of the outcome. Whilst alot of average golfers don't have a very good handle of the basic rules and will usually interpret them incorrectly and then be penalized for their poor decisions.

Being able to recognize an infraction during a match like the flag-stick rule that you quoted and then apply it to your advantage, is part of the game, unfortunately !

I've seen heaps of obscure rules used to great effect during matches :)

Jon...

I have played a lot of pennant over the years against a range of opponents from those who are green and inexperienced to the old timers who have been around for a while.

 

I always acknowledge early in match an opponents good shots and try to play game in good spirit.expect my opponent to do the same.

early on in game always talk with opponent about  how he went in his match last round or weather or condition of course to try and see if he has negative thoughts.

 

ie he might say no i lost last week (OK here comes a tough match this week)

might say" these greens look a bit bumpy (sometimes they say yer they are bad) (ok watch the gimmes)

 

Match play is a different mindset to stroke play but can still be done in a nice way but one should know how match play rules are different.

 

I wouldn't deliberately use rules as advantage unless opponent deliberately breached them, even then I would say hey, what you did back there by laying flag down was a potential loss of hole, not going to call you this time BUT...

 

Also If opponent did place flag down on the green and you suspect he did it to get a line, best thing to do is say nothing and next hole ask do you want me to take flag out for you or simply take it out your self for him, or get your caddie to take it out. He then knows you are on to him.

 

Player B was obviously very inexperienced him self or not aware as he is entitled to stop the match or not tee off on next hole and ask for a ruling by referee on the matter before continuing.

 

Furthermore I dont believe one would stop playing pennant golf just because he lost one hole like this, there would have been other reasons why.


Edited by Can Break 80, 16 October 2017 - 06:16 PM.

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#11 Weetbix

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:09 PM

OH Noooooo!!!!!! :o :P ;)


Indeed!
Not everyone shares my approach!
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#12 Weetbix

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:10 PM

I have to say there's no way I would have conceded his point. He did have had to prove it and get the referee to rule.

The guy should have stood up for himself.

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#13 Weetbix

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:11 PM

BTW in the OP PapaBravo didn't say the guy gave up the match - just that he gave up on matchplay pennant from then on

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#14 PapaBravo

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:13 PM

Whilst the focus on the pennant discussion wasn't the primary purpose of the topic, I can appreciate "gamesmanship" would factor into the discussion.

 

I was really the 3rd wheel of the discussion, just listening and observing. Having no prior experience in pennant golf, I wouldn't know the first place to start to empathize with the situation. If this type of thing happened to me, I think I could only try to work out if they were joking or not, and then attempt to get a proper ruling on the issue, and whatever the outcome I would learn from it and remember it for the rest of my golfing "career" I would also apologize if any rules were broken intentionally or not, because I want a match where everyone is performing at their best.

 

If I were ever to have to pull up an opponent on something that I knew for a fact was breaking rules, my first mention would be a "I believe this is the case, can we double check this ruling together just so everyone is on the same page?" rather than a "hahaha, you lost the hole because ....." context, which is how I understood his opponents approach. It's only 1 side to the story and it just got me thinking about something I learned which really helped me in the competitive situation.


Edited by PapaBravo, 16 October 2017 - 06:19 PM.

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