Beware of the TV Commentator Mentality

“He is trying to make this putt to take the lead.”  How many times have we heard that on TV?  One of my favorite ways to help golfers make the transition from a poor mental game to a great one is to talk through all the things that are said and heard during golf telecasts.  As avid players, most of us like to watch golf on TV, especially during the final round of a tournament. Be careful, though, of how listening to what they say might affect your attitude and mental game.

On the compassionate side, my heart does go out to the commentators who are asked to fill TV time from Mon-Sun at many tour events.  In the old days, golf was usually televised on Sat and Sun which only allowed Ken Venturi or Byron Nelson to talk for 4 – 6 hours of total time. Compare that to today where the Golf Channel acnhors must come up with new ways to be interesting and entertaining for several hours each day.

The point of this post is that while many of the commentators were great players, they are now asked to describe the action in a way that they would never consider as competitors.  No great player would ever think during a Friday round, “I can’t afford to miss this one.”  On the contrary, they would simply follow their normal routine and execute the shot.

As you watch golf on TV, remember that it is still production meant to entertain and hold the attention of the viewer.  That might include hearing people say bizarre and funny comments, but it is not how good players think or act during competition.

Next time you are watching a Sunday final round, be sure to do some editing as you listen.  Make sure any negative, critical or overly dramatic comments go in one ear and out the other and view it merely as entertainment.  Allow the great play of the professional golfers to provide your real inspiration and enjoyment.

Mike WilsonComment