Golf Column: Mr. Nice Guy

PGA Tour player Matt Kuchar reminds me why I made managing golf courses my career. Even before he won the Players Championship this year, he just seems like he was having fun, almost no matter what. From what I have been able to research, he has been like this for his entire golf career. He credits his mother and father for instilling this in him.

Scott Roth, head golf professional at Victory Links Golf Course, Blaine

Scott Roth, head golf professional at Victory Links Golf Course, Blaine

When I watch golf on TV, I pay attention to things most people do not. I make note of the players’ reactions to their shots, course conditions and fellow players. I even notice how they react after a bad round or bad hole. Do they bounce back or fall apart? I take it all in.

Players like Matt seem like they are truly enjoying the game. This is in stark contrast to players like Tiger Woods and John Daly. Especially in Tiger’s case, here is a guy who had the world at his feet and could not manage to enjoy himself on the course.

I learned many years ago that when I am playing golf, my number one goal is to enjoy myself and the people I am with. I don’t let it bother me if I slice a ball into the woods or hit my bunker shot 20 yards over the green. I don’t let it bother me if the people I am with are hitting the ball all over the map. Trust me… I’m human so I’m aware it’s happening, I just don’t let it bring me down anymore.

Matt is not alone as a “nice guy.” Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk are four I can name without thinking. You will find twice as many on the Champions Tour. Most all have a reputation for enjoying and respecting the game, the fans and themselves.

So try adopting the attitude of one of these players the next time you go on the course. When something bad happens, just let it roll off your back. Put a big grin on your face and go hit the next shot. Heck – try that in every part of your life. The next time you are in traffic and someone cuts you off, what good will it do you (or them) to lay on your horn and get angry? Just grin and keep driving.

It’s not just good for your golf game to be happy and positive. Studies have long proven that a positive outlook can have great health benefits. The right attitude helps you in every part of your life.

My father hated his job and told me that on a regular basis. I promised myself I would never be like that. So, for almost 25 years, not one minute of one day have I ever been disappointed with my choice of a career. Nor have I ever been disappointed with my choice to be content on the course. I guess I am one of the lucky ones.

Scott Roth is head golf professional at Victory Links Golf Course in Blaine.

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