So Tiger won again for the first time in over two years. There have been a lot of Tiger fans rooting for him for a very long time. We have missed seeing his awesome ability to play incredible shots and prowl his way artfully, creatively and skillfully to the top.
From a viewer's perspective, even non-golf lovers are known to watch Tiger with baited breath. As for golf addicts, then if you don't love watching Tiger then there's something wrong with you. He has levels of creativity, physical strength and mental toughness as well as a great sense of course management, that coupled with his desire to be the very best possible make him a very unique golfer indeed.
One can only wonder at the effect Tiger has upon the other players with whom he competes. I can't imagine that anyone can successfully blank out his presence and play without fearing his ability. That surely is too much to ask.
The best way in which to mentally deal with his presence is to joggle yourself into a perspective that chooses to find inspiration is his presence and enable that to bring out even better golf in you. That, however, can be easier said than done. With some mental training, however, it should be possible. Also some personality types will find that a whole lot easier than others.
There is of course a large element of luck that will affect your state of mind when faced with Tiger upon your tail. Imagine if you were there when Tiger held the number one position for so long before, and you were competing when he kept on winning and winning and winning, often by not just a small lead; how could you not have an embedded emotional reaction that reflects these happenings?
Even for the most talented golfer, it would be difficult not to lose a little confidence in your own ability to win when the facts show that Tiger is most often a little ahead of you. It takes a lot of mental work to shift that embedded reaction.
Contrast that with the youngsters of golf, Rory and Co., who grew up avidly watching Tiger, whilst at the same time imagining that they would one day play like that and win like that. These youngsters are already half way to using Tiger as an inspiration to raise the bar in their own game. It could therefore be argued that they are perhaps better prepared mentally to use the "Tiger effect" in a more positive way.
That said, it's still by no means an easy task. They haven't been there to feel that effect in person - yet. An alternative argument is that those who have been there before competing against Tiger at his best have greater experience in coping and thus they have the advantage over the youngsters.
Then there are points of practicality. Are these youngsters as hungry to win as Tiger, as hungry for the number one spot? Do they have the same work ethic? A further relevant question relates to whether or not Tiger is as hungry as he was in earlier years? Also, after a drought like the one he has experienced, can Tiger ever be as indomitable?
I'm sure all Tiger fans and all golf addicts are thinking the same thoughts as me. We cannot help but speculate. Golf has just become so much more exciting, and all because of one human being who has been and still is an inspiration to so many. When Tiger stopped playing before, viewing dropped by over 50%. Now that he's back in winning form, expect the viewing stats to go through the roof once more.
Roseanna Leaton, avid golfer and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3s and author of the GolferWithin golf mind training system.
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