Situation: You enter a Match Play Golf tournament. You do not know your opponent. You walk up to him to introduce yourself and he replies with not saying his name, but with saying…
"Oh, you’re the guy I heard who can Putt!".
I was in this situation. This was the first indication the match was going to be at the very least interesting.
The next indicator the day was going to be a challenge was on the first tee after I won honors to tee off first. I placed my drive in the center of the fairway with a full chocked drive and he pulls a three iron and hits it forty yards past my still smoking drive.
The situation still was developing when I was sitting 180 yards to the green and flushed a five wood into the wind to come up short ten yards. My opponent, being 150 yards away, took an eight iron and stuck it three feet from the pin which resulted in a fist-pump with a yell…
‘Take that Seventh Flight".
Yes, folks, you could see the sand bags flying and on top of that, my opponent got additionally upset because I made him putt the three footer.
The only grace I had was this was a nine hole match and the third nine hole match I had played for the day.
It seems from the other twosome paired with us that my opponent was upset because he had to play in the seventh flight instead of playing against the players of his own level..the 2nd flight. Plus, he was determined to get back at the tournament organizers by making it miserable for all around him.
So, how do you deal with someone like this? Well, I am not sure if how I handled it would be the way you would handled it, but the outcome was pleasant.
Some people would have got in the guys face and say the match is yours, un-strap the bag off the cart and walk it in to the clubhouse to get in the leaders of the Men’s Golf Association face about their need to validate players handicaps before fighting them.
Some might even have had called their attorney to have them meet them at the clubhouse where the meeting was going to be held to discuss the issue of why the association had such high entry fees and knowingly put a much lower handicapper in a lower flight. And some would have taken other action that also would not be appropriated.
I could have taken any or all of those actions and what would it have gotten me at the end of the day? A worst outcome than what took place.
The name of the game was golf and in golf you accept the challenge given to you or you forfeit. Sometime a forfeit is not disgraceful, but forfeiting because you do not accept the challenge is probably the most disgraceful act a golfer can make.
My decision was to accept the challenge and in this situation I took a licking. However, there was no blood drawn, no bones broken or eyes put out. It came down to who could hit the ball better.
I looked at it positively. I got to see some outstanding 325 yard drives bombed down the fairway the width of a scorecard. I got to see the flagstick nearly being snapped in two by three wood second shot made to a par five green. And the exciting thing of all of it, I tied my opponent on four holes because he missed his three foot putts.
Yes my opponent did not like me very well, but I enjoyed seeing his abilities crumbled because he did not like me very well. I happily signed off on the scorecard of with a score of 2 and half points to six and a half points. I wished him luck and the match was over.
Now, the next time I see my opponent at the club I will be know to him as the guy he does not like who can sink forty foot putts instead of the whiner who quiet because he did not want to meet the challenge.
If this was a business situation what would your reaction be to the way this was handled…about the same result isn’t it?
Let me know how I can help.