Many people have the mantra to “never lay up” on the golf course, meaning to always go for it and try to make the toughest shots possible. There is even an advertising campaign for a long ball whose slogan is “never lay up”. This is fine and dandy if you are willing to take your medicine when (not if) but when it goes wrong.

However, it is just as faulty to go the other direction and constantly play it safe for fear of making a bad shot. The difference between winners and losers is not that winners are always successful but that they take more shots and try more often. Winning is often about sticking to a game plan and not letting outside forces determine your course of action.

Therefore, just as you may pride yourself on playing safe shots you should not do this because you are afraid of making a mistake or because you are nervous about what might happen. Choose a course of action and don’t deviate. Difficulties usually disappear when faced squarely.


I once had a dream the night before a tournament that I came up to a hole I often struggle with. The problem is a tree is in the middle of an already narrow fairway that is just in the way of my range from the ladies tees. Hit it right and you’re in the woods or a stream, hit it left and you’re in even deeper woods. Hit it straight and you have a good chance of ending up right behind the blasted thing. In my dream I decided to lay up with an iron because I was afraid that I might hit the tree and mess up. The next morning, when we got to that hole, I said screw that. I’m not playing this hole wrong, and accounting for a mistake I haven’t made yet just because I had a dream. I pulled driver and took the risk. Low and behold I hit it to right of the tree; but not too far, just enough so that I had a shot into the green. I wasn’t going to back down because I was in a tournament or because I was afraid.

Woo Hoo! I knew something could come from this courage thing!♣

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