The bad golf psychology of listening to negative TV golf commentators


How much do you listen to the commentators on televised golf? Do you think they’re good for your golf? Well I used to think that watching golf on TV was good golf psychology. Now I’m not so sure.

So what happened? Well after writing my recent article about talking yourself into better golf, I sat down to watch a replay of the television coverage of the World Cup from Mission Hills in China. Now I ‘m always thinking very positively after completing an article, so I was amazed at how quickly I was becoming negative watching the golf and more importantly listening to the negative messages coming from the commentators. Here’s a list of the ones I remember from just 30 minutes of watching and listening.

“He’s got to think about trying not to let his partner down”

“Very few golfers have found winning easy”

“The nap is into him as well as the slope – he has to hit it hard”

“Perhaps he was afraid of thinning it”

“They might have felt a bit intimidated”

“It’s not finished yet”

“It’s only a par, but it’s not terminal”

“He missed one of this length at the last hole”

“There’s a tough driving hole coming up”

“He’ll be disappointed to be much further away from the hole in 2 shots”

“He and his playing partner have it all to do”

“I still wouldn’t like to call it, would you? No.”

“For the third hole in a row he gets just this length of putt”

“He’s just 20 years old, what can you expect?”

“Had that gone in, there might have been a glimmer of hope, but they’re running out of holes”

It makes depressing reading doesn’t it? More worryingly, I wonder how many of those negative suggestions have been taken in by my unconscious while I was watching and listening. I dread to think how depressing and potentially bad for your golf it would be playing with some of of those commentators, if they talk like that when they actually play golf.

I’m not saying that television golf commentators don’t say anything positive. You only have to hear them talking about Tiger Woods to hear them talking positively, even when he’s playing badly. To be fair, some of the commentators are very positive, particularly the one’s who played golf at the very top, like Nick Faldo and Peter Alliss, unless he’s talking about putting!

So, be careful when you watch golf on TV. Enjoy watching the golf, learn from your favourite golfers and consciously filter out the negative comments from the positive commentary.

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