The 2013 PGA Championship, which was the last major championship of the golf season, was played at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.
I was thrilled that Jason Dufner won the tournament. It was a great accomplishment for him. He played some great golf. Not only was his game outstanding, but I admired his demeanor and perseverance.
When Dufner plays golf he goes about his business on the course with a very laid back attitude. He rarely, if ever, shows any emotion – good or bad. He just plays.
What can you learn from Dufner’s emotional detachment?
- He shows no anxiety; therefore he has very little tension when he swings the club. Tension in the body and hands is a golf swing killer.
- If he hits a poor shot he shows no reaction. No throwing the club, grounding the club or ripping his golf glove off. He simply moves on and plays his next shot to the best of his ability. Dwelling on what you did in the past can inhibit you from what you need to do in the future. Forget the last shot and stay in the moment. Focus on the task at hand and you will have a better chance for success.
- Have fun. Golf is only a game. Dufner had a lot on the line last weekend. He was playing to win his first major championship. Winning a major is a big career boost, both professionally and financially. Yet watching Dufner’s laid back, carefree expression he didn’t seem too worried about it. When you are playing golf I’m sure you don’t have that same pressure, so just go play and enjoy your time on the golf course.
- Perseverance. Dufner missed his chance to win his first major in 2011 in a playoff with Keegan Bradley at the PGA Championship. Two years later he has the chance to win the major that eluded him. That had to be hard not to think about and be distracted by during his final round. He also hadn’t won a tournament this season. But instead of giving up or allowing doubt or frustration to dominate his game, he kept working and now has a major championship win to show for it.
- Dufner doesn’t take himself too seriously.
For instance, this pose captured during a school visit started the trend now
known as “Dufnering”.
Dufnering became an internet sensation after Keegan Bradley tweeted this photo.
Now people everywhere are imitating Dufner’s slouch and blank stare.
According to Dufner, “The funny thing about it is the photo taken represents how
I act all the time. They were talking about focusing and relaxation, and I guess I
took it to another level.”
So not only can you learn about golf from Jason Dufner, but I think there are some
important life lessons to take away from how he conducts himself.
What life lessons have you learned from golf? Share your comments.