My golf coach, Marvin Freedman—creator of “The Marvin Method” told me this story at lunch today:
Many years ago the great golfer Ben Hogan was playing a practice round before an important tournament. He was paired with a younger pro. During the game the young pro hit a shot he didn’t like and in his frustration he threw his club. Hogan noticed but they played on and finished 18 holes.
After they walked off the 18th Hogan said to the young pro, “Son, can I ask you a question?” and the pro of course said, “Yes Mr. Hogan.” And Ben asked him, “Did your game improve after you threw that club?” The young man thought and then said, “No, not at all.”
And Hogan said, “Well, just think about that.”
I thought about that story as I drove back to my office today after my lunch with Marvin. My day had begun with one employee crying, another staff member angry, two others unhappy with each other and sharing it publicly. I had plenty of work to do and I had to choose my response in each situation. Would it help to be bossy? angry? preachy? Would it help to “throw my club?”
No, your game—no matter what your game is—never gets better if you throw your club.