After watching the President’s Cup at Muirfield Village this past weekend, it was ever so evident that a great deal of success in team golf has to do with picking the right partner. Someone that you are compatible with both from a golfing point of view and, maybe more importantly, from a psychological point of view.
It looked to me that team captain Freddie Couples and his assisstants did a bang-up job of matching personalities along with playing styles. For example, Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar looked like life-long buddies as they birdied and high-fived their way to victory after victory. Carrying their chemsitry over from last year’s Ryder Cup, Phil Mickleson and Keegan Bradley again just looked like guys who really enjoy being playing partners.
As the matches progressed and it looked like the US was a lock to win the cup again, it got me to thinking about my own participation in two man events at my men’s club. Without bragging, myself and my regular partner have done quite well in these two man events, yet on paper, I always think that other teams have a better chance of winning than we do. As most golfers know, the key to winning scrambles and shambles and best ball events is usually chipping and putting neither of which myself or my partner are overly efficient at. Yet, at the end , we often find a way to finish in a very respecible position.
I’m usually more vocal (go figure!) while my partner can be counted on to keep the procedings on the light side with his well-timed (and wicked) sense of humor. We long ago realized golf is not life or death. So, in the end, I believe our attitude carries us through adversity as much as our golfing ability
Golf on the amateur level is supposed to be fun and having the right partner only serves to make it that much more enjoyable. So, my humble advice is to pick the right partner not so much on their shot-making but rather on how compatible you are when the wheels have fallen off and the skies are at their grayest. I guarantee that in the end, win or lose, you will leave the course in a better frame of mind.