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Making the Cut: It takes G.R.I.T.

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on
Jared Jones of the Team of 20 hits his shot from a bunker on the 16th hole during the second round of the 2022 PGA Championship

Jared Jones of the Team of 20 hits his shot from a bunker on the 16th hole during the second round of the 2022 PGA Championship

As a golf fan, do you remember those days when Tiger Woods was fighting the cutline in his prime? For 142 straight events on the PGA Tour, he played on the weekend. It takes great talent, hard work and a little luck to win. To make a bunch in a row, let alone 100, it takes true grit.
Grit: /grit/ noun - courage and resolve; strength of character.
Today’s major cutline challenge was tough enough before the breeze began to blow. As an amateur you may never play in a tournament with a cut. How about those times you want to beat your opponent? Better yet, those moments when we are competing against our personal best. Breaking 90 for the first time takes the same amount of grit as the men and women use on the LPGA and PGA Tour.
The next time you face a scoring test, follow my four points to increase your golf grit.
G – Go for it
It’s important when you feel the pressure mounting to stick with your gameplan. Many times, golfers will change their strategy and play conservatively trying to protect something. This is golf, prevention is a synonym for fear. Maintain the same aggressive strategy you started with and run across that finish line.
R – Recovery
Scoring comes from short game. Those who make the cut at the PGA this week will grind over every single short shot. We all face adversity, the ability to recover and save shots is so valuable. Probably more valuable than any other facet of the game. Making long putts or holing out from a bunker don’t just lower your score, but those shots inspire you as well.
I – Individual
Treat each shot as an individual endeavor. Sounds easy, but it seldom happens when we face a milestone moment. Very quickly we begin to allow previous shot outcomes to affect the present. Play with a short memory. No one shot can affect another. Live in the moment and execute the best you can.
T – Talk
Pressure sneaks up in many ways. The easiest cue to recognize your body and mind are feeling anxiety comes through speech. Talkers freeze up and get quiet, and silent ones open up. Notice when you start acting outside your normal persona. Pay attention to these cues. Playing with friends, share with others what to look for. Changes can come quickly, and double bogeys soon follow. Be yourself, the best way to keep calm.
Great golf and grit go hand in hand. Focus on the four items above and the next time you encounter a “cutline moment” you’ll break through.
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