KINSALE golfer John Murphy is competitive by nature so an important part of his success on the course is harnessing his competitiveness to make sure it doesn’t negatively affect his game.
So far, so good, it seems for the 2020 Byron Nelson Award winner in America as he has racked up an impressive list of notable wins in recent years – and speaking to the Star Sport Podcast recently Murphy explained how he stays in control of his emotions.
‘I’ve noticed before when I’ve played matches against people who might have done one or two things that I didn’t like, I think it adds a lot of pressure because you want to win so bad, almost too bad, that you are almost too up for it in one sense,’ he said.
‘Golf is all about emotions and controlling them. In golf you need to stay in the present. As a competitive person I have to realise that I have to do whatever I can in the moment to achieve the best result I can, whether that’s taking a time out or taking a few deep breaths before reassessing my next shot.’
Murphy was honoured for his Byron Nelson Award success as he was presented with a Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Sports Star monthly award earlier this week, another accolade to add to his growing trophy collection. He's the top local golfer in West Cork at the moment and he has also shared some words of wisdom to golfers who struggle through those frustrating rounds when all they want to do is throw their clubs into the nearest lake.
‘It’s inevitable that that’s going to happen if you chose to play golf. That’s in any sport, really, but golf in particular is very mentally draining. Everyone sees the rewards you get from the good days and everyone sees you posting nice pictures, but the only people that are only really there for the bad days are your parents and your close family and friends,’ Murphy said.
‘My old assistant coach gave me this piece of advice, “It’s never as good as you think it is and it’s never as bad as you think it is”. I came off the course last summer and I contemplated if I even wanted to keep playing, I was thinking that I can’t deal with this disappointment, and then two days later you’re thinking what was I whinging about, it’s only a game and get on with it.
‘That motto is something that I have tried to live by as much as possible because it helps the bad days feel better and it keeps you a bit more grounded when you are having good days and make you realise that you still have a long way to go.’