Thursday, September 28, 2006

How Is Your Gamesmanship?

Unfortunately the European team beat the US team definitively in the Ryder Cup. But, in a great showing of gamesmanship, Paul McGinley gave a long putt to J.J. Henry to tie their last hole and halve their match. If McGinley had not conceded the putt, the European team would have set their record in beating the U.S.

What's not good gamesmanship? Of course, cheating is an obvious. But it's also the subtle comments made about the water or O.B. before the player is about to hit, or taking a jab at your opponent's political or religious beliefs before you tee off.

If you have to resort to those tactics to "win" in your match, then remember Paul McGinley and how you want to be thought of as a golfer.


joeman said...

I think you're thinking of sportsmanship. "Gamesmanship" is almost the opposite. It is doing everything short of cheating to win. So, in your example, talking about water or O.B. would be considered good gamesmanship.

I actually stumbled across this post looking for tips such as these (though less obvious).

Suzanne Woo said...

Hi Joeman,

Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can think of what McGinley did as good sportsmanship. But, I don't think there is any place for gamesmanship in golf. I want to win based on my skills as a golfer rather than whether I was able to psych out my opponent with thoughts about O.B. or water. I figure the golf gods will strike me back if I ever tried gamesmanship.