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Gary Player has seen it all. And if you listen to him carefully, he might just be able to help your golf game. Here’s a lesson as old as time on the mental side of the game.

The 88-year-old, (yes, 88!) says that he has flown more miles than any person alive today. In that time, he’s seen his fair share of good and his fair share of bad. That good and bad extends to the golf course, too.

While you might not expect the Honorary Starters’ press conference to bring out any instruction gold, you’d be surprised, especially when Player takes to the mic.

The South African explained that if you’re going to win major championships, then you need to be able to embrace finding yourself in difficult situations.

Gary Player lesson
Gary Player wants you to embrace adversity on the course. (Credit: Getty Images)

While that advice is certainly true for major champions, it becomes even more true for those of us who tend to hit lots of bad shots. There’s no point trying to pretend they won’t happen.

“I believe, to win majors or to win the big tournaments, that you had to love adversity because you’re going to face up to it. Doesn’t matter who you are,” Player said.

“I just felt that it is impossible to play a round of golf without hitting bad shots, so it was actually part of the game. I taught myself to almost enjoy it, but enjoyed it, maybe in I don’t know what fashion, but it’s part of the game.”

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Very sound advice from the charismatic nine-time major champion. Of course, with Player, it doesn’t stop there. He went onto say that, no matter how far you drive the ball, you still need to master the mental aspect of it all, and be able to control your ball around the greens. Maybe Bryson was listening in before his first round at the Masters?

“And this leads me to say, you listen to people today talk about — the father talks about his son, or a coach: ‘Well, you should see this young boy. He hits the ball 380 yards.’

“You never hear him say how great his short game is how great his mind is. Hitting the ball is an asset, but it’s not a necessity. But putting, if you have to hit it that long, it counts as much as a 400-yard drive.”

So, don’t neglect the putting and accept that bad shots are going to happen. Got it, Gary.

If you want more from us, why not head to our YouTube channel? It’s the best place to find out how the latest new golf gear performs, along with some other fun stuff.

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

Performance Editor

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