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To Save Strokes, Avoid Ego Involvements

The 40th Secret

Ego involvement is a Freudian term having to do with what is generally known as pride. We are ego-involved when we use a three iron when we should be using a two or even a wood club. One of the secrets of the phenomenal play of Paul Runyan was that he didn't allow his ego to affect his choice of clubs. If his opponent used a six iron, Runyan would not hesitate to use his four wood if the situation called for it, and tales of his accuracy with such shots are legendary.
Ego involvements affect other golfing situations. We may play an opponent "even" when a handicap is indicated. We may elect to shoot over a dog-leg instead of around it. We may turn in a lower qualifying score just to get into a higher flight, or we may turn in a higher qualifying score in order to insure winning a trophy in a lower flight. We may use a high-compression ball because very hard hitters do, although we could get more distance with less compression. We may turn only good scores into the handicap committee for the prestige of a low handicap, and we may turn in poor scores for a higher handicap that will help us win a trophy. We may shoot for the pin when our general accuracy can only justify shooting at the green.
There are some ego involvements which can be beneficial, such as pride in improvement; but, in general, ego involvements cause us to become unrealistic. This prevents us from doing what a golfing situation calls for, and thus is disastrous. Nothing can be solved if pride produces wishful thinking or otherwise prevents us from seeing the problem as it is.