"You are. And if you miss it on the right-hand side we'll call the whole deal off and walk right into the clubhouse." I wanted to put some hard pressure on Bill. If a golfer is under pressure and can analyze the situation and perform smoothly, his brain is functioning, but if he gets into a critical spot and becomes jerky and almost paralyzed, he's hopeless. He beats himself.
My partner took a couple of practice strokes with his putter to get the feel, then stepped up to the ball, apparently with a clear picture of the putt in his mind. That clarity always gives a man confidence.
And what do you think happened?
He holed his putt!
It curved just enough toward the end to drop into the hole without any trembling.
We got off the green and I gave him the box score on brain and brawn for the fifth hole.
"Your drive was an admirable exhibition of balanced mental and physical action. Your head figured out what should be done and allowed your muscles to do it. A peculiar thing about golf as it is often played by average golfers is that they actually spend a lot of effort in preventing the correct and easy action.
"Your second shot was a lugubrious affair. You charged at the ball blindly like an infuriated water buffalo. The shot was perfect in one way—it was perfectly brainless.
"The third shot was hit efficiently. You applied the required amount of effort and got maximum results. There were more fine things in that shot than are dreamt of in your philosophy—and in mine, too, I will admit—and most of them were simply allowed to occur as the natural result of a correct start and a normal development, instead of being forced."
"Do you mean that all you have to do is to begin a shot right, then don't interfere with its natural progress?" Bill wondered out loud.