My wife gave me golf lessons for my birthday just before our first daughter was born and all of our friends reacted that same way: “Are you mad? You know what Rowan is like when he gets into something! You’d better pray he doesn’t get bitten by the bug, because a long, lonely life as a golf widow awaits you if he does …”

Fortunately, while I very much enjoyed the pleasing noise a well-struck golf ball makes, the game itself held little allure for me – I like bigger, looser-flowing, movements and the country-club etiquette surrounding the game struck me as, well, faintly ludicrous.

But I do watch the Masters every year. Not any of the other tournaments, but for some reason the Masters appeals to me. And never more than when Mr Woods is on form. I heard recently that Tiger has developed the ability to blank out his last stroke, good or bad. A very useful skill in that arena, I would think, and probably applicable in many others. Apparently, he has developed the ability to draw a mental line on the ground 20 paces away and he allows himself to think about the shot he has just hit – until he crosses that line. At that moment, his entire focus shifts onto the upcoming shot. So no recriminations, no congratulations, no more mental replays; just cold, hard, focus:

“It will always be the ball and me.”

Loved this [and I always suspected]:

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