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My wife is a bit of a golf nut so for the past four days we have been watching the British Open – in particular we have been following the progress of the Australian golfer Adam Scott. Who after three days seemed to have put a comfortable buffer between himself and everybody else. On the final day the inevitable happened, Scott true to his word emulated his hero Greg Norman and choked.

The parallels between golf and trading are quite intimate. Golf is a game that is won by the person who makes the fewest catastrophic errors. Whilst a score is kept the real battle is not with the course but with yourself.

I grabbed this quote from Scott from the online Age

”I know I’ve let a really great chance slip through my fingers today,” he said. ‘‘But somehow I’ll look back and take the positives from it. I don’t think I’ve ever played this well in a major championship, so that’s a good thing for me moving forward.  All the stuff I’m doing is going in the right direction.  Today is one of those days, and that’s why they call it golf.”

Firstly, he uses that appalling phrase moving forward which seems to have been introduced into the lexicon by our idiot politicians. Secondly, he sounds relieved at not winning. In my view there are no positives to take from this – the opportunity of a lifetime lay there for the taking and he choked. It is highly likely that this opportunity will never come again – it is gone forever. There is nothing positive in that. Instead of effectively forgiving himself he should be throwing things through walls whilst burning  white hot with rage at himself.

The interesting thing is I see traders do the same thing. Instead of hammering themselves over a mistake – they use the classic phrase I have released the anger or I have forgiven myself. I want to release my foot to kick them in the head whenever I hear that bullshit Oprah style homily. Failure is failure. The anger should stay with you and force you to go harder and to never repeat the same mistake again. Nobody ever achieved anything by not smacking themselves around the head for doing stupid things.





  1. Sat up until the wee hours this morning watching it too. I couldn’t sleep for about an hour after because I couldn’t believe he stood there with that stupid grin on his face holding the runner up trophy. I would have broken it over my knee, flung it into the crowd and stormed off. I was more annoyed by that than the choking – if you have played golf at any level you know what pressure can do, so I can forgive that. But the lack of passion left me cold, and annoyed I’d bothered watching.

  2. Good shots and bad shots happen. The pressure to perform can result in poor outcomes. I don’t really think he would be still playing if he did not have a passion for the game. Sport does not need another bad tempered sportsman showing impressionable people how not to handling loss.

  3. Wayne I agree he doesn’t need to behave like a spoilt brat at the loss, but the difference between those driven to greatness and those who are “merely great”, is the unwillingness to accept less than perfection in their endeavour. I think that is what Chris and Ben are saying.


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