ST SIMONS ISLAND, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 18: Charles Howell III of the United States reacts after missing a putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the RSM Classic at the Sea Island Golf Club Seaside Course on November 18, 2018 in St. Simons Island, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Golf is a maddening game. Amateur golfers know that all too well. But flipping on the television every week to watch the best on the planet play the game, it’s hard to remember that even the best players often feel the same way.
Charles Howell III, once golf’s next can’t-miss prospect that never fulfilled the lofty expectations that were once set upon him, captured his first win in 11 years at the RSM Classic at Sea Island over the weekend. My colleague Dylan Dethier recapped Howell’s outpouring of emotion following his long-awaited return to the winner’s circle, but there was one part of his victory interview that especially stuck out to me: Howell talking about what he loves — and hates — about golf.
What He Loves About Golf
“I love most about [golf] because it’s all on you, it’s all on the player. Golf is never about one competitor versus another and it never will be. It’s against the player versus himself and versus the golf course. At no point today or whatever was I thinking it’s me against Cameron or it’s me against Webb or whatever. It’s just you against you, and as crazy as that sounds, it’s the way that it is.”
What He Hates About Golf
“What I hate about it is that you can work and work and work and get absolutely no results from that, and I know that there’s a lot of industries and a lot of areas where that also applies, but golf for certain. You can speak to any Tour player out here past or current and I think they would tell you the same thing, that you can go down a rabbit hole and work and work and work and literally on the back end nothing come out of it, and I think that’s the hardest part to swallow.”
Howell’s quotes are so refreshing — and so true. They offer the kind of perspective we don’t always hear from golfers at the top end of the game. And more than anything else, they’re the kind of comments that can apply to golfers everywhere, regardless of skill level. Next time you’re playing poorly, don’t blame your clubs, or the course, or anybody around you. Embrace what Howell loves most about golf: That it’s all on you.