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Couples Golf and the "Get it in the Hole" Mentality: An Analogy on Pregnancy Performance Anxiety in Men

Tin Cup (1996)
In a perfect world, at the age of maturity every man would be able to do two things competently: 1) swing a golf club and, 2) propagate the species. Unfortunately, for many married men, the simple act of driving a tiny white ball (or impregnating their wives) eludes them simply because their minds get in the way. Call it performance anxiety. Call it a mental block. Call it a fear of failure. But no matter what you call it the fact remains that many a married man can't "get it up." In fact, entire industries have been built around supporting these men in their pursuit of mastering these rudimentary tasks. It’s a sad state of affairs but millions of men simply can't find their balls because their mind's not in the game, and they're shanking their swing when they should be focused on the hole.

The truth is, in golf and in life (producing a baby), all men want to get a hole in one but the pressure to produce results is simply too much for most men to handle. They crumble under the strain and either pull up (or out) at the wrong time. Ladies, how many times have you cheered your partner on, hoping he'd shine in the moment only to watch him lay-up and miss the mark? How many videos, coaches, and contraptions have you bought attempting to help your husband get his 'head' back in the game, only to watch in frustration as he comes up short, again and again and again? Is it his confidence? Is it his concentration? Is it his commitment that causes him to fail miserably with every attempt? No. It's you and your constant and consistent comments about his performance that makes every man feel like a frightened turtle unable to come out of his shell. Left to his own devices, every man is able to follow through on his stroke, but under the watchful, hopeful eyes of his wife, waiting for him to score that perfect game, a man just can't perform.

Ladies, it's not that we don't want you to play with us- a few hours every weekend "playing around the green" is a great way for couples to bond. But your comments, and your anxiousness, and your need to move on to the next hole before we've even taken our first shot is frazzling. Putting the ball in the cup is supposed to be relaxing, freeing even, but your screaming for us to "make it happen" doesn't help us with our shot- it hinders our follow through. It hinders our ability to "be in the moment."
We're not machines. We can't just perform because you say so. We like to practice (a lot) before we go pro. We just want to drive a bucket of balls, but you want us to produce that one perfect shot, that frankly, we're afraid to hit. Produce, produce, produce, that's all we ever hear... and we can't function under these kinds of conditions. We're talking about a game of inches, and one wrong move on your part, one way or another, will either make or break our ability to lay it in there. So let up, will ya? We're making our approach and your yammering ain’t helping matters.
In other words, lying on the bed with your legs in the air telling us to get our ass in to the bedroom to make a baby is not the way to get us to perform. Get it! Stop shouting at us... it ruins our concentration!
Ah, couple's golf... Good times.

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Reader Comments (1)

Perhaps a caddy like Carl Spackler could help guide those in need.

Great post. So true, my friend...

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDude of The House

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