Max Homa faced a three-foot, four-inch putt on the 72nd hole to win the Genesis Invitational.
This season Homa was 99% from three feet on the greens. It was a gimme. Until it wasn’t.
Homa lipped out, forcing a sudden-death playoff with Tony Finau.
Many golfers would let such a grave mistake get them down and allow it to negatively affect their play for several swings, if not holes — or in Homa’s case for the ensuing playoff holes. But Homa isn’t like most golfers.
For one, he’s a trained professional and is used to tournaments being decided by inches. Also, though he’s known for roasting swings on Twitter, Homa is, in fact, one of the happiest guys on Tour.
Just ask Homa. Following his win Sunday, the 30-year-old L.A. native said positive thinking was one of the keys to his success.
“I just tell myself positive affirmations, especially when I wake up, when I’m nervous, on certain tee shots,” Homa said in explaining how he stays so chipper. “When I feel like I might be getting antsy, I just say three things I’m grateful for. It kind of calms me down.
“I feel like a lot of people are going through a lot harder stuff than me standing on 18. So I’m grateful for that.”
There’s science behind Homa’s approach
A 2011 Harvard study that showed gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. That’s because it helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences and deal with adversity.
All of those things came in handy for Homa when he missed the short putt and again when he found himself with a nearly impossible lie up against a tree during the first playoff hole. And they can come in handy for you the next time you chunk a wedge or top an opening tee shot.
Counting his blessings not only helps Homa stay mentally strong during times of frustration on the course, but works in those frustrating situations that pop up throughout life.
When negativity starts to creep into your mind on the course, follow Homa’s example and think of three things for which you’re grateful — like, say, how lucky you are to be on a beautiful golf course with friends having fun. You’ll be surprised at how something so simple can really help you reset and put a more positive spin on the situation.
So when in doubt, “be a happy dude,” like Homa. Your scores and your mental health will thank you for it.