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Archived Newsletters - Who Are You? The Socializer?:

Newsletter February 2004
Vol. V, Edition 2

Who Are You? The Socializer?
by Joan King

This month is a continuation of the description and analysis of the four basic personality and behavior patterns as they relate to golf performance. Last month began with a description of "The Driver" personality. This month will profile "The Socializer."

The more you understand your own behavior patterns, the more you can adapt to the different situations that come up on the golf course. The less you understand, the fewer options you have.

As humans, everyone can be included in four basic types of behavioral tendencies. Everyone has some of each of the four basic styles but you probably have more of one type than the others. When you understand your personality, you can then consider the strengths and weaknesses specific to your style and relate them to your behavior on the golf course. Under pressure your strengths could become your weaknesses because without this knowledge you will probably use the behavior that makes you feel most comfortable.

I. The Driver: The "grip it and rip it" player will have an advantage on wide open, long courses and not so great an advantage on tight, placement courses.

II. The Socializer: The social golfer feels very comfortable in a sociable foursome, but less comfortable in a tournament where there is no sociability.

III. The Craftsman: A player who is steady, "on the fairway, on the green, two putts" plans and executes well, but is less comfortable in situations s/he hasn't encountered before.

IV. The Analyzer: This cautious player carefully plans out his/her game, plays conservatively and makes few mistakes, but has a tendency not to take risks and stretch his/her limits.

There is no best style. This is the way you have adapted to your environment and live your life. Each personality style has its positive and negative aspects. What is important, is to know yourself so you can avoid your negative side in stressful situations and then behave by using the best aspect of your personality.

Our lives would be so much easier if everyone was like us and there was no conflict. Since this is not a truism, understanding how people operate their lives differently from the way you do will help you to be more tolerant of their behavior.

Your behavior will be influenced by others and by the situation you are in. The best attitude is to enjoy the similarities and accept the differences. If you don't do this, you will sabotage your peace of mind and your golf game.

Characteristics:
The "Socializer" is a "people person" who likes to play on a team, persuade, promote and share ideas, causes, etc. and enjoys entertaining others. They are optimistic and outgoing through a vibrant flow of conversation. They prefer talking to action. This personality doesn't pay attention to details and doesn't worry about control. Because they enjoy talking with others, it is not unusual for them not to be ready when it is their turn. They appear to be disorganized one minute and back on track the next. Their concentration and focus varies. They learn the fundamentals of the game quickly, but because of the lack of attention to details it takes them longer to make them a habit.

Tendencies of the "Socializer":
  • CONTACT with others is their favorite activity.
  • Enthusiastic and entertaining and wants others to like them.
  • Loves freedom of expression & being the life of the party.
  • Very persuasive when talking.
  • Group oriented, is stimulating and loves to be stimulated.
  • Appears to be disorganized and not ready to hit.
  • Plays golf for the sociability.
"Socializer" Professionals:
  • Lee Trevino
  • Peter Jacobsen
  • Fuzzy Zoeller
"Socializer" Strengths:
  • Enjoys the game because of the time spent socializing.
  • Entertains others and generates enthusiasm.
  • More competitive with opponents than with the golf course.
"Socializer" Weaknesses:
  • Becomes more careless, aimless and erratic under pressure.
  • Vacillates between ripping & swinging; apt to play "army" golf.
  • Often unsure about the rules.
How to Improve:
The "Socializer" golfer loves anything that involves contact with others. They have a flair to their games and appear disorganized and flighty and then back on track the next minute. It's not unusual for them to forget it's their turn to hit since they are busy talking. They can improve their performances by:
  • being more task oriented than people oriented.
  • being more objective in making decisions.
  • paying attention to details.
  • focusing on the task at hand.
  • managing their social interaction on the golf course.
  • feeling their sense of timing and rhythm.
  • having a structured practice.
  • developing a consistent preswing routine.
The "Socializer" personality is usually an auditory learner. To learn easily they need to get a sense of the timing and tempo and balance of the golf swing. Video tapes are excellent learning tools for this player. They do best learning from a pro who is friendly but who can keep them on track learning the fundamentals.

In a stressful golf situation, the "Socializer" needs to:
  • slow down thinking by deep breathing.
  • use coping skills to free up the mind.
  • organize a plan of operation.
  • focus on the present shot.
  • pay attention to details.
  • be decisive when making a rules decision.
  • take extra time to feel balance, timing and rhythm of the swing.
No human quality is good or bad except as it is used. Used properly it indicates a strength of character, improperly used it causes problems.

The Optimist Creed: Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Wear a cheerful countenance at all times, and greet every living creature you meet with a smile.

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