Don’t expect concessionto avoid disappointment
Match play tournaments are coming up, and undoubtedly the best will be the Ryder Cup. Concession of short putts inevitably will be an issue due to the pressure of the one-on-one matches. It is essential to make the concessions in absolutely unambiguous terms.
If your opponent putts up close and you say ‘That’s good’, it could be taken as a compliment on their skill or as an expression of conceding the next putt. Strictly speaking, you should remove their ball and hand it to them as a formal act of concession, but that is not always convenient if you are standing yards away waiting to make your putt. So, if you concede verbally, say so in unequivocal terms.
The other point about these concessions is to eliminate all feeling of guilt. The man who goes into a huff because he has not been conceded a 12-inch putt is halfway beaten, especially if he allows his resentment to simmer on. He will surely hit a bad drive because an angry golfer is a bad golfer. It is a sound idea to discipline yourself never to anticipate a concession and, consequently, never to feel disappointment when it does not come. Eliminate all thoughts of so-called sportsmanship in this area. There is nothing unsporting about wanting to see a short putt holed out and so if you putt up close to the hole, go straight to your ball and mark it.
Out of Bounds: If you mark your ball with the marker nearer the hole, and replace your ball on the other side of the marker, you will very soon get a reputation as a highly suspicious character.