Before we start lets get it clear that what we are not talking about here is a group of typical young brits who end up sleeping in the open air on the beach after sampling too much cheap Spanish beer.

What we are talking about here is a figure of speech where two ideas of a different meaning are combined such as e.g. ‘cruel kindness’.

Getting the idea!

For the purposes I wish to concentrate on an oxymoron, which is a particular favourite of double former major winner Nick Price, namely ‘cautious aggression’.

Would you believe it that even Seve Ballesteros in his pomp displayed this strategy only he applied it in his own way.

For example playing the final hole of the European Open at Crans-Sur-Sierre in 1995 Seve needed to birdie the last hole to tie but as usual had driven deep in the trees.

He looked for what he called his ‘window of opportunity’ or to you and me a gap in the branches and thrashed the ball forward and on to the edge of the green from where he holed the chip but still lost by one shot to Barry Lane.

However he stated afterwards that if the circumstances had arisen earlier in the round he would have chipped out sideways because there was still time and enough holes available to play catch up BUT on the last hole, he had only one chance of winning and went for it.

Returning to Nick Price he believed that this approach is a ‘state of mind’ or ‘attitude’ that you must take onto the course with you.

In his opinion he will not take on a risky or dangerous golf shot unless there is at least a 90% probability of success (for Seve the figure would be nearer 80%).

On the golf course, when faced with the risky shot option there are a number of considerations to be made:

  1. The hole you are on.

  2. Your relative position in the tournament.

  3. In matchplay the position of your opponent or the state of the match.

When you have weighed these things up and have made a decision to take a risk, then stand by it through the swing and to the end result, even if this is not good.

After the shot has been played, forget it, good or bad and get ready to play the next shot and never take two risky options consecutively other wise you may be one of the many golfer uttering the phrase “ if it was not for bad luck I would have no luck at all”.

What a load of rubbish this is, it is all about course strategy and making informed decisions decisively and positively when required.