Daily Inspiration: “You can always recover from your Tin Cup moment!”


“You can always recover from your Tin Cup moment!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

Much inspiration can come from a round of golf – but a lot of personal, emotional grief as well.

Such as that moment of clarity when you realize that you’ve left it short in the river, sliced into the pond, or hooked into a stream.

Water, it seems, is not your best friend.

Once you do this, a mental game takes over that is difficult to break – you remember that river, pond, stream. The next time? You do the same thing.

Wherein a pattern of repeatable failure settles in, one that is extremely difficult to break!

The other day, I golfed a lady who is a legend at our Club. “I’m the one that shot 20 on #11” she informed me.

Here’s the story – at my home golf club, Credit Valley, we cross the Credit River 7 times. Some of them are an easy carry, but a few are not. #11 is a particularly tricky shot & has been the scene of many an emotional meltdown over the years.

For regular play, there is a ‘Max” score on the hole, related to your handicap. Go in the water twice, & you pretty much move on to the next hole. (Over on #12, my good friend and Grade 5 teacher Ian Bates has christened this place as the “Bench of Shame” – go sit, have a time out, calm down, and move on. It works with 9 year olds, and has worked with me!)

But in tournament play, you must play a hole until it goes in the cup.

So on this hole? You must get over the river.

She didn’t. She kept going in, over and over – until she finally did & recorded a score of 20 on the hole.

Have you seen the movie Tin Cup? The most famous scene has the main subject – Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy – played by Kevin Costner – in a tournament. He puts a ball in the water. Angry, he hits another – into the water. The scene repeats itself until he finally gets across & in the hole – for a 12.

She had 20. Yet the defeat has not scarred her – she still golfs to this day and has a great game. When I played last week with her, she got over the river. She never gave up – her Tin Cup moment did not defeat her.

I have had my own Tin Cup mental challenge. Starting golf late in life, I spent a lot of time in the river on this & other river holes. A few years ago I moved up to a different sets of tees that take the river risk pretty much out of play.

Yesterday, I moved back a set of tees – & carried the river on this & every other river hole with ease. #11? I cleared the river by a huge margin!

It was a huge moment for me, recovering from my own personal Tin Cup mental challenge!

To me, there is much innovation inspiration that can come from the game of golf, to such a degree that I have an entire speaking topic built around it. CEOs will often take their leadership team or key clients to an offsite location for some critical business insight – and will often include a round of golf as part of the networking agenda.

And as I note in my speaking topic, Driving the Future – Linking the Acceleration of Golf to The Speed of Business:

“The game of golf involves the perfect combination of creativity, insight and innovative thinking. Jim Carroll, a 12 handicap, uses the sport as a metaphor for leadership, on the stage and in his trends analysis. In Jim Carroll, you’ve found the perfect playing partner!!”

Learn more at https://jimcarroll.golf – and invite me out for a round!


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.