Braschler’s anger turns into an asset

Samantha Braschler turned a 15-over-par round into a 2-under round last weekend.

by David McCoy

Anybody who has ever clubbed a couple of brand new golf balls into the nearest pond can tell you patience is paramount in the sport.

Most golfers need to stay calm and collected even when they aren’t doing so well, lest their game spiral completely out of control.

But Minnesota women’s golfer Samantha Braschler doesn’t need to keep her cool. In fact, she said she tends to play her best when she’s angry.

“I get angry, and it fixes me up after a bad round,” Braschler said. “Because the more I go off adrenaline, it helps me to get my focus higher.”

Although there’s no doubt many golfers get angry and frustrated, the difference with Braschler is that she thrives in that state of mind.

When Braschler made her incredible comeback during the weekend at the Indiana Invitational – rebounding from a 15-over-par first round to fire a 2-under in round two – coach Katie Hanneman said it was fueled by Braschler’s anger.

“It was probably due to a little anger due to (Saturday),” Hanneman said Sunday. “A big part of it was getting revenge on the course. She had nothing to lose.”

Braschler, who said her teammates would probably use the words “fun-loving” and “crazy” to describe her, attributes her competitive spirit to the fact that she grew up playing sports other than golf.

As the captain of her Red Wing High School basketball team her senior year and while playing tennis growing up, Braschler was raised on adrenaline.

“She’s a very fiery player,” teammate Terra Petsinger said. “Her anger is fueled by her drive to play well.”

But even though she’s playing golf full-time now, Braschler still gets herself up for a round the same way she did for a game or a match.

“I try to just channel that into golf things,” Braschler said. “I struggle a lot with keeping my composure. But because golf is an etiquette sport, I can’t show that visibly.”

Of course, Braschler knows her limits, noting a three-foot putt she pushed past the hole by 5 feet Sunday.

Still, the kind of turnaround she had Sunday certainly encourages her to get mad even more often.

“I try to go in with a level head,” Braschler said. “But it doesn’t always pan out. Maybe I should start getting mad before the rounds start.”

Despite her on-the-course fury, once she puts the clubs away, Braschler said, she’s able to cool off and leave it all on the links.

And that’s something every golfer can envy.

“I’m never really angry outside of golf,” Braschler said. “I know it sounds bad, but I’m pretty much happy doing everything else.”