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They Put One in the Hospital, You Put One in the Morgue- The Intensity Required to Win.

The famous quote from The Untouchables had me thinking about what it takes to win. Or at least the intensity of focus required to win. (For those younger than 30 here’s the actual quote: “You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.”) The quote comes from a conversation where one cop is asking another how far he’s willing to go to put away Al Capone, ultimately climaxing with this quote to demonstrate that the will to be victorious must be ready to go “all the way”.

Golf is no different, and you’ll find this quote applies more than maybe the first glance seems like it should.

Golf will put you in the hospital. Maybe not an actual trip to the hospital but metaphorically and emotionally most certainly.


Embrace it. Enjoy it. Golf is hard, the bunkers and hazards (or whatever we’re calling them now; penalty areas or something) are there to create discomfort, and ultimately will eventually rise up and bite you.

What you are then called to do is escalate the affair. Double down on your commitment, double down on your target selection and trust. Double down on your intensity to staying in the moment and doing what you’ve trained to do. The hazards pull a knife, you pull a gun. A tee shot goes in the water, you bury this adversary by doubling your commitment to target and making free swings and birdieing the next hole.

Every time something bad happens on the golf course, use it as a reminder to win the war.

Even though we haven’t mentioned other competitors, they also present problems. But the same thought applies to them as well. They make a birdie, you just keep on coming.

That is ultimately what Malone (the cop from the quote) is saying: “You just keep on coming.” If you want to win, you just keep on coming. Golf requires the same, time and time again, you just keep trusting and firing.

Notice that I’ve said the way you put the person in the morgue is by focusing on the things that you can control. It all spiral downwards if you focus on the things you can’t. You can’t control whether or not the ball ends up in a divot, or hits a bump on the green, or whatever. But you can control your intensity and focus and devotion to target picking, free swinging without fear, and strategy.

Be about it, and become a killer (metaphorically, again, just for clarity.)


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