Optimum you

Mainly for golfers: primotophobia

As a result of the Recorder article concerning phobias, I had an email exchange with a fellow Member as he recalled that I had once mentioned primotophobia to him.  He was looking for some clarification. Here is my email response to him:

Dear Henry,
How interesting that you recalled our conversation some time ago concerning primotophobia. I did not include it in the previous Recorder article as I know it causes a degree of angst among many golfers.  In a time of stress, I did not want too overburden Members – but since you have asked for some clarification I thought I would answer your questions in some depth.

PRIMOTOPHOBIA is derived from the words :

PRIME – First
T         – TEE

It is fear of the FIRST TEE.

Although I have never seen you afflicted with it there are many golfers who suffer from this phobia. The origins – as with many phobias – are hard to discern but are often traced back to a few life changing moments on the FIRST TEE.

However, on a daily or regular basis, primotophobia often surfaces as people start their drive to the golf course. The word and actions involved in driving set off this phobia. In severe cases, it starts well before the drive and can cause sleeplessness, loss of appetite except for alcohol and amnesia – especially for things like shoes, clubs and co-ordination.

The word PRIME is important. It implies FIRST – some sufferers, therefore, choose to play their first hole from an alternative number.  However, the fact that it is still the PRIME hole negates this form of self-help.

Severe cases of primotophobia can lead to Pre-Round Stress Disorder. – PRSD. PRSD does require specific therapies. However, some so-called therapists have in the past recommended that PRSD sufferers take up other activities such as croquet, billiards, gardening and clay pigeon shooting. This is not recommended as all these alternatives involve driving to the location of the sport and they all take place on GREEN material.

Extreme cases of primotophobia and PRSD can result in family acrimony and divorce – if only from reality.

Christmas and birthday gifts associated with PRSD can bring on an attack.

I am the author of The PRSD Therapy Handbook and have selected some therapies from that publication (ISBN  12 18 19 published by Heddown Ltd):

♦ Never lay out your golf clothes the night before playing
♦ If possible, sleep in your car at the club overnight
♦ Do not warm up – this gives too much time for negative thoughts
♦ Keep quiet on the first tee as your voice might tremble
♦ Never laugh off a bad first shot.  Always blame an outside agency.  The Greenkeeper on the 5th hole is useful here as you would have been able to hear the mowing – or sense it.
♦ Always tee off first as this must be the best shot of the round
♦ Avoid all drinks before playing to avoid PRSD dribbling

Additional nerves can be caused by forgetting peoples’ names – so do not volunteer to complete a team scorecard.  If in doubt use the Australian Name Avoidance Method Entirely (ANAME) and use ‘Mate’

I was once asked to help a PRSD sufferer. I recommended that he run three miles before breakfast and three more after supper for a week. He asked how this would help. I told him that at the end of the first week he would be 42 miles away.  It worked well but on the second week he retraced his route and it all started up again. Weak eh!?

I do hope this clarifies the matter. See you at the Clinic.

All the best, Duncan

Duncan Christie Miller  |  The Optimum You