Why do you golf? What, for you, makes golf great?
For myself, I like to use golf as a chance to prove myself. To show growth and improvement.
Did I ever mention I played football? Maybe I have, but I don’t remember. Anyway, when I played, I had a couple of goals:
- How good am I? Do I have what it takes to beat the guy opposite me?
- How good is my team? Do we have what it takes to make the playoffs?
I wrestled, too. Not that fake WWE/F crap; REAL wrestling. Eight years. It was a very individualistic sport, so I only really focused on how I did, if I had what it took to beat my opponent.
Golf has been a mix of both. When I play on my own, or in a group, I’m focused on beating the course, on scoring better today than I did yesterday. When I play in a scramble I want my team to play well, to beat not just the course, but the others, as well.
Sometimes, though, I’m not the best. I don’t play to my best. I bet you have those days, too.
I’ve been beaten for a sack (I played left offensive tackle, the QB’s “blind side”), been pinned in under 30 seconds, shot a 99 after shooting nothing above 83 for over a year. Stuff happens.
What makes those failings- and the sports I’ve played- great is, it’s not a life-and-death tragedy. It’s a means to learn:
- What did I do to get beaten for that sack? Piss-poor footwork? Was I leaning/off-balance?
- How did I get pinned so fast? Did I leave my legs open for my opponent to get a shot on me?
- Why did I shoot 99? Was I slicing the ball? Always coming up short on my approach shots? Couldn’t sink a putt?
Some people think “well, my opponent was better than me”. That might be true at that time… but it doesn’t have to be true all the time.
If you don’t bother trying to improve yourself, that might be true, but that’s not how it has to be.
Which is why we practice, to try to improve ourselves, to make ourselves better. But you don’t have to be a slave to practice. You need QUALITY practice.
Even if it’s just help with fixing a slice. Sometimes, all you need is to learn how to hit a draw.
Learning to do the opposite of what you normally do can go a long way towards improving yourself.
Maybe you need to focus on the basics a little more. It’s surprising how they can escape you- I know that’s what happens to me, sometimes. Every now and again, you need to take a hard look at the fundamentals.
That’s why master black belts are masters. They know that none of the more advanced things are possible without a solid base to work with. Golf’s really no different.
So how about it? What are your golf goals? Let me know in the comments!