Life is not a game of perfection, and neither is golf.
Everyday life is stressful and hectic for most of us. You wake up, wander to the bathroom, and before you know it, you’re already in the car or the train, drowsily looking at the scenery that passes before your eyes while you think about your plans for the day ahead. Tables, data, meetings. After that, take clothes to the dry cleaners, pick up something for dinner, then drive home to start all over again tomorrow.
It kind of reminds us of groundhog day, doesn’t it?
Sometimes, when no one needs you for something more urgent and essential, you can dedicate yourself and plan a game of golf with friends with similar life commitments.
You finally found a date where you can all go. None of you are busy, the children are healthy, and it’s the weekend. You have that one day to yourself and huge plans. In the evening, you lie down with thoughts of the perfect shot, and your sense of pleasure overflows.
And finally, the day comes, and you arrive on the field to begin the game of perfection you’ve been dreaming about for so long. You’re dreaming about breaking 80, 90, and maybe 100, but big expectations undoubtedly lead to even bigger disappointments. You feel like Tiger Woods in person until you realize there is a significant difference between golf you think you play and golf you actually play.
You’re sweating and blaming a new set of golf clubs for poor hits. While your hands begin to shake, you conclude the weather is the one to blame for such a miserable game you play today.
The fact is, it’s not only today. You played poor games before, and you will play mediocre in the future, and the more you pressure yourself, the worse you will be. Aiming to play a game of perfection can only leave you frustrated. Know why? Golf is not predictable. You cannot impact the weather or how still your hand will be. Of course, if you set goals and dedicate time to practice more, you can easily avoid some mistakes.
Here are a few ideas on how you can improve your game:
Have realistic expectations
Hopefully, you’ve realized that golf isn’t a game of perfection, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve. Set realistic goals to begin with – you can’t expect to get better by hitting a round of golf once every few months.
So, figure out how much time you can spare to practice, then commit to a specific goal – completing 18 holes without dropping a golf ball somewhere on the course.
Celebrate every progress you make – even the smallest is worth the joy and satisfaction. In time, you will have enough confidence to enter your first tournament.
Track what parts of your game need improvement
To track your progress, you can do two things.
The first is to set your golf handicap in which you will record your scores. That way, you will certainly not forget what happened in the previous game, but you will know if you are progressing or falling behind. Set a realistic goal – for example, to hit 80 in the next six months.
Start tracking the six most important golf metrics: SG/approach the green, SG/off-the-tee, scoring average, SG/total, SG/around the green, and SG/tee-to-green. By carefully monitoring these areas, you will understand which are critical and negatively affect your score. The more you analyze your game, the better you can become.
Of course, we still claim golf is not a game of perfection – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fix the mistakes you’re aware of.
Learn how to handle failure
The goal of golf is to hit the hole in as few strokes as possible. Most players manage to play one or two perfect shots throughout the game, but they continue to play. Even when they know, they are not doing it perfectly.
The goal of golf is to hit the hole in as few strokes as possible. Most players manage to play one or two perfect shots throughout the game, but they continue to play, even when they know they are not doing it perfectly. 2 good shots and 12 mediocre shots are certainly better than ten good shots and four offsides.
You came to play – play and have fun!
You come to the field to play golf. Remember the meaning of the wordplay? Fun, excitement, pleasant moments, enjoyment. Don’t forget that.
You have enough stress on the personal and business front. Golf should be a time for relaxation when you forget everything that worries you. After all, if you are not planning to become a professional golfer, and we are sure that is the case – why the frustration?