One, keep things in perspective! Golf is a game and games are to be enjoyed. The next time you play a round of golf try scoring yourself on the amount of joy you can experience on the golf course. Let golf become the vehicle to allow you to have fun with your friends, enjoy the beautiful landscape and have the opportunity to see wildlife in their natural habitat. By viewing golf as a vehicle to transport us vs. an activity that defines us our whole perspective changes. Keep in mind whether you double bogey or birdie a golf hole your dog will still eagerly greet you at the front door. Try using your score card to track more than just the number of strokes you take to complete a hole.
Two, golf is a game of averages. The United States Golf Association computes a golfer’s handicap based upon their last 20 scores. The formula removes the 10 worst scores from the equation and then averages the ten best. Unfortunately, many golfer’s become angry, depressed or some other psychotic condition when they are not playing to their handicap or better. Both reality and statistics prove that 50% of the time you will shoot your average score or make your average shot. Just like no one thing can define you, golf is a summary of the great, good & poor shots we make. Know that every shot will not be perfect, and ENJOY that rare occasion when all the stars align and you experience the bliss of a well struck golf shot.
Three, just be YOU! Many golfers compare themselves to other golfers, rather than tracking their own progress. If you are in deep rough, with low tree limbs in front of you and need to clear a bunker to get your shot on the green, what would you do? Some would say, “well Mickelson did this on TV so let me try.” The better choice, if you have not practiced this shot over and over as Phil has, would be the safe shot. The golden rule for most golfers is “When you get into trouble – Get Out!” Attempting the heroic shot you have never practiced can lead to a multitude of problems. Just get out safely and move on. Whether you are a first time golfer or a scratch player your skill level is your skill level. OWN IT. Standing on the first tee is not the time to go into denial. If you are a slicer, play for the slice. Know your game, know your goals. If you want more options in the future contact your local PGA or LPGA Teaching Professional to help you learn new and improved golf skills.
Letting your score define you can suck the life out of your enjoyment of the game. There are many reasons to play golf and if you can be grateful for the opportunity to be on the golf course you are well ahead of the curve. Your scoring range might be from 120 – 90, while another’s might be 74 – 71. Whatever your game is, enjoy it on the golf course. There is plenty of time to work at your game on the lesson tee with your local PGA or LPGA professional. They can help you improve your skill level by helping you with sound fundamentals and techniques the pros use to manage their game. There is always something to learn and new challenges that await us on the golf course. After all, isn’t that one of the reasons why we love the great game of golf?