person who enjoys his work as much as he enjoys his hobby is
a genius. The golfer who lets frustration totally destroy the
pleasure of the game is a fool.
One feature that
is quite popular in mass circulation magazines these days is
the self-rating quiz. In keeping with the trend, here is a quiz
you can take for golf, albeit its short --- only one question:
Describe your feelings after most rounds of golf:
A. Thoroughly enjoyed
the people, the game, my surroundings and the exercise.
pretty well. Most of my game was okay, but have to score better.
C. Just another
round of golf. Shot my handicap with my regular grip.
play well; couldnt seem to do anything right; was still
discouraged when I got home.
angry and upset with my lousy performance; threw the club, and
am thinking about quitting the stupid game.
Dr. Gary Wiren, PGA Master Professional
you cant answer A most of the time, then you
ought to take another look at your playing habits. All the answers
other than A leave something to be desired. Answering
B shows a tendency that may last a whole golf career
being preoccupied with performance on the scorecard yet
never quite satisfied. You can almost hear a whining tone of
voice in the answer. A C answer is probably the most
common. It comes from the player who is in a rut same
course, same game, same guys or gals, same routine. Its
like brushing your teeth: just a habit. The D answer
person takes it quite seriously, too much so. The mood for several
days is dictated by the last 18-hole score on the links. E
is crazy, senseless, fruitless, immature, nonproductive and certainly
not enjoyable; yet a lot of people put themselves through this
experience on a regular basis and call it golf.
winning answer, of course, is A. It shows an appreciation
for many of the positive factors that can be found in a round
of golf that are exclusive of the score. Personally Ive
developed a stock answer for anyone who inquires about my score
after a round. When asked how I played, my answer is, Terrific!
It makes the questioner feel good because he or she is used to
hearing negative comments; and also it makes me feel better even
if Ive shot 100. I want to be positive because I know there
is a need to protect our golf egos if we wish to play well. So
I forget about bad rounds as quickly as possible, and Terrific!
is a simple game; knock a ball from here to there with a stick
and hole it out. Simple, yes; but not easy. It just looks easy,
particularly on television when one watches the greatest players
in the world hit incredible shots in routine fashion. When the
show leaves the air what happens? The golfing viewers flock to
the course immediately after switching off the set. They have
spent two hours watching professionals who have practiced exhaustively
since they were in grade school, who have had the best teachers
in the world, play with the best equipment, compete three out
of every four weeks during the year, and for whom par is a bad
round. In comparison the t.v. viewer is lucky to squeeze two
games a week, practices infrequently, takes too much of their
instruction from magazines, and uses clubs that are not matched
to their swing.
somehow this golfer expects to perform like what they saw on
t.v. How much healthier and enjoyable it is to have a sensible
level of expectation. The other perspective is totally unrealistic
and puts too much pressure on what should be a more relaxed experience.
You arent going to be perfect, so heed the words of the
late great Tommy Armour who said, Missing simple shots
is part of being human. So acknolwedge that you are going
you arent getting what you want from your golf, then change
it. Dont get stuck in a tedious golfing rut. Play with
people you truly enjoy. Try various forms of competitive play
best ball, scramble, Scotch foursome (alternate shot),
match rather than medal, rather than always for a medal score.
Notice and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings and contrast
the relaxed atmosphere to what most have for a working environment.
If playing in the middle of the day, riding a cart in a competitive
event with a group you dont really like at a course that
plays too long to score decently isnt enjoyable, then change.
Next time tee off at 7:30 a.m., walk with one or two friends,
play for fun from the senior tees. If thats not it, try
something else; but do something so you can answer A
more often in the quiz. Its your golf life. Live it the
way you want to and have fun!