You're Not As Bad As The Industry Thinks You Are!
For the next few months, The Wedge Guy will be re-publishing some of his most popular posts from the early years on Tuesdays, and address new topics on Fridays. Please send him your ideas of what you'd like him to write about.
I ask golfers all the time, "what kind of handicap do you have?", and I get the same answer way too often — "I'm not very good." Then they'll tell me they play to an 18, or a 15, or even a 10! Some will act ashamed by their answer. What!!??
Do you realize how damn hard this game is? We have this little white ball that is less than 2" in diameter, and weighs less than two ounces, and our objective is to get it into a 4-1/4" diameter hole in the ground that is somewhere around a quarter of a mile away – in only four or five strokes! And in between us and that hole are trees, long grass, water, bunkers ... seems to me that we are attempting the darned near impossible!
But we think we are "not any good" for several reasons. First, we see the pros on TV do miraculous things with a golf ball. Well, we're not nuclear scientists, brain surgeons, computer designers, etc., etc. either. Those few hundred guys on tour have dedicated their lives to striking a golf ball – that's all they do. They started with God-given athletic talent, then supplemented that with thousands of hours of practice, continual professional instruction, mental coaching ... you get it. How can you compare your recreational endeavor to a trained, committed professional?
They're good at golf, but not one of them could carry your briefcase or tool box or whatever for a day and even come close to what you do for a living either.
But to me, maybe even more influential on our self-worth as it applies to our golf games is the constant stream of drivel from the major golf companies telling us that we're not any good. Their subliminal message is this: "You have no chance of hitting the ball anywhere near the center of the clubface, so we're going to make it as big and forgiving as we possibly can."
Well, I think you are a much better golfer than you give yourself credit for being. I think most of your misses are not bad swings, or lack of talent, but simply because you were not set up properly, or you had negative thoughts creep in, or you went "brain dead" for a moment. And engineering in the golf club head cannot help that.
If you have ever hit a good shot, then you can do it most of the time. It does not take hundreds of hours of practice, but it does take a mental commitment to get your best out of each shot. In that 4-5 hour round of golf, give yourself a dedicated 20-30 seconds for each shot. Picture it, feel it, and spend just a few seconds making sure that you are set up and aligned properly with the ball in the right place. Then get a good positive swing thought and put a relaxed swing on it.
Your results will be much better than you ever experienced. And you'll find out that you really are pretty darned good at a very difficult game!
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