Playing golf is an athletic endeavor which I think many people forget as it looks so easy when you watch the professionals and, easy it is not. Some think it to be the most difficult sport to master because of its complexity. There is no one to tackle, no ball coming at you for instant reflex, no wave to ride or mountain to ski. It’s all about you initiating the movement with precision and tempo.
You have to enjoy golf to be good. It requires self fortitude and a lot of hard work. The confidence comes from knowing you have a good swing technically, having experienced almost every situation on the course and knowing how to execute, to the best of your ability, whatever shot is needed. Positive thinking is an attitude one achieves by not dwelling on a bad shot but rather by accepting the challenge of the next shot. Good players do not lose their focus on what they want to achieve and are capable of salvaging a par even after a bad shot.
Staying focused is not an easy task, but it is necessary in order to achieve a higher level of play. When you know you are out of contention, use the rest of the round as a learning experience, and continue to try to execute good golf shots. Trying your best is all you can do and it’s not always the results you may want but getting down on yourself is of little or no use.
Watching the Winter Olympics this year has reminded me once again that only through practice and some form of dedication can one improve their game. The Olympics are also one of my most emotional times whether I’m watching a leader, a heart wrenching story or just plain bad luck, it’s as though I feel what they feel having been around competitive athletes most my life.
These exceptional and dedicated young people from all over the world bring us the best in sports and sportsmanship one will ever have the privilege of witnessing. Most have practiced their sport since the time they began to walk and gave up so much socially to achieve their goals. As young as these athletes are, they already know what is required to be one of the best in the world. And aside from their talent and dedication to achieve, I find their sportsmanship and comradeship to be at the highest level and a goal for all of us to work towards.
I am not writing this for tour players but for you the amateur. Practicing is not always about having fun but about becoming a better player so you will have fun where it counts, on the golf course. Try and make the time to build up your skills and your confidence will climb too. Know what to work on and if you are floundering, take a lesson and get some direction. Stay focused on the task at hand, ridding your mind of all other aggravations and golf will become a good friend for relaxation and fun the rest of your life.