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Think about the first time you picked up a golf club and what you felt when that ball left the ground.
All that frustration of the first few attempts flew out the window, and you thought "I’ve got this!"
What were your aspirations after that first practice session, golf lesson or bash at the driving range? Did you want to become a social golfer, join a golf club or become a more competitive type of golfer?
The biggest drawcard for most people getting into golf is to get out and have fun. However, as we get more and more invested in the game and chasing handicaps and birdies, our egos tend to get in the way.
Growing the game
As a coach, I am a huge advocate for enjoying the game of golf. I want people to get out on the golf course and have as much fun as possible. I want my students to get hooked on golf and everything about it.
If a coach pushes the rules too aggressively, this takes the enjoyment out of what's meant to be a fun and social sport.
Which brings me to my first point: there is no law that says you have to keep score to play this game, so think about putting down your scorecard when you pick up your club.
Remember the good shots, forget the bad ones
I would say most people’s rounds unravel when they have that one bad shot and dwell on it, sometimes for the entire round!
Just going into a round with the mindset of beating a score will not do anyone any good. Take the positives from a well struck drive, a clipped chip shot or a 20 foot holed putt.
The more good shots per round will help you gain more confidence going in to those golf games that need to count.
Social golf and golfing holidays
Next time you book a social round or a golf trip, go in with the mindset of just enjoying the round and take in the golf course you are playing on.
If you happen to play The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, don’t go and try break Rory McIlroy’s winning score of -13. Instead, just challenge yourself to hit shots that you can visualise, and if you happen to hit it into one of the million hazards, don’t worry too much about the penalty that you should be taking.
On your home course, if you hit it out of bounds, drop a ball near where the ball went out or retrieve it and just go from there.
The funny thing is, as you stress less about your score you not only enjoy the game more, you relax and approach each shot with fresh eyes. You can play a better game when you focus on one play at a time, and making each the best it can be.