Keeping Your Cool on the Golf Course

Have you ever gotten angry on a golf course because of your play? Did it ever help you to play better? There are few things that ruin an otherwise nice day with friends faster than one of the group losing his or her cool because of poor play. The club throwing. The verbal outburst. The pity party. We’ve all seen it and no one likes to be a witness to it. Yet, most of us have had our little episodes. But let’s take a look at the bigger issue: Why do we think that we should be immune from a bad round every now and then?

Ben Hogan, after winning a US Open, felt he had hit the shot he wanted to hit only twice in the final round Again, one of the greatest players ever, in one of his finest moments, hit the ball to his liking twice. What does that tell you? Golf is an amazingly simple yet incredibly complex game. Arnold Palmer said something to this effect, and how right he was. Maybe because the ball is a stationary object that can’t move on it’s own, we think we should be able to strike it at will and make it go where we want it to go. But if Golf were that easy, everyone would play. The greatest players ever are continually perplexed by the game of golf and are frequently having rounds that they find frustrating. So why would we be immune to the same frustrations?

Getting to the point, anger is simply misplaced on a golf course. Whether you are competing or enjoying a round with your friends, it’s simply not going to help to get angry. Here are a few things to keep in mind that could help when you start to feel your blood boiling on the golf course: Why ruin the other players’ good times? It’s no fun to be around angry and unhappy people. Don’t be that person. The reason we play golf is to have fun, right? When your game of golf’s not going well, think of how lucky you are to be playing bad golf. What a blessing! There are plenty of people who would love to trade places with us at that moment and take your place among friends playing a game in a beautiful place.

It’s also important to keep in mind the very nature of golf. The fewer strokes you take, the better your game. But is there any other recreational activity that we pay money to do hoping to do as little of it as possible? Would you pay to go to Disnelyland for the day but only stay ten minutes? Would you call it a day on the slopes after just one run? Pack up your fishing gear after catching one small fish first thing in the morning? As golfers, we pay to go out on the golf course with the hope and expectation of taking the fewest strokes possible. Clearly, this game we love requires a different mindset than almost any other activity available. Sure, it’s nice to play well, but in the end to be a good partner on the course when it’s not going well is even nicer. There’s always tomorrow, and if you keep your cool, your next shot could be the greatest shot you’ve ever hit!

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