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Golf Maturity Part 2

As a follow-up to last week’s article and to reiterate, I strongly believe that those people who learn from those who came before them progress much faster than those who don’t and hence, have a much better chance at succeeding or improving sooner in their golf career. They excel quicker, catch the eyes of quality college programs, and go on to play at higher levels.

Nothing is more agitating than watching a person continue to make the same error over and over again. Those who learn these important items stop making the same mistakes round after round and therefore become more Golf Mature.

The Last Three of the Six Items:

You are Golf Mature if:

  1. You can back away from a shot when you are supposed to! Those times include: when you are not committed, you get distracted, your mind drifts to the score/outcome, your eyes wander to something other than your target, you think about what others may think about you, or if the wind changes.
  1. You treat every tournament as the same level of tournament … not that one is bigger/better/more meaningful than another. You prepare just as well and you imagine yourself playing well regardless of the course or event.
  1. Things don’t bother you and you stop thinking that you have a lucky golf ball, tee or glove and you simply realize that golf is about the one shot in front of you. As easy as that sounds it can be quite difficult. At this year’s Masters I saw Phil walk off 17 tee shaking his head after fading his drive way left. Sure he doesn’t like it but he has to accept it. Just think how many bad shots that guy has hit through his unbelievably stellar career. But once he found his ball on 17, which ended up behind several trees, you can see him falling in love with the situation and trying to find a worthwhile way to get it to the green. You are golf mature if you just fall in love with the situation in front of you! Like Rory did in the 2014 Open Championship, his thoughts were “process” and “spot.”

The best time to have accomplished these items was when you were 10-14 years old. The second best time is now!

Golf Maturity Part 1

Golf Maturity Part 1

There are a number of items I see golfers doing better as they mature. In this article I will highlight three of them and next week I’ll discuss three more. I strongly believe that those people who learn from those who came before them progress much faster than those who don’t and hence, have a much better chance at succeeding or improving sooner in their golf career. They excel quicker, catch the eyes of quality college programs, and go on to play at higher levels.

Nothing is more agitating than watching a person continue to make the same error over and over again. Those who learn these important items stop making the same mistakes round after round and therefore become more Golf Mature.

Three of the Six Items …  You are Golf Mature if:

  1. You find yourself missing shots in the correct positions giving you a much easier place from which to proceed. This is really about decision-making as it pertains to club selection and target selection as well as being honest about your ability. The big numbers start to go away and you begin to see more consistency in your scores. One great game to aid in your improvement of this is to play 9 or 18-holes where you purposely miss the green. A scoring system for this is as follows: if you accidentally hit the green you lose a point however if you make that putt you regain the point back. If you miss the green in the correct location you receive one point. If you then get up-and-down you receive an additional two points. Missing the green in the wrong location means you must subtract three points from your score regardless of what you score on the hole after that.
  2. You have accepted that you cannot hit it great each round you play AND yet you have learned to score well without hitting it great! The game of golf is hard. You will not play well every round. But what most golfers do is give up when things aren’t turning out for the better score-wise causing an unnecessary elevation in their remaining holes. College coaches actually like to watch when a junior plays poorly because they want to see how he/she scrambles, carries him or herself, and what kind of drive the junior has.
  3. You have learned to get over bad shots and to not react to them. Golf is about how you react and recover when the ball doesn’t go where you had intended! It’s about moving on and dealing with the predicament you’re now faced with. Treat a bad shot like a turnover in basketball or soccer … first of all, they’re going to happen and second, hustle back on defense which in golf translates to better decision-making and doing your best with the next shot.

The best time to have accomplished these items was when you were 10-14 years old. The second best time is now!  Start Mastering Them Today.

How to Maintain a Good Pace of Play on the Golf Course

A good pace of play is an important element in golf.  Not only does keep the game moving but it’s considerate to those behind you.  Here are some tips to give you a brisk, yet controlled, pace of play.  It isn’t about rushing your shots but being ready to take them when the time comes.

  1. Use the correct tees.  It may feel prestigious to use the pro tees but if your skill level isn’t there, don’t uses them.
  2. Go to your ball, directly to your ball.  Don’t pass go and don’t collect $200.  Don’t wait around for your buddies to take their shot and then proceed to your ball.  If you’re sharing a cart, have one guy drop off the other.
  3. Think through your shot BEFORE getting to the ball.  It doesn’t matter if you’re walking or riding, use that time to approximate the yardage, which club is best and so on.  Waiting until you’re there will waste time.
  4. Take a couple of clubs with you when you have to hoof it.  Traveling back and forth to your bag because you’re not prepared is a major pet peeve of many golfers.
  5. Don’t spend a lot of time searching for a lost ball.  If you’re a newbie just accept that you’re going to lose a lot balls and spend appropriately.  If you’re a veteran, understand that losing a ball is a rarity and continue on.
  6. Golf first.  Finish that conversation on the way to the next hole or in the clubhouse later.
  7. Line up your putt while other guys are putting.  This way you’re ready when it’s your turn.
  8. Write down the scores away from the green or at the next hole.  Never do it while standing next to the hole.

When was the last time you came up behind slow players?  What advice would you share with them?