“He finished with a birdie two on the 18th”
You take a deep breath; hands are steady as you make just enough contact on the ball with a strong follow through. You look up to see the ball silently roll across the green. You wait to see it disappear and then you finally hear that great sound of it dropping into the cup. A grin comes across your face because you just made an 8 foot putt. The best part about it, it was for a birdie. Your mates tip their hat to you. One of them sarcastically says
It’s ok though he is still spewing about his 3 attempts out of the bunker to the left. That is one term Golfers do not want to hear. “Lucky shot.” When you step onto the course you like to be confident that you know what you are doing. This is especially true as you walk back to the cart to slot that Scotty Cameron putter. It will sit patiently until the next hole, when you will need to pick it up to hear “tweet, tweet” again. The ability to be consistent in your golf game comes with hours of practice and dedication. Whether you have the top of the line equipment or just about to use your first set you found on gumtree, the equipment does not matter unless you know how to use it.
Chicken wing, dead hands, weak wrists, slice, skull. These are all golf terms we do not want to be carrying with us in our golf bag. We have all been there. We practice and try to calm our mind and figure out why we keep slicing to the right. Are you dropping your left shoulder? Maybe it’s not transferring your weight from your right leg to your left. Or is it as simple as your grip is incorrect?
I know for me it was all of the above. I have never claimed to be a good golfer nor will I start to now, however the difference is I have a better understanding of the technicalities of a swing. I have more respect for the game. These corrections did not come from reading magazines, watching YouTube videos or re watching recorded PGA tournaments. It came from finally realizing,
“I have no idea what I am doing, I should take a lesson.”
I needed a coach for Rugby, soccer and baseball. It only makes sense I should have had someone try to teach me to golf. It is funny how I never took the time to approach a coach as I always thought,
“It can’t be that hard to hit a stationary ball with a club.”
I was never so wrong in my life. I have such a high level of respect for those who make the game look easy. The mechanics in a swing alone is enough for a weak minded person to walk away. This game produces an extremely tough athlete. You can spend hours practicing that chip shot but a split second of a break of concentration can cause you to come up short on the “easy” par 3 on the front nine.
“Success in golf depends less on strength of body more on strength of mind and character”- Arnold Palmer
Nothing is more frustrating that not being able to identify why something is not working correctly. If your car was not running ok you would call a mechanic. If you did not feel well and were concerned, you would go see a doctor. If something is off with your golf game, wouldn’t it make sense to see a coach? If you are a player with an impressive handicap or someone who is new to the game, it never hurts to seek out a professional coach. Have an open mind and realize no matter what your level is, there is always an opportunity to learn something new.
The result of a lesson may not be putting on a green jacket, but I tell you what, that beer your mate will be paying for on the 19th hole will taste that much sweeter.
Assistant Manager PGC