It’s that time of year when those of us who have endured a long winter start to emerge from our shanties, often scruffy looking and mumbling to ourselves. Winter can be an emotionally jarring time for golfers, but that’s also what makes spring the most exciting time of year.
It’s hard to describe to someone who has never experienced a long cold-induced layoff how good that first post-winter round feels. Heading to the course with a clean slate, free of the shackles of expectation, simply grateful for the opportunity to be outside with friends playing golf once again.
Often times, these feelings can lead to surprisingly good results, even though our game has a bit of freezer burn on it. The unfortunate part is that this mindset tends to wear off a bit as the season progresses. Inevitably, by the time I’m basking in those long summer days and ideal course conditions, I find myself pressing a bit, and much less tolerant of misplaced shots. My game, in theory, is sharper, yet frustration is easier to come by. I start caring super hard about every little thing and it doesn’t help, at all. Just like it didn’t help last season, or the season before that.
While I may not be able to cling to that springtime feeling all summer long, I’d like to at least make a note to remind myself along the way what it felt like to harness those potent spring vibes. Vibes of renewed inspiration and appreciation for the game, a free mind, and a nothing-to-lose attitude. It’s easy to lose perspective when we get caught up in a spiral of swing thoughts, results, and mid-season expectations as to where we think our game should be every time we tee it up.
The reality is that no matter whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or a winter vacation, golf ebbs and flows, and our performance path isn’t constant or linear. It’s about finding a way to minimize the steps back and maximize the steps forward. Good results on the course are not something we are entitled to, but something we work towards and earn through practice, patience, and a healthy mindset.
If we could bottle those springtime vibes and inject them straight into our veins before every round of the season, it might just be one of the most effective game improvement aids since The Medicus Driver.
Well folks, spring is officially in the air. The Masters is just around the corner and golf courses are reopening their fairways. Time to get fired up and remember what this feels like. Remember how much we missed the game when we couldn’t play it, and how fortunate we felt when it returned.