This past Saturday, I played my first COVID-19 era round of golf. I wasn't really sure what to expect. The exhaustive list of measures put in place to keep golf courses safe and allowed to operate made me wonder if it would feel like a mere shell of the game I fell in love with as a kid.
We're all quick to turn into walking advice columns when we have even a modest amount of knowledge or experience with something. In the era of Google, we've become reluctant to learn things the old fashioned way. We're losing our ability to block out the noise and dig answers out of the dirt.
There's a reason comeback stories resonate with us. There is something very human about adversity and hearing stories about those who overcome it fill us with hope and inspiration.
No matter who we are or what we do, we all feel pressure at times. Whether it's on the golf course or at work or when you're the emcee at your friend's wedding reception and everyone is counting on you not to stink. Achieving anything in life will have some level of pressure associated with it, therefore pressure isn't something we should avoid, but rather something we should embrace.
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...
Stay patient. So simple. Why is it so difficult sometimes? I've struggled staying patient on the course at times. In my previous blog entry I wrote about how patience was taken over by frustration in our first round of the Calgary Golf Association's Riley's Best Ball event, which knocked us to the consolation side. Since then we've mustered up a couple wins and found ourselves in the consolation quarter-final match last night on the Hawk course at Priddis Greens G&CC. It has taken me a while to implement relentless patience this season, but I have started to find some recently.
After I published my Goals for the 2017 Golf Season, I had several followers ask me to "reveal my hand" and expand on my mental game routine referenced in that post. I am not an expert in human psychology, but I do take a keen interest in it. Even in the most common social encounters I like to observe behaviours and body language (including my own) because I find it fascinating how our minds work and react. When it comes to golf I find it even more fascinating and I always take inventory of my thoughts in an effort to correlate them with performance. A few of my own observations:
I fell down a Google wormhole a few days ago searching out some of the most cliche sayings of all time. I had no purpose for this search other than to relentlessly avoid whatever I was supposed to be doing at the time, but then I started to realize that golf provides some strong exceptions to some of these sayings and I thought it would be fun to share them with you. Please enjoy.
The mental side of golf can sure feel like a mind warp sometimes. One day you're in the zone and think you have FINALLY figured it out. At that moment you know you are never going to let yourself slip out of the zone ever again. Then the next day your mind seems to be your own worst enemy. Ugh. We've all been there. My belief is that being in the zone (or not) comes down to a battle between the primitive part of our brain and our higher levels of consciousness...
When I think back to playing golf as a kid, I can't recall any bad memories. The first things that come to mind are holing clutch putts, being on winning teams, and truly loving when I found myself in a tough spot near the green so I could show off my touch. Of course, this wasn't always the case. There were plenty of bad shots, plenty of defeats, and I didn't get it up-and-down from that tough spot every time. The cool thing about the mind of a kid is that those things aren't filed away carefully for future consideration like they are once we're adults ...