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Reflections on a disappointing golf season (so far)

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We could call this an “article,” but in my mind, I feel like it’s more of an open therapy session.

As most golfers know, this is not an easy game. There are days when almost nothing seems to go right, you just can’t put things together. Misreads and bad shots out of what feels like nowhere—but then maybe, just maybe, a few times a round you hit a shot or make a putt that feels perfect, and wonder “why can’t I do that more often?” It’s what brings us back.

As a player with an ever-fluctuating handicap, it’s been a tough season. I bought a membership at my local muni like I have the last three years. I spent as much time the range as I could, and as a fitter and builder, I have zero excuses about ill-fit equipment—but for some reason, it never really clicked.

Like many golfers, my expectations can sometimes get away from me, but I started this year like every other with the goal to break par a few times and keep my handicap around the low single digits—goals that I have accomplished before—let’s just say neither one is looking good at the moment.

I haven’t gotten to play as much as I wanted (moving can do that to you), but that’s certainly not an exclusive situation to me. I believe most golfers have that feeling. I worked hard on weaknesses and did my best to eliminate the “big numbers,” but too often I seemed to be standing over a putt for a seven knowing it was probably going to kill my round.

I’m an honest golfer and have very little ego about my skills—at least that’s what I tell myself. I attempt to have fun when I play. That’s an easily accomplished goal (I have checked that one off the list a LOT this year), but part of me wants to be better, wants to play well, wants to feel like I continue to improve. If I’m being 100 percent honest with myself, I don’t feel like I have. Maybe I’m stuck in an improvement rut, maybe it’s time to seek out professional help, maybe the offseason is just what I need (it wouldn’t be the first time that an extended break has done wonders for my golf game). But at this point in the season, I still know there is lots of golf to be played. And maybe, just maybe, my best golf is still ahead of me in 2019.

I might not always feel like I am a great golfer, but I can say without a doubt I am a happy golfer. I find enjoyment in a lot of other parts of the game—playing persimmon, messing around with yardages I play from, tinkering with gear—all of that takes up a lot of my “happy place” you could say.

At the end of the day, 2019 has been a season of missed potential. I have not been a better golfer, but I have for sure been a better person. Maybe that’s it; the cart before the horse—the balance that’s needed for things to feel in sync when trying to “be one with the course.”

I still believe the next round is going to be the best one, and maybe that’s all I can really hope for.

 

 

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Ryan Barath is a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. chris

    Aug 29, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Join the club of scratch or near-scratch players who just can’t get over the hump. Been trying for 15 years. Thousands like us. Ive tried lessons, practicing all the time, lifting weights, etc. Tour players just have that…gift.

  2. Alex

    Aug 29, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Moved from a links course to a Parkland course exactly a year ago. Handicap is off 2. Went through 2 2 week stretches where I loathed this f*=%#$& game. I’ll never quit playing it, but this article feels like it was written about my year. A week ago had 7 lipouts in one round and a ball lodge in the side of a bunker. Good riddance to golf in 2019.

  3. Tom

    Aug 29, 2019 at 7:37 am

    I totally agree. This has been one of my worst golfing seasons ever. I also live in an area where there is zero credible golf instruction making it even more frustrating.

  4. BenH

    Aug 28, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Took the words out of my mouth lol

  5. BettiBoop

    Aug 28, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    Agree 100%. This year has been the same for me, just disappointing all around. Not a single round I can even be happy about.

  6. Y

    Aug 28, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    I think alot of people feel that way, with the awful weather eating up rounds and causing bad conditions

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