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The better I get the harder it is to enjoy it


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#61 new2g0lf

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:04 PM

Managing personal expectations on the golf course can be very difficult.  I find as I improve and lower my handicap, my expectations increase to the point where I'm now always trying to beat my lowest score and I'll get frustrated when the round starts out bad or it becomes obvious that the round won't be a new low score.  I'm not one to get angry (I'm not nearly good enough for that) but I find it difficult to keep my head in the game and to grind through the round for the best  possible score even if it won't be my lowest.

I find it much tougher to maintain focus during a casual round versus a competitive round (tournament or money) so I need to find a way to bring the same mindset into every round no matter the circumstances or score.


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#62 artist08

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:34 PM

That’s funny...I feel like the harder I get the better it is to enjoy!

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#63 jslane57

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:51 PM

I agree with many things on this thread and see myself in many of the comments. I agree that being a 2 or better and playing below expectations can feel like a waste of your time at times. I believe one can try too hard at this game. I believe one can get burned out no matter what their age or their skill level. I know it is hard to step away from the game when you've practiced so much. I also believe that one can reach their potential, and when that happens, extra practice and expectations can be simply damaging. I will never say a poor round of golf is better than a good day at work. Why? A good day is a good day, and work can be great! And lastly, it seems that my very best rounds always seem to come around right when I've resigned myself to a mental break, or at least a few rounds with zero expectations. Most of us are only humans:)

Edited by jslane57, 11 October 2017 - 10:52 PM.

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#64 Matt J

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:53 PM

Find a group that plays a lot of junk.  Our Wednesday game plays 2 man teams with auto-presses every time you get down two on each ball and beans for KP, sandies, each ball in the Nassau, birdies, and chippies.

Wagers aren't huge but you can lose a little coin if you get creamed.

It's tough to keep up with, but you forget your score.  We won today and my card got a little off but we knew we were up.  Get to the clubhouse and our opponents settle up and say they had me for a 79.  Sure, close enough.  Counted it up in my head on the way home and I shot 77.  Probably the first round I couldn't have told you where I stood on each tee box in a few years.  Probably took a few bucks more off of them, but who cares?

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#65 pearsonified

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:04 AM

Quote

Wow dude. That's crazy to me. Very interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing it.

Well, b.helts, you've climbed the golfing mountain and have been able to take in the entire landscape from the peak. I'm still climbing the mountain, making up for years of lost time spent on other sports (all of which were much harder on the knees).

I am accustomed to competing at a high level, and my golf skills have not yet reached the point where I can compete a level I'm comfortable with (at a minimum, I'd like to be a factor in major state Am events).


Perhaps when I go 63-65 (or whatever you did recently to win your club championship), I'll be able to chill a little bit on this pursuit. However, as it stands now, I've never finished a round and thought I've gotten the better of the game. Being able to go out and drop a 63 would certainly change that perspective, and that's honestly what I'm working toward.

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#66 golfer07840

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 03:06 PM

View PostAndrew Bond of Glencoe, on 26 September 2017 - 10:11 PM, said:

Curious if there is anybody out there like me. I am currently a 2 handicap and when I think about it, the better I have become at the game the less I tend to enjoy it. That statement shocks my buddies who are bogey golfers, but for me it can be true. It's not always true but it can be true.

I am extremely streaky as a golfer- perhaps because I started playing at the age of 28 (now 43). I can shoot really low (lowest round this year was (-8) 63 but I can also shoot in the mid-80s in any given round.

I remember relishing every round when I was a 9-12 handicap, but as a 2 I am quick to get upset with poor shots and have a certain expectation of playing well. It was so bad last month that I had to reset my behavior- I found myself swearing over bad shots and in terrible mood swings on the golf course. Fortunately I realized that I didn't like who I was becoming and changed my behavior and with it my scores dropped again.

Am I alone or is this common? Even though I changed my behavior I still am a hawk over my handicap. I don't like seeing it tick up.

I remember a Fehrty episode when he was talking to NBA Legend Bill Russell. And Russell said he got down to like a 6. And David says, "oh that's the worst thing an amateur can do. One double bogey and your day is shot."

That's always sat in the back of mind because I am NOT a single digit hdcp, so I can't relate. However a good friend of mine at one point got all the way down to 4. He was starting to shoot in the 60's, than suddenly, out of nowhere, he became a 12. Can barely break 90 now on a consistent basis. Threatens to give up golf all the time and gets angry at every little thing.

So no, you're not alone.

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#67 daegyu

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 12:01 AM

You should try playing hungover. I've started rounds throwing up right before tee off. By the turn, and after a hot dog and a gatorade, I'm usually ok and I'm just thrilled to play golf without feeling like sh*t
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#68 Matt J

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 12:08 AM

View Postgolfer07840, on 12 October 2017 - 03:06 PM, said:

View PostAndrew Bond of Glencoe, on 26 September 2017 - 10:11 PM, said:

Curious if there is anybody out there like me. I am currently a 2 handicap and when I think about it, the better I have become at the game the less I tend to enjoy it. That statement shocks my buddies who are bogey golfers, but for me it can be true. It's not always true but it can be true.

I am extremely streaky as a golfer- perhaps because I started playing at the age of 28 (now 43). I can shoot really low (lowest round this year was (-8) 63 but I can also shoot in the mid-80s in any given round.

I remember relishing every round when I was a 9-12 handicap, but as a 2 I am quick to get upset with poor shots and have a certain expectation of playing well. It was so bad last month that I had to reset my behavior- I found myself swearing over bad shots and in terrible mood swings on the golf course. Fortunately I realized that I didn't like who I was becoming and changed my behavior and with it my scores dropped again.

Am I alone or is this common? Even though I changed my behavior I still am a hawk over my handicap. I don't like seeing it tick up.

I remember a Fehrty episode when he was talking to NBA Legend Bill Russell. And Russell said he got down to like a 6. And David says, "oh that's the worst thing an amateur can do. One double bogey and your day is shot."

That's always sat in the back of mind because I am NOT a single digit hdcp, so I can't relate. However a good friend of mine at one point got all the way down to 4. He was starting to shoot in the 60's, than suddenly, out of nowhere, he became a 12. Can barely break 90 now on a consistent basis. Threatens to give up golf all the time and gets angry at every little thing.

So no, you're not alone.

I think David was more making a joke about the mentality of a 6 handicap.  I started with a double on 2 recently and shot a 74 and I'm a 6.

It's never too late, until it's too late 😉

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#69 new2g0lf

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 03:38 PM

View Postgolfer07840, on 12 October 2017 - 03:06 PM, said:

View PostAndrew Bond of Glencoe, on 26 September 2017 - 10:11 PM, said:

Curious if there is anybody out there like me. I am currently a 2 handicap and when I think about it, the better I have become at the game the less I tend to enjoy it. That statement shocks my buddies who are bogey golfers, but for me it can be true. It's not always true but it can be true.

I am extremely streaky as a golfer- perhaps because I started playing at the age of 28 (now 43). I can shoot really low (lowest round this year was (-8) 63 but I can also shoot in the mid-80s in any given round.

I remember relishing every round when I was a 9-12 handicap, but as a 2 I am quick to get upset with poor shots and have a certain expectation of playing well. It was so bad last month that I had to reset my behavior- I found myself swearing over bad shots and in terrible mood swings on the golf course. Fortunately I realized that I didn't like who I was becoming and changed my behavior and with it my scores dropped again.

Am I alone or is this common? Even though I changed my behavior I still am a hawk over my handicap. I don't like seeing it tick up.

I remember a Fehrty episode when he was talking to NBA Legend Bill Russell. And Russell said he got down to like a 6. And David says, "oh that's the worst thing an amateur can do. One double bogey and your day is shot."

That's always sat in the back of mind because I am NOT a single digit hdcp, so I can't relate. However a good friend of mine at one point got all the way down to 4. He was starting to shoot in the 60's, than suddenly, out of nowhere, he became a 12. Can barely break 90 now on a consistent basis. Threatens to give up golf all the time and gets angry at every little thing.

So no, you're not alone.

I played a round with a guy last week that used to be a 5 and is was now a 14,  He said he almost quit golf when he was a 5 because of the pressure he placed on himself to lower his handicap.  He wanted to get to scratch and was practicing, taking lessons and playing a lot of golf.  He said he became very frustrated while golfing, especially when he'd start a round and one bad hole early would kill his score and any chance he'd have to lower his index.

Today he doesn't practice, doesn't take lessons and doesn't care what his score is.  He just enjoys playing golf with his buddies and while he can still shoot some rounds in the mid - high 70's or low 80's he's just as happy with scores in the 90's.

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#70 Barfolomew

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 04:23 PM

Play more natural and try not to press.....meaning see what level you can play at while mailing it in...I bet its better then you think and will help you realize that pressing aint worth the extra stroke it saves you and in the long run playing relaxed will feel normal and your scores will get lower then when you used to press.....been there lol

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#71 Jack Pearsall

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 07:16 PM

At this stage, golf is a pleasant thing. Been trying to come inside more on drives. Tried this practice idea and seems to help. Getting Pretty good strikes with some manageable miscues. Decent swing. All the good is mitigated by Putting like crap at times, and a disturbing trend of poor shot execution around the greens. A Deft touch has been inconsistent this year.

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#72 PAgolfer85

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 11:37 PM

View PostAndrew Bond of Glencoe, on 26 September 2017 - 10:11 PM, said:

Curious if there is anybody out there like me. I am currently a 2 handicap and when I think about it, the better I have become at the game the less I tend to enjoy it. That statement shocks my buddies who are bogey golfers, but for me it can be true. It's not always true but it can be true.

I am extremely streaky as a golfer- perhaps because I started playing at the age of 28 (now 43). I can shoot really low (lowest round this year was (-8) 63 but I can also shoot in the mid-80s in any given round.

I remember relishing every round when I was a 9-12 handicap, but as a 2 I am quick to get upset with poor shots and have a certain expectation of playing well. It was so bad last month that I had to reset my behavior- I found myself swearing over bad shots and in terrible mood swings on the golf course. Fortunately I realized that I didn't like who I was becoming and changed my behavior and with it my scores dropped again.

Am I alone or is this common? Even though I changed my behavior I still am a hawk over my handicap. I don't like seeing it tick up.

Some people may find this insane but it is what works for me.

I am a 0.5 handicap and I have invented all sorts of bizarre games and tricks to play on myself. I've found that it is easy to let life beat you up and grind you down (I'm 32). So I've effectively created all these make-believe things that make things fun.. For example, I know this sounds crazy, but I, in my mind act like I'm a professional golfer. What does this mean? I work out, I eat well..I love beer/wine, relaxing with my wife/family, etc. but always make sure I'm taking care of myself for my golf game.

When I play, I always dress the part...doesn't need to be crazy over the top but always look sharp. Lastly and mostly importantly, I always act like I have a gallery. I don't know if anyone has even played in front of 30 people (I have) and it is exhilarating. The weird thing about golf is that almost nobody has ever seen you play it, except your best golf buddies. Maybe your wife and perhaps your buddies wife if you're at a club. But generally, people I've spent most of my life around have never seen me swing a club or make a putt. So for me, I just make believe that people are watching me play golf.

I always, always play best when I have a smile on my face. I make it a point to walk down fairways and smile. So few people get to enjoy the game, let alone make their life's biggest worry their golf game. Even when playing poorly, I always look up, look around and say, who would want to be in your shoes right now? Uh, 99.99% of humans!

People screw this game up by taking it too seriously. Trick your brain man! Have some fun with yourself and laugh. Heck, the ride on this place ain't very long...enjoy it.

Again, I recognize this advice sounds insane...give it a shot...it's kinda fun!

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#73 phil75070

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 05:20 AM

View PostAndrew Bond of Glencoe, on 26 September 2017 - 10:11 PM, said:

Curious if there is anybody out there like me. I am currently a 2 handicap and when I think about it, the better I have become at the game the less I tend to enjoy it. That statement shocks my buddies who are bogey golfers, but for me it can be true. It's not always true but it can be true.

I am extremely streaky as a golfer- perhaps because I started playing at the age of 28 (now 43). I can shoot really low (lowest round this year was (-8) 63 but I can also shoot in the mid-80s in any given round.

I remember relishing every round when I was a 9-12 handicap, but as a 2 I am quick to get upset with poor shots and have a certain expectation of playing well. It was so bad last month that I had to reset my behavior- I found myself swearing over bad shots and in terrible mood swings on the golf course. Fortunately I realized that I didn't like who I was becoming and changed my behavior and with it my scores dropped again.

Am I alone or is this common? Even though I changed my behavior I still am a hawk over my handicap. I don't like seeing it tick up.
You are not alone! The better I got over the years the more pressure I put on myself to shoot great scores every time out. The least fun year was the year after I won my club's championship. As Club Champion I felt I had to always shoot exceptional rounds, otherwise I felt like I embarrassed myself and shouldn't have been Club Champion.

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#74 Andrew Bond of Glencoe

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 07:34 PM

I played well today by focusing on three things:
1) Balance -> Balance at set-up and as important balance at the end of the swing.

2) One shot at a time-> Stop thinking forward or Backward and just give the attention to the one shot in front of me.

3) Outside of 140 yards aim to the middle of the green.

Shot a fairly easy round of even par. I wish I would say it was perfect, but I was -1 with 115 yards to the flag on the 18th hole when I deviated. My phone rang and rather than resetting I swung. Horrid wedge shot that resulted in a bogey.

That being said- I didnít let the great or the bad shots effect the next one.

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#75 phil75070

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:56 AM

View PostAndrew Bond of Glencoe, on 06 November 2017 - 07:34 PM, said:



Shot a fairly easy round of even par.

Nice!


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#76 Gava

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:33 AM

Ah Mr Bond, great comments we can all relate to on some level.  There are also some good insights from lower handicappers on how to manage both your expectations and your game in  a positive way.

I'm a13 index so feel I have nothing to positively contribute to your game or psyche besides thanking you for the frank and interesting thread.  At 45 still iwth a strong/erratic swing speed, my aim is to reach single figures.  

Aside from PAgolfer85 above who plays in front of an imaginary crowd, I think most of us struggle to keep frustration away on some level when we have a run of bad shots or worse, bad rounds :(
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