“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” – Deepak Chopra
By Ian Hardie
Recently I had a game of golf which resulted in a very poor score
Much higher than what I would normally have
I didn’t really do anything badly – I made nothing worse than a bogey
Although there was an awful lot of them.
12 to be exact.
I just didn’t do anything really good either – no birdies or eagles – just pars on the other 6 holes
I made very few putts over 3 feet long – one to be exact
It was the sort of game a lot of golfers have every week
And it got me to thinking
That most golfers would react to a game where they scored much higher than usual
By trying to work out what they ‘did wrong’
And then changing something in their game
But that’s not how I viewed that high score
I took some time to think about everything that had contributed to it.
Firstly, the weather conditions
It was a very windy day with the wind direction a little different than normal at the course
Which made a lot of approach the shots subject to strong crosswinds
13 out of the 18 holes in fact.
This meant the course was playing considerably more difficult than normal.
Secondly, my physical state
I had been doing some heavy landscaping work around my home a few days beforehand
As well as spending the morning before playing doing all sorts of physical things
So my body was feeling quite tight and inflexible
In fact my back which I had re-injured a month or so ago (see here)
Was not allowing me to turn through the ball much until about halfway through the round
If you want a little golf analysis – I was hitting weak push fades.
Not the ideal shot to be hitting in strong winds.
Or anytime really!
Thirdly, my current form
My previous game was 10 days earlier – a reasonable round at one over par
Consisting of 11 pars, 4 bogeys and 3 birdies.
During which I had hot a lot of good shots and holed some good putts
So coming into the round, I had no concerns about my game.
However, I had only done one practice session in between – of about an hour’s duration – a few days before playing
Which isn’t normally enough for me to hold form over time.
When you look at all that it is hardly surprising that I scored poorly on the round.
Which I accepted of course (read here to see what I am talking about) as a golfer should
Looking back now, I probably should have gone and hit some practice balls
Instead of playing
A choice I discussed in the post Play or practice some time ago
But getting back to my point above;
That is not how most golfers would view a game like that
They would no doubt spend a significant amount of time deciding whether the poor round was due to their grip
Or their left elbow
Or whatever other body parts they think they can have control of when hitting shots
And once they had figured this out
They would rush out to the range or the course
And change something
Which would create a new set of problems
And on it goes
Still playing poorly
Change something else
Another set of problems
Still playing poorly
Another frustrated golfer ready to give up golf
So next time you have a round of golf in which you score poorly
Before you do anything else
Take some time to sit for a few minutes and consider everything that would have contributed to that performance in the 2 weeks leading up to your game
Did all the other things you have to do in everyday life contribute to your score?
Did you have great preparation?
Was the weather poor – cold, raining or windy?
Did you play at a different time than normal?
Were you in top physical state?
How about your mental state – were you ‘ready to play’?
Or did you rush to the course and jump on the tee?
Were there any significant shot problems – like shanks, tops, and hooks?
Or did you just hit a bunch of shots that were ok but not great?
Nine times out of ten
Your poor round will be a result of a combination of some or all of the above factors
Some of which you will be able to control
And some of which you probably won’t be able to
But none of them would indicate a need to change anything in your game
It just means you are human and playing a game
Which on that day wasn’t so good
And it happens to all of us occasionally
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