At the end of the day it’s just a game of golf.
If you have been reading my articles in Golfer Pacific over the past few months, you may have noticed I spend a lot of time writing about things that are ultimately aimed at improving your performance on the golf course.
To put it another way, they are mostly all about playing better golf.
While that’s something that is personally important to a lot of golfers around the world, many of whom spend a fair chunk of their life being focussed about their game of golf.
Their thoughts dominated by their personal performance (or lack of it on occasion) and a large amount of their waking hours dedicated to working on their game to get the very best from it.
Which by the way, you actually have to do, if you want to play golf well.
From time to time, it helps to take a step back and get some perspective about the game of golf.
Simply because while your performance on the golf course yesterday, today or tomorrow.
May be the thing that is in the forefront of your mind right now, the result of which may elicit dramatic swings in your moods and possibly even, some other behaviours before, during or after the game.
I’m going to ask you to put those thoughts aside for a moment and consider a conversation I had with a golfer a while back that really made me think.
The golfer in question had been going through the belongings of his parents as his mother had recently passed on and as a result his father had to be moved to an assisted living facility as his health had deteriorated to a point where he needed full time care.
Even though there were a lifetime of possessions in the house, his father was beyond caring about those things.
I could sense the sadness that the golfer was feeling as he conveyed to me the realization that as he was sorting through everything his parents had collected over the years.
Everything they had, needed to be labelled one of four ways:
Something to donate.
Something to give away.
Something to throw away.
Lastly, something of value or meaning to those who are still around.
I have experienced a similar situation myself quite a few years back, so I understood what the golfer was saying but the point I am hoping to convey with this article that is different.
Is the fact, that a lot of the items in the golfer’s parent’s house were golf trophies, awards and recognitions of things like course record scorecards, team and representative photos.
Not to mention, a large amount of old golfing equipment.
Things that had massive meanings to the golfers at the time but were of little value to anyone else now, after they passed on or became unable to remember.
So, the next time you head out to play a game or practice your golf, take a moment to think about how important your result really will be in comparison to every other part of your life.
Like family, friends and the contribution you make to others.
Right now a good game may become a fond memory or perhaps an exceptionally motivating story to tell your family, friends or workmate.
But is it really worth getting so worked up before the game that you can barely think about anything else?
Is it really worth it, that you dwell on a bad game or the fact that someone beat you that day?
Because in reality, a bad game is just a blip in time.
A four hour game of golf is just 16% of a single day, 2% of a single week or 0.04% of a single year.
It’s an incredibly small and insignificant part of a lifetime (as long as no one dies due to your bad performance).
So, does it really matter how you went?
Because as much as it may hurt today, some day in the future.
No one will remember that you even played that game.
In reality, a game of golf is simply that.
A game of golf.
Play it as well as you can, go for every logical shot with as much effort as possible but remember that the result does not define you.
It is just one more event or activity in your life, a blip in time that by its very nature should be fun and inspiring.
Keep it in perspective, relative to what’s happening with your family or friends and the contribution you make to others over your lifetime.
I know that for a while you’ll have memories and stories of your good games, which can build your confidence in other areas of your life.
Eventually though, they will become remnants of days gone by and someday no one will care what you shot or what place you finished.
You probably won’t remember either.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that golf isn’t an important part of any golfer’s life.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite for me as I’m sure you can imagine.
I’m writing this hoping that somewhere around the world, a lot of golfers will read this and as a result cope better with whatever happens to them on the course next time out.
Because golf is a game, after all.
So, play well and enjoy it.
Ian Hardie is Golfer Pacific’s Golf Professional contributor. He is Club Professional at Omanu Golf Club in Mount Maunganui. Ian’s time is split between the pro shop at the club and helping people to improve, while enjoying their golf more as a result of his golf coaching. Over the past few years, in an effort to help as many golfers as he can, Ian has been sharing his common sense golf advice with golfers around the world through his website golfhabits.com. With over 500 articles to read, it’s a great resource for any golfer looking to improve their golf game.