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Just Play the Game

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  • Just Play the Game

    For those of you who have checked the psychology threads recently, you may know that I've been struggling to score well of late and was really frustrated because my labour was bearing rotten fruit.

    I thought I'd update my situation.

    Played yesterday for the first time in 2.5 weeks. In fact, hadn't even touched a golf club in that time.

    I was tempted to practice before playing but decided against it. I felt that if I practiced the day before playing, my goal would change from simply enjoying the day and playing the game as it should be played, I would instead be focused on the results of my practice.

    What a difference.

    It was a 6550 yard hilly course I'd never played before. I didn't practice putting before going out. I didn't hit any balls before going out. I just went there to play.

    I didn't concern myself once with my swing or "how to do it". I just did it. I hit some shots that I've never hit before on the course. I could even take irons from a lot of tees because I was absolutely crunching it. A 250 yard 3 iron splitting the fairway on a 400 yard par 4, and a 324 yard drive to a fairway 40 feet above the tee, to name but two highlights.

    I was pin-high every time and got up and down well. My dropped shots were courtesy of one lame approach on a par 5 that I failed to get up and down from an awful spot in a bunker, one lipped out putt from 4 feet for par, one poor chip leaving me too much to do for par and one 3 putt. Don't ask!

    My one birdie was on a hole that I decided I would birdie on the tee via a particular strategy. Faded 5 iron to the dogleg, sandwedge to 9 feet. Rolled it in.

    The results were so much better because I had taken myself out of "practice mode" and just played. It allowed all that I had been working on to come through. It felt like just "switching off" and having a laugh whilst playing. It was weird because at first, I almost felt naked and vulnerable without swing thoughts, but I quickly became comfy by being satisfied with deciding where to put my ball, then having a swing at it.

    Added up the score behind the 18th green and had broken my handicap for the first time in at least 2 months, playing a different course with no guide.

    I shot +3

    I loved it.

    Give it a try. It's very liberating and great fun. I played with a grin on my face all afternoon.

  • #2
    Re: Just Play the Game

    Neil, that is a great inisght. This is the mentality I've used my entire golfing experience.

    "Golf... a walk in the park."

    And that's all I do, I dont' ride a cart - I walk and cast my eyes up to see the blue sky and by the time I get to my ball, I'm already at peace.

    It's a great feeling, and liberating like you say.