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Why I Suck At Golf......And Why You Should Care


I had a great opportunity to spend a few hours with my dad this week and play a quick round of golf. We go out a few times a year, and he beats me every time. This time, I asked myself, "Why am I not getting better at this game?" As someone who is results oriented, this type of thing can be mind-bending and extremely frustrating. So, in an effort to make myself a better golfer, I analyzed my process. Surprisingly, the problems I was facing in golf are almost identical to the problems that people I speak with every day are having achieving the results they are after in life. Lets get started!

1. My Goal Stinks

My goal, like most other people, is to "par the hole." That's a stupid goal. According to Wikipedia, par is the predetermined number of strokes that a scratch (0 handicap) golfer should require to complete a hole. I am not a scratch golfer. I am not even an average golfer. So why would I set my goal to "par the hole." My goal should be to do better than I did last time. I typically double-bogey every hole. My goal should be to get one or two SINGLE bogeys, not to become a scratch golfer overnight. You wouldn't join a martial arts class and hop in the ring with a fifth degree black belt on your first day, and then get frustrated when you get punched in the face.

Are you setting your goals based on YOUR skill level and present situation, or are you basing them on an unrealistic ideal?

2. I Compare Myself To Other People With More Skills

There is always a ringer. So why do I judge my game based on their game? My dad is a better golfer, and golfs more often than I do. Mediocre golfers (me included) try to beat the other golfers. Great golfers try to beat their last game.

When you go to the gym, are you comparing yourself to other people, or to the person you were yesterday?

3. I Don't Plan For Obstacles

Sand trap? Water? Woods? Car window? What are the odds my ball will go there? The odds are SO slim. Have you ever asked yourself that question? I have, and let me tell you, the ball always goes to the obstacle. Good golfers know what the obstacles are, know where the obstacles are, and plan their game accordingly.

Are you acknowledging obstacles when you make your plan of attack for your goal?

4. I Don't Follow A Success Formula

The basic success formula is to take action, look at whats working, keep doing those things, and adjust what isn't working, slowly refining your process and approach. When I swing my club, I rarely remember what I did correctly on the last swing. Every swing is a random assemblage of moves that I have invented on my own. I should take a look at my swing, and change one thing at a time until I find the best combination of moves.

Are you analyzing your results and amending your approach to achieve your goal?

5. Bad Advice

The only advice I get is from other people I golf with. The advice is usually unsolicited and varies from golfer to golfer, so I have become immune to it. The right thing to do would be to seek out an expert golfer and try to learn how to swing the club so the ball goes where I want it to.

Are you building a team of the right people who will help you achieve your goal?

6. It's Not The Tools

I hear people blame their clubs all the time. My golf bag has some GREAT clubs and some "Free" clubs. The ball doesn't go any further with my great clubs.

Are you using "lack of resources" as an excuse to why you are not achieving your goals?

7. I Don't Really Give A Shit

To be completely honest, I golf to spend time with friends and to get some fresh air. Every so often I hit a ball and it goes where I want and I feel pretty good. Truth be told, I don't care if I ever get good at golf. It is not a priority. No matter how much I would "like" to be good at golf, I am NOT willing to put in the dedication, hours of practice, and patience it takes. I have other priorities that take the lead.

Are your goals really things YOU want, or things you would "like" to do?

After my ninth hole, I started to really focus on the things above, and while I didn't par every hole, I did perform better (and feel better about my game) on the back nine. If you have a goal you just haven't been able to achieve, time for you to focus in on the back nine and get it done!

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