While watching the Masters this weekend there was a really interesting segment about Bobby Jones. Although he had a 14 year career as an amateur, it was only in the last seven years that he won his majors.
It turns out that he had a bit of an anger issue. And when he lost his temper, his game went right out the door with it. It took him years to get over that and to decide that all he needed to do was beat “Old Man Par’, instead of everyone else and that’s when he started to win majors.
I think we’ve all felt something similar. When a bad hole gets to us and rather than staying calm and just playing the round, we get off any plan that we had, and we start to take big risks and end up in worse trouble. I wrote about John Daily doing this a while back.
We can’t expect perfection on the golf. Even watching the best players in the world they don’t play perfect. How can a 5, 10, 15, or 20 handicap expect to play perfectly when the best players in the world can’t. What we need to do is play smart. You may not always be striking it as well as you like, and you may not always be chipping it close, or putting lights out, but you can minimize the impact of mistakes and still shoot good scores even if you don’t have your A game. It’s amazing what happens when you learn to play this way. It takes pressure of your long game, and your body tends to react by playing well again.
This is what Game Sense is all about. It’s not about perfect, it’s about playing smart. It’s about scoring well with the ability you have, and it’s about getting the most of out it. And you don’t have to have a perfect swing to shoot low scores. I wish more golfers would understand this. It makes the game much more enjoyable, and ironically, it helps you play better.