It is a game I plan on playing for the rest of my life. A game that will teach me many lessons to come, introduce me to people who will become good friends, and open doors and opportunities. It has already done some of this, but I believe it will do more. They say golf is a microcosm of life. They say you can learn a lot about how a person handles adversity by how they handle the unlucky bounces, duffed shots, and OB shots a round, a season, or years of golf will dish out.
All of these things help me to cultivate a long term approach to golf. Look, I love getting new equipment, playing with the latest drivers and irons, just as much as the next guy. Love to try out the latest tour golf balls, and all the gadgets and gizmos that aim to help us play better golf. Only I don’t see them as quick fixes. I see them as tools that will help me in a long term goal to become the best golfer I can be.
Each of these tools helps with certain things. I haven’t seen a cure all yet, and I don’t think I will. They comprise my golf tool box. Like any tool though you need to understand what you can and can’t do with it, as well as what you are trying to accomplish.
Frankly if I thought each of the training aids I use was a quick fix cure, I probably would have quit the game. The thing is that they don’t always work as quickly as you like, especially if they’re not used for their intended purpose. But if you use them at the right time, for the right problem, wow, they really can seem magical. They can help to unlock at least that one piece of the puzzle, even if it’s just for a little while.
To me, that is part of the fun too. Figuring out what happened, what went wrong and how to fix it.
So I’ve taken a long term approach to golf. My goal remains to become a scratch or better golfer. I do believe I will achieve it. When will that happen I don’t know, but what I do know is that if I keep improving, then I’m moving closer to it. As long as I’m moving in the right direction that’s really all that matters. That and enjoying the process.
Part of the process means that you are going to have times when your game is on fire, when you’re making seemingly every 20 footer, chipping it in routinely, and hitting insanely long and accurate drives.
But there’s a flip side. There will be times when you have no idea where your next shot is going to go, when a chip becomes a flub, and you’re skulling them out of every bunker. Golf is like that.
Those times, when it’s just not going right, well those are truly wonderful opportunities to learn, if you can find the lesson. Having a long term approach to golf makes it a little bit easier to find the lesson because you accept that you can’t control when you’ll play well and when you you don’t. By looking out 5, 10 and even 20 years to where I want my game to be and what kind of player I want to become, I can step back and see the lessons that golf is constantly trying to teach.