Friday, July 18, 2008

Ways to Improve Your Golf Game: #1 Redefine "Success"

Recently, the golf bug bit me again. However, I have the same problem I had when I stopped playing many years ago. I basically suck at golf.

Fortunately, I’ve learned from clean corporation living that there are many ways to measure success. If the "standard" way makes you feel like a loser, change it up! And so, I've embraced some different standards to help me feel good about playing golf badly.

After much discussion and some intuitive research, my son Dave and I came up with a new system to rate our golf game. We analyzed that a typical round of golf is actually played in phases. These are Warm-up, In the Zone, Worn-out, Second Wind and then complete Burnout. A very good golfer, like Tiger Woods, does the Warm-up before actually playing the first hole, and then In the Zone for the next 18 and never hits the Worn-out stages.

Alas, a golfer like me does the Warm-up over the first few holes, enters the Zone for a brief period and shoots right into the Worn-out stage. With luck the Second Wind stage occurs, before the insidious Burnout happens.

This leads me to the first alternate method of measuring success on a golf course. My last round went like this: Warm-up 5 holes, In The Zone 4 Holes , Worn-out 3 Holes, Second Wind only 1 hole and then Burnout all the rest of the holes.. In the Burnout stage, it becomes incredibly difficult to strike the stationary ball with a tennis racquet-- much less hit it well with a golf club. My Burnout phase mercifully ends when I pick the ball up on the last hole. I do this in case someone is watching me from the clubhouse.

So, to summarize. The longer I stay In The Zone, the more successful I am. So, if I stay ITZ for 5 holes (one more than last time), and even if I shoot a hideous 119, I can consider the round successful and I can feel good about it.

Here are some other ways you can measure success on a golf course in case the In The Zone fails to satisfy.

When I lose no balls in woods or water and complete all 18 holes, I call that a Perfect Round!

A You Da Man Round is free of absolutely humiliating golf swings others can witness up close. I remember once hitting a ball that struck a nearby tree and bounced behind me, thus becoming a –10 yard drive.

When I don't sustain injuries of any sort for the entire 18 holes, I can call that a Good Workout Round.

I also like to count the number of putts I take separately from the number of overall strokes, as I consider myself a good putter. I've named my putter Harry Putter because sometimes there is magic in him.

When I don't chop up the turf with absurd swings, or fell small trees and bushes and avoid striking geese, that's a Nature Boy Green Round!

The whole point is to make the game enjoyable again, and for many of us duffers out there, it become difficult to enjoy traditionally. So, be flexible and enjoy. See ya on the course!

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