It’s been almost 4 months since I played a round of golf. And although I’d been thinking a lot about getting get out to hit some balls, yesterday was only the 3rd time I’ve been to the range since November.
Why? Oh, I could blame the weather, but I think it was something else. I think I was afraid — afraid I’d lost my swing — afraid I’d embarrass myself — afraid I’d start to hate golf.
Waaay too much Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)!
So when I walked up to the ball yesterday with my trusty (rusty?) 7 iron, I was afraid of what would happen.
Nothing felt right; in fact it felt like I was holding a golf club for the first time. And we all remember how unnatural that feels.
I stood over the ball for a long time trying to get comfortable. Didn’t happen. So I did a few practice swings to loosen up and then stepped back to start what I vaguely recalled as my pre-shot routine.
And I hit the best 7 iron I can remember ever striking — straight down the middle with a little draw. I swear it went 15 yards longer than what I normally hit that club. I was delighted!
But then the dreaded Golfer’s Curse planted itself in the 6 inches between my ears….
No amount of muscle memory was going to make me follow up that great shot with another.
The rest of the practice session was a series of okay shots, not so okay shots and darn right butt-ugly shots, with just about every club in my bag. Needless to say, it wasn’t my best day and I was starting to get depressed. But I knew deep inside that this too shall past so I stepped up one more time and hit my come back tomorrow shot with that same trusty 7 iron.
Then I packed it in and headed home with balls still sitting on the mat.
I didn’t give the experience another thought until this morning drinking coffee in bed. In the dark I thought back to how I bookended my practice session with 2 great shots. What would today bring?
Sure enough, the Golfer’s Curse reared its ugly head again and I started to doubt myself.
“Enough, already!” I said, “It’s time to get this pathetic prophecy out of my head.”
I knew trying to forget it was a waste of time (Try and NOT think about a pink elephant ;)).
What I needed to do was to replace the curse with a blessing, or at least…hope. Hence the birth of my new “next shot” mantra…
I am sure Robert Browning is rolling over in his grave right now 😉
FUD is not in the rules of golf; it has no place on the tee boxes, fairways or greens. It has no place in YOU!
It’s time for you to rule your own mind and believe in yourself. You are what you think, so…
- Sing as you walk between shots,
- Smile when you look at your ball,
- Laugh when your ball misbehaves, and
- See every shot as a new opportunity, not a challenge.
And may “the saddest
day shot of your future be no worse than the happiest day shot of your past.”
Happy St. Paddy’s Week!