I am a hacker. Or I was until I got religion.
I am now a hacker with religion — golf religion, and it’s been a 30+ year journey. Before I was lost in a sea of double bogies, lost balls, shanks, and thinned shots. Now I still have those problems but I can deal with the hand I am dealt.
As a young man I was taught the fundamentals but never the reasons behind why I did what I did. So essentially I never grasped how to fix my game while I played my round. If I sucked, which was often, I sucked the whole round. It was frustrating.
I struggled with a game I enjoyed so dearly.
Getting older, lessons where the key. I found myself a coach and he introduced me to other players and soon I was playing with a few golfers better than myself.
Something happened. Playing with other golfers; a lot of what they learned rubbed off on me. I started to evaluate golf holes they way they did. I started to think like they did and soon I was playing a lot better. Not as consistent but every once in a while I would have a great round of golf. And that had me coming back for more — abuse.
Course management, navigating through the course hole by hole. Playing to my tendencies. All that helped me, and I watched as my game progressed with each posted score.
All kidding aside, and a little older, I finally found myself a golf coach that offered me what he called “tools for my tool box.” Tools being my euphemism for different shots in my bag . Punching a shot under a tree or through trees for example. So when I was out on the golf course I had shots in my bag that I could execute consistently. I knew the distance, I knew what sort of swing to use (quarter, half, full -swing). And suddenly my game started to get more consistent. I started to think about score and how to save pars or make birdies. That is to say my round wouldn’t jump from low 90’s to low 100’s. Instead I was playing around the low 80’s consistently. Even if I was playing poorly (bad tee shots and trouble everywhere) I still managed to keep my round respectable (high 80’s) compared to where I was.
I guess having the advantage of various shots in my bag and course management are perhaps the two best ideas I was able to glean from my better golfing buddies. All I had to do was execute. And sitting over a golf ball with those shots is a lot more comforting knowing you can execute versus hoping.
What I am driving at here is you never know as much about golf compared to the next person. Find yourself a group of buddies to play golf. I know golf is a solitary sport — you versus the course but remember misery loves company and why not in the company of some friends. They can offer some advice (some is always best; not all the time). They can egg you on or they can tease and criticize your game. They can at least help pass the time between shots so you can focus when you do need to make those shots.