Originally Posted by tuffluck
at any rate the lack of consistency makes me angry. i stop enjoying the beauty of being outside. i don't thrash clubs around or show a lot of temper (my 56 wedge does see some 20 foot underhanded launches back towards the cart occasionally), but i certainly feel the anger and i can get short with my playing partners. i'm wondering if golf isn't for me?? this is supposed to be an enjoyable game and i find myself more pissed off during a round than pleased i have the free time and good health to get out and do something like play golf. is anyone else like me or have been like me?? of course i don't want to shoot a 105 every time, but it's going to happen and when it does i don't want to be ready to sell my clubs as soon as i get home.
The part of your post that encourages me is the fact that you said, "the lack of consistency makes me angry." This shows that you take pride in doing things well. I have been golfing more than 50 years and I always wanted to be consistent at work, at play, or in my personal relationships. Here is my advice for whatever it is worth...
To be consistent in golf means that you need to 1) take lessons and develop your swing; 2) find time to practice the lessons; and, 3) develop a mental approach to the game to fit your personality.
1. When I was young I read articles by Al Geiberger and Jack Nicklaus' book, "Golf My Way." I am 6'3" tall and Mr. Geiberger is 6'2". By reading Geiberger's articles I was able to understand the basic concepts about the swing plane and arc of a tall man and develop a very tempo conscious swing. By reading Nicklaus' book I tried to emulate the greatest golfer of his era. But, not until I invested in going to a Golf Digest school at age 25 and took a week of lessons did everything come into focus. I guess what I am saying is, at least try to understand what goes into a golf swing. Taking lessons from a pro would be my first choice, but at least, read and assimilate the lessons into your swing. (Note: I have not taken formal lessons since the golf digest school, but continue to utilize what I learned even today.)
2. With golf, it is not enough to understand a golf swing. What your mind comprehends, your body does not follow. So, you need to train your muscles to perform the moves of a swing, in the same way that a dancer learns choreography for a dance routine. That means practice is integral to getting your muscles to move in the desired motions. Years ago I read that it takes about 10,000 reps before a swing change becomes totally natural, but that is a very debatable topic. I coached high school golf for a number of years and I tried to have my golfers understand that it is more important to practice wisely, rather than worry how long you will be at the range. Different drills are essential to good practice. Pick out one part of your swing to practice (shoulder turn, take away, weight shift, follow through, etc.), and concentrate on that until you feel comfortable. Then try to take it to the course. The big drawback here is that practice is time consuming and takes away your time from the course. But, I tell you, time at the range enhances the on-course experience. If you want to be consistent you do need to practice.
3. Developing a mental approach is critical to how much pleasure you get from the game. I highly recommend that you read "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect" by Dr. Bob Rotella. I refer to myself as a "Happy 9." In other words, I am a single digit handicapper who enjoys playing recreationally. I subscribe to Dr. Rotella's rule: "I will refuse to allow anything that happens on the golf course today to bother me or upset me. I will accept bad breaks and mistakes and be tough in adversity. I am going to be in a good mood and a great state of mind for the entire round today. I'll enjoy playing." Every golfer needs to find their mental approach to this great game, so that they can consistently get as much pleasure from their 18 holes (and to maintain their sanity).
Here is an example of how powerful my mental approach statement can be... Last year I was playing my normal Monday morning game with my friend Jim, and had just bought some yellow Srixon balls. I am a 9 handicap, and I pride myself on my consistency, but this day I started with 4 bogeys and 4 double-bogeys. I can't remember the last time I was 12 over after 8 holes, but I remembered Dr. Rotella's rule: "I will refuse to allow anything that happens on the golf course today to bother me or upset me...", so I changed back to my Pro V1 white ball, and told Jim it was the yellow ball's fault. Well then next ten holes I shot even par with an eagle, a birdie and 5 pars. When I got home I told my wife I had a present for her and gave her a brand new box of 11 yellow balls and one that was slightly used. I turned a potentially disasterous day on the course into a memorable moment in time.
Is one point more important than the other? Many a hacker has more pleasure on a golf course than anyone I know, because they know their limitations (and carry a six pack). They don't have a very good swing, and don't practice at all. But, they are happy.
Personally, I would consider that non-acceptable in my world, because I take the game more seriously, and could not have pleasure consistently shooting 100+.I don't take lessons, and occasionally practice to try and maintain my skill level. I love the game, and I am happy (without the six pack).
Likewise, scratch golfers cannot accept my philosophy of golf, because their level of pleasure is measured by how low they can go, every single time they play. Shooting an 80 would be a disaster. They, in all likelihood, still take lessons and practice whenever they can to improve their swing. They, too, are happy.
Hey tuffluck, hang in there. You had a bad day on the course. You'll get 'em the next time.