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iacas

There are No Bad Shots

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EAL is 100% correct.

One of the hardest things to do - but one of the most effective - on a golf course is to do these two things:

1. Hit the shot

2. Accept the result and repeat 1.

My philosophy these days is to see the game as a process and accept that even if I score less than 36 points it can be  a good round. Even if I reset my expectations after a poor front 9 to 30 points, if I achieve that I can feel good about my round.

But the main thing that I've said for many years is that you've got to be so good for it to matter that it doesn't matter at all what we do. Enjoy being out there no matter how you're playing, because one day you won't be. And even if you had a sub par round off a  handicap of 18, who would honestly care, anyway?

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I love this attitude.  I've lately taken the view that my bad shots on the course are "something to work on." 

And if I got angry over bad putts I'd never be happy again in my life :-)  They're something to work on.

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I had a great day playing bad golf today. The weather was perfect and I hit some really good shots, just couldn't put it all together. But I got to see my 16 year old son, who has really only played for a year, shoot his best score to date, an 89.

My son has always played baseball, soccer, and kicked in football.  But last year it was discovered that he has atrial flutter, which when uncontrolled has allowed blood clots to form in his heart.  He was at serious stroke or even death risk. Nationwide Children's Hospital has done 2 ablations on him and have not been able to eliminate his flutter. Therefore he is on blood thinners to minimize the clot/stroke/death risk.  Being on blood thinners, he is not allowed to play soccer, pitch in baseball (somehow he is allowed to hit and play other positions), or get hit in football because of the uncontrolled bleeding risk. Currently the football coach won't even let him kick. While my son is bummed that he can't play the sports that he has loved, he is now playing high school golf instead.  And he is having fun even if he is not particularly skilled right now.

Today we hit some shots that did not have the intended result, but we did not hit any bad shots.

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We all hit **** shots. It's part of golf. When my timing and tempo are on, I play well. When it's not on, I don't. It's that simple. It happens during the same round. Don't get mad. Have a Mike's Hard Lemonade. I have a 19 HC. If I go 4 holes at -1 I know what's coming.

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On 8/24/2019 at 8:33 AM, iacas said:

It's just golf, and I can't do anything about that shot once it's hit except try to make sure I don't do it again, and to work on it.

Agreed. This is something I have really tried to stress with Jacob. I feel like it's okay to get frustrated with a shot, but do it from the location where you actually hit the shot. Give yourself a few seconds to get frustrated, laugh it off, and then when you begin your walk to the next shot, let it go. Like you stated, It's just golf and the shot has been hit. No amount of anger will ever bring that shot back so you can do it over. I preach this to him quite often (and REALLY need to take this advice myself) as it is something we are both working on.

Edited by TN94z

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Sure. It sounds like a fantastic way to go about things. It's hard to argue with. 

One thing I wonder about though. Are there people that only get angry on the golf course or are most of them people that tend to get angry with all other aspects of life as well? Any number of things can set me off ranging from my shoe coming untied (relatively mild) to a mistake at work (think DEFCON 1). Sending the second straight tee shot to the farm would fall somewhere in between the two. 

Some mornings I try to talk myself into being calm. That doesn't often last past the third frustrating thing and normally none of it has anything to do with golf.

Golf really isn't much more of a test of temper than other things. It's just where it tends to stick out more.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

Are there people that only get angry on the golf course or are most of them people that tend to get angry with all other aspects of life as well? 

Sure. I suspect how angry people get and what makes them go tilt varies greatly and maybe even changes greatly over their life.

 

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49 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Sure. I suspect how angry people get and what makes them go tilt varies greatly and maybe even changes greatly over their life.

That would be nice.

I'm pretty sure I was pissed coming out of the womb.

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I can't actually agree with the title of the thread.  I hit some truly bad shots.  But I agree completely with the message, lack of success on a golf shot shouldn't be a big deal.  I hit a bad shot, I may be angry momentarily, and then its time to move on and do my best when I get to the ball and hit my next shot.  My bad days don't make me irritable when I get home from the course, they don't stick with me even for the short time it takes to get into the tavern to get my first beer.  I'll usually be laughing at my own foibles rather than crowing about my accomplishments.  Hitting good shots, shooting a good score, they're nice, but bad shots or high scores don't ruin my day.  My goal whenever I play golf is to try to hit each shot well, and to enjoy my time with friends.  I'm really really good at that part of golf. 

.  

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I'm with @DaveP043, there are definitely bad shots. Learning how to accept, learn, and improve upon the bad is tough but nice when you get it.

My emotions in golf have changed over the last couple years, but I'm not sure I put my finger on it until now.  Bad shots are bad, good shots are good, but for me, what I care about most is improvement, or at least the feeling of improvement.  From week to week or month to month, I want to have some improvement.  I do get more upset on the course when I know my trend has been in a slump. I'm more chipper when I'm in a good state of the game.  These days I teach a lot, so I work towards trends of continued learning and the general quality of the lessons.

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My personal history with golf is I played for awhile but gave the game up somewhere around 40 years of age and didn't touch a club again for 15 years.  I gave it because I wasn't have any fun and I would get angry at bad shots, slam clubs on the ground and in general was ass and probably not much fun to play with.  When I decided to play again I vowed I'd either have fun or I'd give it up forever.  Required a new attitude on my part.  The book "zen golf" helped me a lot with how to handle less than good shots in a more positive way and even how to keep the game, and it is game, in perspective.  I really enjoy my time on the practice tees these day, and I'm retired so I have time, and enjoy playing even more.   So this time around I agree with this thread, there are no bad shots, just opportunities to learn how to do it better.

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Golf is fun.  Some of my greatest shots have been recovering after a crap shot. 

I tried for a while taking mulligans after a bad (but findable) shot, and then play both balls.  it's really crazy how often I'd get the exact same score.  It's rather suprising how much.    (Note, I frequently go out of my way to find very empty courses).  And it's a lot easier and relaxing to just go get that 'bad' shot and have fun with the next one.  whether it's taking your medicine, or pulling off that shaped hero shot....doesn't matter which, there's satisfaction in doing it well.

I was decent as a teenager, but I'd get mad at bad shots.  Result - I didn't play for decades.  Now it's about being out there, good cocktails, and enjoying the day.  New result - I'm much better, care less about it, and I have fun.

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The problem with no bad shots is that golf is a sport that is scored.  It is like tennis where there is some reckoning of how well someone has played the game.  In some ways, if you don’t score, it’s practice; which can sometimes be more enjoyable.

But if you bury an overhead into the net and lose a game, it is a bad shot.  I’m not suggesting that getting angry when sailing a drive into the trees is good response, but a person should be disappointed if he/she cards an 11.

There are a ton of intense non-scoring sports out there that can be super rewarding and also teach perseverance.

John

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On 8/26/2019 at 7:08 AM, mcanadiens said:

Sure. It sounds like a fantastic way to go about things. It's hard to argue with. 

One thing I wonder about though. Are there people that only get angry on the golf course or are most of them people that tend to get angry with all other aspects of life as well? Any number of things can set me off ranging from my shoe coming untied (relatively mild) to a mistake at work (think DEFCON 1). Sending the second straight tee shot to the farm would fall somewhere in between the two. 

Some mornings I try to talk myself into being calm. That doesn't often last past the third frustrating thing and normally none of it has anything to do with golf.

Golf really isn't much more of a test of temper than other things. It's just where it tends to stick out more.

 

 

You know, compare the bad shots/moments to being dead.  That puts it into perspective.

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Overall, sounds like a very healthy mental state to me. I figure the only folks who could make a valid opposing argument are those who are trying to make a living by playing the game. And I suspect that they might be better served with more equanimity of mood. Sam Snead had a name for it. "Cool mad" he called it. You might be disappointed in the result of a shot, but don't allow that to take you out of your game.

My buddy and his Son have similar temperaments, very competitive and fiery. My buddy will yell at himself for a poor result, but he let's it go pretty quickly. His Son is another story. Someone else posted that when their timing is on they play well, and when it's not they play poorly. That this kids story. Of course, the kid is 42 or 43, works a lot of hours, never practices and doesn't get to play very often. Yet, he expects to play well. When he doesn't he gets sullen, and sits in the cart and fiddles with his iPhone. 

One time he was playing particularly badly and was blowing up left and right! He wasn't much fun to be around. He came to us and apologized for his behavior. He's had a few concussions in his life, and claimed that they can cause him to lose his cool once in a while. I don't know if that's just an excuse, but considering the bizarre behavior of some former NFL players, I'm in no position to argue otherwise. Still, he seems to be rather hard on himself!

At my age (66 soon to be 67), I've learned to accept certain limitations. I used to be one of the fastest guys in school, but I can't run fast anymore. Hell! I can't RUN anymore! But I can still walk. So I can still hunt pheasant and grouse and deer and mushrooms. I can't hit the ball as far as I used to, but I can still hit the ball. And there are tees on the course that will accommodate my game, so I can still play golf. I can't play baseball, football or basketball anymore. 

None of us are pros, yet they seem to have a steadier keel than some amateurs I've seen. 

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I used to get absolutely furious and livid whenever I hit a poor shot. The problem is I'd hit 2-3 poor shots in the first 6-9 holes and then I'd be so frustrated that the back nine was always a waste. I could play some good golf, but I rarely got to see it on the back nine because I was too busy being upset about those shots I dropped on a couple stupid shots.

When I started golfing in high school though, a coach there told me something that at the time really put things in perspective for me. He sat down next to me when I was waiting to tee off, frustrated, and asked me why the hell I was being so sour when I was out playing golf. He pointed out quite a few of the other less-pleasant activities I could be busy being forced to do if I was in different circumstances, and then laughed it all off at the end and just said to lighten up. Not sure why it took something blunt like that, but it stuck and I've never felt that same way during a round of golf since.

Now when I hit a bad shot I try to think about what felt different, and I also just start to look forwards to the recovery shot. If I hook one into the trees I can still try to hit a fun punch shot out to thread the needle.

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