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What kind of golfer are you?


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I've been playing a lot on my local executive course because I can play as many holes as I want for 15 dollars. 

I tend to see two kinds of golfers out there:

1.)  Super casual golfers who are just out there to smack the ball around.  

2.) Serious golfers who are on a mission to improve. 

I tend to identify with the second group.  The thing is, it has nothing to do with your current ability level.  It has everything to do with mindset.  I consider myself a student of the game even though I am a mid/high handicapper.  I want swing results but I want to know WHY I got those results.  I am not just going to guess at my swing faults and think my way to lower scores.   I am in it for the long haul and know that if I am strategic and consistent, I will continue to improve every season.  

Does anyone else feel that there are too many golfers out there that are just kind of going through the motions because it's the thing to do with their buddies? 

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I'm definitely the latter. I'd say I know more golfers who are serious and want to improve than those who just play for the fun of it.

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I just like to smack the ball around, mostly. Im probably never going to get much better than i am now, so i don't worry about improving anymore.

When I'm preparing for a tourney, i like to practice certain shot shapes i think i might need, but thats about as serious as i get in non tournament rounds, these days. 

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I'm both.  I want to always improve but I also want to just go out and have fun.  I may never look like I have fun on the golf course, but I do.  I have fun while trying to improve and get up and down from stupid areas as I play.  

But I think we are all a bit of both.  I think of Mickelson, we see/hear of him playing the practice rounds with a couple guys playing for a few thousand bucks.  They are more out there to smack the ball around than really play super serious.  But when it comes time, they can get in the zone and play super serious.  

I think it's important to be able to have both mindsets.

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A little of Col. A and a little of Col. B.

As a high-handicapper, my hopes of improving are still high. It hasn't been as easy now as it was when I was a pure beginner four or five years ago, but I'm always after it. Most weeks I'm able to fit in a practice session after work. I try to make it a focused practice, working on some bit of my swing instead of just hammering balls.

All that said, there is reality. No matter what I do, I'm not qualifying for a US Open. Scratch golf is probably a pipe dream. If I'm not enjoying my time on the course, I'm wasting it. Getting too wrapped up in what my score was for a particular round isn't worth it.

There is a good balance in there somewhere.

 

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It sounds like you are saying that people who play golf because they enjoy the game but are not necessarily driven to improve their handicap are somehow "second class golf citizens."  I'm not sure that I agree with that.

Although I'd love to get better, I can generally golf only once per week with an occasional mid-week trip to the local par 3 because of very demanding work and family schedules.  At my frequency of play, there is not much chance of getting a whole lot better once I lose the winter rust in the Spring.  But I still love to play even though I might be on the course to "smack the ball around."

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I think most golfers fit somewhere in a range between the 2 columns.

Except for pure raw beginners who are not going to take up the game, I don't see too many in column A that were not once in column B or close to it.  Unlike other sports, golf doesn't lend itself too much to just smacking the ball around for fun.  There are just so many times one can shank, top, slice a ball to where it is no longer fun.  Obviously enough alcohol can enhance the enjoyment of any activity.

I'm probably in the middle but definitely working myself more toward column A when I play, and more toward column B when I practice.  When I was young I was very competitive at everything, but at 64, I have come to the realization that life can be more enjoyable in column A.

John

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Bobby Jones wrote that there were two ways a fellow could approach the game of golf: either casually or seriously.  While he felt both were legitimate; he cautioned against combining the two.  Especially, as he put it, in "hanging the ambition of the latter on the labours of the former".  I cannot think of a better way to say that.  Golf as Zen penance has limited appeal and most of us manage to reconcile the two strains.

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When I was younger I achieved what I wanted out of golf based on the time, and money I had available for the game. Time to spend on the game was the barrier. Even though I was playing a fairways and greens type game, to play better, I would have had to put my golf game a head of my my family, and my job. That wasn't going to happen. Heck, I think as far as golf went, back then, it was probably number 4, or 5 on my list of priorities in my younger days. 

Fast forward 40+ years, and I still want to play as well as I can, and I still  put forth the effort to do so. I also just want to go hit the ball in a relaxed manner, and have fun doing it. 

I very seldom see seriours golfers (of any age group)  anymore when I play. Most are happy just to be out hitting the ball with their friends, and/or family. Sure, most still care about the rules and proper course behavior, but the fun aspect is their biggest priority. The biggest enjoyment I see in a golfer is the occassonal "great" shot these golfers hit. They probably won't remember their scores, but those one, or two great shots will stick in their brain. 

I am pretty sure that most of the serious golfers I run into are on golf forums, whom I will never see play.  

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3 hours ago, TomM1026 said:

I tend to see two kinds of golfers out there:

1.)  Super casual golfers who are just out there to smack the ball around.  

2.) Serious golfers who are on a mission to improve. 

I'm going to echo what most of the others have said, I'm somewhere in the middle.  I'm a pretty serious golfer, in that I'm always trying to shoot the best score I can, and almost always am competing to beat my buddies.  I'm serious about consistently playing within the rules, and maintain my handicap properly.  However, I'm absolutely always there to have a good time, and the practice I do is more to maintain my current level than it is to make changes towards improving.  

To answer the last question in the OP, I don't really care if the other players out there are serious, or just slapping it around with their buddies, as long as they treat the course and the rest of the players with respect and consideration.  

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I would say I'm firmly in or slightly to the right of column b.  But that's not to say I'm a "serious" golfer or anything.  I practice a lot.  I'm highly focused on playing better.  I also know that the day I finally achieve my goal and "play the very best I can" .. it will be a big fat "who cares" to everyone but me, lol. 

I've had to rationalize to myself the amount of time I'm spending to learn something I'll only ever do for fun.  I don't know that I've successfully done it yet.  But I enjoy practice a lot - and just hitting balls, in general . . so I do it.  It's like I have 2 pointless hobbies . .practicing golf and playing golf.  Now it doesn't seem so unbalanced, lol.     

Edited by Rainmaker
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6 hours ago, TomM1026 said:

Does anyone else feel that there are too many golfers out there that are just kind of going through the motions because it's the thing to do with their buddies? 

This takes in a fair number of golfers, who just go out with their friends for the social aspect. As long as they obey the rules when competition comes...

I am serious about my golf - despite my HDCP - but I try not to be a grouch.

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I'm not a serious golfer because if I were I'd be practicing 4 to 5 days a week for 3 hrs a day. I practice maybe twice a week and hit a large bucket each time. I play one round a week. It's what my bank account can afford. When I do play I play to have fun, but I don't like to play poorly. Who does? I have trouble laughing off crappy shots unless I have a playable crappy shot.

I play two foot gimmes on the course. I play by the "yeah, okay, that looks about like (one or two) club lengths" rule. I take a breakfast ball on the first tee.

I was playing with a friend of mine yesterday. We had a fun round. My front 9 started out well and I was +3 through the first four holes. Then it fell apart. Three putts, a couple of bad tee shots and on this course you have to get it off the tee, and then I duffed a couple of chips and the score ballooned. It ended with a bogey on the 9th. Only one GIR. Back 9 - six GIR. five pars. One triple bogey (three putt from 8 feet). One double bogey. One bogey. Total on the back 9 was 6 over par. I had fun on the back 9 especially with the run of four straight pars on the last four holes.

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I'm in the second group but.....if I try to keep it fun. I practice a few times a week. Play 2-3 times. If I shoot in the ninetys ok, no reason to be bummed. Low 80's great. Figure out what needs work and move on. It's golf, it's hard, but it can be both serious and fun

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I tend to classify golfers in two groups.

1.  Non golfers that occasionally play golf

2.  Golfers  (I'm a golfer)

The non golfers are the guys that are clueless about etiquette and more often than not, they're the reason rounds take 5 hours.  We've all seen these clowns out on the course.   These categories aren't necessarily tied to ability either.   I find that by playing early, the non-golfers can usually be avoided.  

 

Edited by BuckeyeNut
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1 hour ago, BuckeyeNut said:

I tend to classify golfers in two groups.

1.  Non golfers that occasionally play golf

2.  Golfers  (I'm a golfer)

 

 

Absolutely.  I think when I posted originally this was truly what I meant.  I don't bemoan anybody's right to golf if they are keeping up a reasonable pace and aren't doing anything ridiculous.  I played behind a walking twosome yesterday who were pretty poor golfers but kept up a really crisp rate of play and were really polite.  

Those of us who are here talking about this stuff are the "golfers".  

Ultimately, no matter what our current skill level or level of dedication/available attention to improvement, it's the difference in mindset between saying "I play golf" to saying "I am a golfer." 

 

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