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Puttwell

When does it make sense to quit?

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If you're not paying club dues, you don't have to make a decision.

Play if and when you want to.

If you are paying dues to a club,

you have to decide if belonging to the club is still worth it, socially,

without playing golf,

 

 

 

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It doesn't make to play if it's fun, but there's probably a way you can make it fun again. 

It might be something like playing with a different group, changing to senior equipment, or playing a scoring system that suits what you can still do. 

If you do quit, find a way to replace the exercise (if you walk).

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Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the advice. Let me clear up one though - I'm only 39 years old.  That seems to make quitting even more valuable to me because I should theoretically get decades of enjoying not golfing. 🙂 

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Ask yourself why you play.  For me, I play for a bunch of reasons: I like being outdoors, in beautiful spaces; I like spending peaceful time with my son; I enjoy the challenge of the game (even though I am still very much a beginner); I enjoy the feeling of hitting good shots (they do happen sometimes), and playing a good hole; I enjoy the discipline of persevering with a very challenging thing, and staying mindful, and trying to keep on top of the frustration.  For all these reasons, whether I play or not is not related to my score.  I broke 100 two or three times earlier in the summer, but this week I've been playing as badly as I've played since I started, but the reasons I play are still met by going and playing, so I won't quit.

Sounds to me like your enjoyment is closely tied to your score and (if I may be so bold) you ego.  You don't like the feeling of having gone backwards, and you're not scoring well.  If those are the reasons you play (you like scoring well, and you like feeling proud / identifying as a single digit handicap golfer), then unless you're prepared to work through the reasons for your poor scoring, or reframe your experience of the game, you probably should go and do something else.

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I used to work in the golf business and when I got out, I didn't play golf for about a year and a half. I realized that I liked it more now that I was not spending every waking minute around it. I just turned 50 and I hit the ball better now than I did when I was 30. I also enjoy playing more now. I really like just being outside and not really worrying about what I shoot and because of this (I think) I actually shoot lower scores now than I did then. Sounds to me like you just need to take a break and go fishing. It helped me (the break and the fishing). 

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I have figured out at age 69 that it is not really about getting better and shooting lower scores.  I still shoot between 90 and 100 and have even shot an 88 once.  To me, each round is different and depending on the weather, the weather the previous days (did it rain) and how it affects the course, I just compete against the course.  I don't compete against others, because we are at different ages and golfing levels.  Some days I have to adjust because I can't hit the ball off the tee, others it is my short irons, and most of the time it is my putting...Every time I go out I have an objective to break 90...If I do, great.  if I don't but hit the ball pretty good and saw some consistency, good.  I will only quit when I physically cannot do it any more.  Right now, I am in pretty good health and can still get around 18 holes, so I will just keep plugging along, hoping for that day when it all comes together and I shoot under 90.

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On 10/21/2018 at 9:05 PM, Puttwell said:

Thanks, everyone - I appreciate the input!  I tossed the clubs down the basement stairs and cancelled the three tee times I had for this week. I sincerely feel much better already.  🙂  Thank you!

Did you mean to throw them in the closet and the bag missed to the right? 

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On 10/22/2018 at 6:10 AM, dennyjones said:

I'm impressed.   Of course then I see you don't live anywhere near Michigan. 

but I grew up there (Detroit and Midland) and it is, sometimes, quite an accomplishment to shoot the temperature for nine.  Down here, for most of the year, beating the heat is not too impressive.

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On 10/22/2018 at 6:10 AM, dennyjones said:

I'm impressed.   Of course then I see you don't live anywhere near Michigan. 

If I could shoot the temperature I'd be happy right now

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It´s not about the score. It´s about enjoying it. So i think i will be playing it till i get bored or i can´t swing or walk. Don´t give up on golf! If you do be sure you spend that time in something better for u.  

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On 10/22/2018 at 1:18 AM, downbylaw11 said:

Don't think I can be one of those lifer golfers who are playing when theyre 80 and bunting it up the fairway 150 yards when they really get a hold of a drive. Too much of a reminder that I'm ever closer to death

Hmm. At my last club there was a member aged 81 who was still playing twice a week, walking the course and carrying his own bag - admittedly with a half-set of clubs. In his day he had been the club champion about a dozen times. By the time I played him he couldn't hit a driver past my 7-iron, but he was always in the fairway, could still chip and putt like the devil himself and played to 11. He seemed to be having a pretty good time - better than me, anyway.

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I have had ups and downs in my game.  I have never been a 5 index, but I have been close to a 9 at one time. Other than that one summer in my 20's, I am probably more consistent now at 60 than I have ever been. I have improved this season, lowering my index by 2 shots from where I started.  I can understand your frustration though, having experienced lulls myself. Last summer I had a few weeks where I could not hit the ball well at all. I made a few changes, returned to some basics in my swing, and changed some equipment. As long as health permits, I can't see myself ever quitting.

Did your change in scoring happen suddenly, or over a period of time?  Is your attitude toward the game because you aren't scoring well, or because you just don't like to do it? If you suddenly played better, would you want to play more?

 

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Sorry to hear that you are frustrated and are contemplating quitting. Why are we in this? If it is about continuing to improve to the point we reach scratch golf or make the tour, then most of us will fail and plateau out long before we're there. If we don't keep at it regularly, we'll certainly get worse. Sometimes we get worse the more we do,. A lot of people burn out and quit when they reach a plateau, and refocus their time on other things. I've run into several of these. Those who keep at it achieving less than we might have hoped for adjust our expectations and learn to be comfortable with goals that are achievable for us. For me now it's consistent scores in the 90s. I aim to break 90 occasionally, and  I probably won't get much better. That's fine. I enjoy the rounds, the banter and socializing in the foursomes that I play in, the relaxation I get from hitting my clubs well at the range, even the rounds I play by myself. It helps that I started golf when I was in my fifties and never had grand expectations to begin with.   

I had to quit for a few weeks this season due to temporary injury. The break did me good. I put golf in perspective--did other things and didn't miss it as much as I thought I would--and when I came back, I found it more enjoyable and played a bit better. Golf is an odd thing, very demanding, very complex, and very hard on our egos.

YOu don't have to quit all at once, just take a prolonged break and focus on other things. Come back and test the waters again when the cobwebs clear. Could be you've made up your mind and are done, and want confirmation that its ok to give it up. Then, it's ok. Golf basically is about hitting a ball and rolling it into a hole. We shouldn't let it torture us.

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On 10/23/2018 at 2:27 AM, Puttwell said:

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the advice. Let me clear up one though - I'm only 39 years old.  That seems to make quitting even more valuable to me because I should theoretically get decades of enjoying not golfing. 🙂 

😂

To be honest, do other fun stuff AND golf! 

No need to quit altogether...

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In this respect you are no different from the many proffesional sportsmen and women who often say that they will retire when they stop enjoying what they do.

Same for you and the rest of us. The moment we stop enjoying something and it just becomes a chore to go out and do it then maynbe its time to hang up the clubs. Dont rush into it though, maybe take 6 months or so away from the game. All you may need is an extended break.

I've taken a couple of breaks from the game and after a while i get the itch again and the enjoyment returns.

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As a lot have said on here. Most of us don't play for the winning putt, Sure it makes it more enjoyable when you make par or under. But most of us are just out there to have fun. Plus golf is a game for all ages cause with a change of clubs and moving tee boxes you may end up playing better than you ever have.

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OMG 39!  You are over the hill bud.  Pack it up.  Sell them clubs, buy a plot and start digging!!

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Play until it isn't fun. If you can go out, shoot 120, and still have a good time you should keep playing. If it just frustrates you or upsets you to play golf, you shouldn't do it.

I'm nowhere near as good right now as I was when I was playing my best. If I had to give it an estimate I'd say I probably play somewhere around the 2-5 handicap level compared to the best golf of my life at about a +2.5 or so. I still have fun with it though, because I enjoy the pure strikes and I know that the reason for it is simply having less time to play than I did previously. I also just found out about a fantastic membership deal at one of the best courses in the state nearby to me, so I'll probably take advantage of that next summer and improve a bit.

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