I Can’t Get No Satisfaction
The 2022 golf season has started for most of the country. As exciting as this is, it can also be a tough time. You may have worked hard on your game during the off-season, but you’re not seeing results right away. Perhaps you hung up the clubs for several months, and now you’re fighting with rust. Whatever the cause of your troubles, I’m going to give you two mental tools to get yourself into a better frame of mind on the course.
This Lesson Is For You If:
You’re unsatisfied with your game
You’re jealous of other players skills
Tool #1 – The Five Year Lens
Regular readers know that I’m a novice guitar player and a Type A personality. This combination often leads me to be unhappy with the songs I can’t play and the theory I don’t know. The tool of The Five Year Lens has helped me to enjoy my playing more, and it can work the same magic for your golf game.
To use this tool, I ask myself, “If Matt from five years ago saw Matt now, what would he think?” The answer is always that he would be thrilled. In the guitar context, I know so much more than I did five years ago, and I can play so many more songs. On the golf side, I’ve put tons of work into my body and my swing. I can swing faster, I’m rarely in pain, and I understand my swing and my game better than I ever have.
Your Eeyore impulses may try to keep this balloon from lifting off. “I still shoot 95, I still miss putts, blah blah blah.” Giant score changes are rare, it’s true, and progress is often very slow. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be proud of the small accomplishments and the work we’ve put in. And if you have improved a ton, you should be extra proud!
You can also change the frame entirely. Have you played at some great courses in the last five years? Have you enjoyed some trips? Had some memorable moments? If you look back at the last five years of your golf life and can’t find things to enjoy and be proud of, it’s probably time to hang up your clubs.
Tool #2 – Seeing Yourself Through Their Eyes
I would bet that every golfer you play with has something you want. James from your Sunday game always seems to hole clutch putts. That guy you got paired with on vacation hit his iron shots so crisply. The woman next to you on the range is about to wear a hole in the center of her driver face.
Here’s the flip side that most people don’t realize: everyone you play with is also jealous of you. They’re thinking, “That ************ hits every pitch inside the leather” or “I’m so sick of this guy blasting it thirty yards past me.”
It’s easy to think about what our game lacks, but that can’t be all we think about. Focusing on your strengths will not only make you happier, it will give you more confidence to play better overall. Start thinking about your game from someone else’s perspective, and you’ll be a lot happier.
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Most fellow golfers don’t care about your game. Yes we are our own worst critic. I find it “annoying” to hear playing companions whine about perfectly playable shots simply because they didn’t hit it the way they wanted to.
Thanks for this. It’s often a struggle to find perspective. I will give this technique a go.
More importantly, start thinking about your life from someone else’s perspective, and you won’t worry about missing a short putt now and then.
Another article with sage advice. Thanks Matt!
Regarding Tool #1 I’m happy that as I age into my mid-70’s, I walk 100 rounds a year and haven’t gotten materially worse – with clubs that are 20 years old.