Part 3 – Reflections on my ‘journey to better’

Enclosed is the third and final part of my reflections post on golf lessons.  Thanks for reading and I hope your game is progressing well this season.

It’s still early in the season. My friend and I have several lessons in our ‘package’ remaining from which we purchased. So how am I feeling today? Encouraged. I have a sense of my strengths and areas which I need to focus on. A plan? Sure, let’s call it a plan. I know that I can practice with purpose and on aspects of my game which require attention. I already have more of an ability to self-diagnose issues in my swing.

Are lessons for everyone? Like Sean Casey recently told me, they are certainly well suited for people truly committed to improve. In almost five months working with my new instructor I feel I have acquired confidence, tools to help improve, a professional perspective on my game and an opportunity to learn smart. I worked for almost 15 years in adult education so lifelong learning has been a tenet of my life. OK, that just sounds dramatic; fact is I love my golf lessons. I love the chance to learn, to improve and create a high ceiling for myself around a game I am very passionate about and really enjoy.

Which leads to ‘a-ha’ moment number 3 – golf is fun, so don’t take yourself so seriously. I turn 48 this summer and believe that with continued work on my game I can drop the handicap below 8. I don’t have a number which I am striving for as a handicap. I do know I’d like to work hard to break par for a round. That and ensure that the valleys in my game do not cause me to break out in the sweats anymore. But as my reflective ‘a-ha’ moments have taught me – give it time, relax and have fun and continue to communicate around the aspects of my game which provide opportunity for improvement. I’m still learning.

A-Ha Moment Three – Golf is Fun
I’m an avid player and I want to play my best. But poor play will not affect my tour earnings or my world golf ranking. I am committed to get better and play my best but I try to smile more on the course and I am able to let the odd double or triple bogey go and take things one shot at a time. Perhaps it has taken me 47 years to learn to truly play golf one shot at a time. It’s not as easy as it sounds but is very liberating when successful.

But of course, there is a balance between practice, confidence and performance. I like the line which Gary Player cites, “the harder you work, the luckier you get”. I believe that. But I am struck by the words of LPGA Champion golfer Paula Creamer, who says, “Find a good teacher that will keep the game fun. Work hard and don’t be afraid to have success or disappointment. That is what golf is all about.” I want to play to play great…not just ok.