From the very start of this blog back in 2009, we here at GolfStinks were on a mission: To teach golf hacks that you don’t have to be good at golf to love it. This has been our mantra for the past five years and hopefully many more years to come.
But convincing golfers that it’s OK to stink isn’t easy. After all, we’ve been taught from a very young age to be good at whatever we do – and if we’re not good, we should keep at it until we are. So the notion of accepting that you are less-than-stellar at something is a difficult pill to swallow.
Some people just flat-out won’t accept it. One of my golfing buddies is like this – for more than 20 years he has been trying to be a “good” golfer and he is truly frustrated that he hasn’t been able to achieve this goal. Every time we play, he really takes his poor shots personally – yelling at himself, throwing his clubs, etc. But he keeps coming back for more – perhaps he would start to enjoy himself if he just played for fun. Or perhaps he’s just a glutton for punishment. In any event, it’s not like he’s trying to help himself – he rarely takes lessons or spends time on the range.
The mainstream golf media needs to accept much of the blame for this train of thought. They inundate us with a never-ending stream of tips and tricks: From magazine articles with pictures and drawings to swing demonstrations on TV, they’ve got us convinced that a quick fix in our backswing or using some zany gadget will help us to be the next member of the pro tour…what nonsense. Even shaving just a few strokes off your game takes plenty of time, practice and money.
Meanwhile, frustrated golfers (especially beginners) are quitting before unlocking the true joys of golf. We shouldn’t quit this game because we stink. We shouldn’t focus on the bad (the duck-hook into the pond or one we sliced OB). Instead, we should embrace that rare birdie (or even par); that 20-foot putt that drops in; that chip next to the pin; that one drive that finds the middle of the fairway. There are many joys in golf: camaraderie, getting out in nature, and of course, playing a challenging game where being just one stroke better than your previous round will put a smile on your face.
I truly believe it’s about acceptance. First, accept that you will never make the pro tour. Next, accept that unless you have the raw talent and the time to practice constantly and money to pay for proper training, you’ll probably never get too much better than you are currently. If you can accept these things, then you will finally be able to enjoy (and I mean really enjoy) golf.
So while everyone else (the golf media, equipment companies; your playing partners) is telling you to focus on being a “good” golfer, we here at GolfStinks will continue to focus on having fun. I mean, why else are you out on the course? After all; Golf is a game, you should have fun playing it.