Hope for the Next Shot in Golf

Hope is defined as “to cherish a desire with anticipation”.  Everyday we express our desire for a specific outcome and hope that it occurs. It is a natural emotion and is a powerful motivator for most golfers!

Every shot has many components and hope is a very large component of some player’s success. I would be lying if I did not use hope as a tool on the course, however I would say less now than 20 years ago. Want to know why?

Good shot or poor shot, Every shot is an opportunityto learn to be a better golfer.Twenty years ago or more, hope was a large part of my golf game. I could always hit the ball well, but I experienced many challenges with scoring low. I would hit a ball down the middle of the fairway, then sometimes work myself up into a lather worrying about the next shot. By the time I was standing over the ball, hope for a great outcome was all I had left.

It was frustrating to think that all my practice and efforts were ‘for not’ because my fall back position for success was rooted in hope. Looking back, I am not sure if there was a defining moment that created the paradigm shift in my game, however a shift did occur. It was a gradual change, like the melting of a glacier, and I never really noticed until something dramatic happened!

Once my epiphany occurred, the broken pieces of my game floated away and what was left was altered forever. I saw a new path to playing better and my reliance on hope for a positive outcome in that area of my game diminished. The feeling of hope was replaced with confidence and higher expectations from my golf game.

The above explanation of hope is not the only definition. It is also defined as “to expect with confidence”. This second definition is very important as it explained my transition from relying on hope for success, to relying on my skills to pull me through challenges on the course. As my game improved over the years, my confidence grew and hope on the course lessened.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still sometimes I revert back to hope when making a shot. Generally, that is when it is extremely difficult and the chances of success are very low. I need to make this shot, so I call on my old friend, hope, to lean things in my favor. I think everyone does this from time to time.

Now, hope shows its shining face before my round. It helps to set my mental state to expect positive results through confidence. I do not rely on hope to score well, but I enjoy having it my corner on those days when negative thoughts try to creep into my mind. Hope is my guardian angel some days and I am glad it is in my corner.

Do you rely on hope when playing golf?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

4 thoughts on “Hope for the Next Shot in Golf

  1. Jim, I am almost always hopeful of a good outcome when I’m on my way to the golf course. Then I arrive and reality sets in as I transition into my pre-game routine. Various thoughts of preparation replace hope. Like you indicated, confidence is the key to success. Yes, hope is an old friend, but a fragile one.



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