Long before electronic measuring devices were introduced, may golfers, including myself, would pace the course for distances. Courses would meticulously measure ranges from sprinkler heads or as a minimum from the 200, 150, and 100 yard markers. They are used by experience players to estimate distance and I have to say that I was pretty accurate. This method of playing would be now be considered ‘Old School’.
Recently, I introduced a small poll and 67% of the respondents use electronic means to measure distances on the course. This number is not surprising and I have to say that I am included in that number.
This is a sign of the times and most players feel that distance accuracy is important for club selection, type of shot being played and distance control. I cannot argue with these points and that is why I use my Garmin Approach 6. However, (there always seems to be a however), I am not sure that using my device has helped my game as much as I think.
When I played golf ‘Old School’, I was focused on my game. Because I had to pace of distances, I was constantly thinking about club selection, where to hit the ball, where to leave my ball for the next shot. I understand that I should be doing that now and I do, yet I am not as focused on my game as before.
Reliance on an electronic measuring device has empowered my brain to relax and wander in between shots. I no longer have to find the proper maker, pace off the distance, do the math, estimate yardage for the pin location, or estimate the distance over hazards. It all magically happens with my GPS. Of course knowing the distances is a benefit because it reduces yardage errors, but my mental side of the my game seems to be weaker because of it.
Now, I am not advocating eliminating my GPS. That would be folly. I am suggesting that I need to find a way to replace or improve my mental focus to play golf the ‘Old School’ way, but with new technology. There is something to be said for playing golf in a traditional manner as it has benefits, at least for my game. I am not sure how I am going to crack this nut, but I will be giving it some thought over the winter.
Do you miss playing ‘Old School’ golf?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!