Is Forced Learning Really Learning in Golf?

This may seem like a strange question, however it is something I have thought about over the past few years. Immediately, many of us and put the brakes on when the hint of change is in the air. Stepping out of our comfort zone is not something that we embrace, yet to be a better golfer we have to make this journey often. Sometimes we must force ourselves to learn new skills if we ever want to achieve the new levels of play on the links.

This sums up forced learning in golf.

So let me explain; years ago I had come to a point in my game where I was forced to learn how to properly manage a round of golf or remain as low to mid 80s golfer. I could hit the ball well enough to shoot lower scores, but I seemed to always put myself in trouble at least twice a round from poor decisions. It was a quandary and I felt uncomfortable making this type of drastic change.

Fortunately I had help from my mentor Bob Fortune (I have talked about him before), yet the changes were not going to be easy and were counter intuitive to how I approached the game. However, if I wanted to improve, I would be forced to learn a new skill and push the boundaries of my golf game. Let me tell you that my ego took a beating some days, but eventually I was able to improve with the guidance of my mentor.

I consider this forced learning because I did not want to change at first. My game was good enough or so I thought. Because of my success, I started to embrace learning and have not stopped. It is going on 27 years now and I cannot help to wonder where my game would be if I had not dragged my feet for the years I had access to Bobby. Well, I will never know.

To answer my own question, is forced learning really learning. The short answer is that of course it is, however the results of these lessons are somewhat diminished. If I had embraced learning about course management instead of being skeptical, I bet I would be a stronger golfer today.

Do you embrace learning to improve your golf game?

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

2 thoughts on “Is Forced Learning Really Learning in Golf?

  1. Jim, when I finally understood what it means to “love learning” it was one of the greatest gifts I ever received. That was about seven years ago and admittedly, was a little late in my life. But better late than never!

    I have found in my golf game, the learning of mental game approaches is more easily adapted than physical changes. The best thing you can do is try very hard and identify what you are really trying to solve for, and not go off trying new stuff just for the sake of it. Focus your learning on what counts and never stop learning.

    Great post. Thanks!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      Exactly. You I could not find that “love of learning” phrase when writing my diatribe today. Thanks for bringing it up. Your point really hammers home my view on the importance of learning in golf. It is a long slow journey with many chapters.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

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