Playing Golf at the Next Level

Every golf I know wants to play better! I am not sure if it is golf thing or I have plenty of competitive friends. Personally, I always want to play better. Except for a few fun rounds, I want to shoot by best golf of the year. Of course this does not happen often, but every once in awhile it happens. Regardless, I always have the desire to play golf at the next level! And as many of you know, I actively take steps to improve; it is the way I roll!

To play golf at the next level is an evolution of ones game. I often wonder if this change is quantifiable. The score is the most obvious benchmark, however this stat by itself can be misleading. So I often question the old adage and wonder what exactly does playing at the next level look like?

The transition from a double digit handicap to a single digit is an obvious milestone. Your scores are consistently in the 70s and every round there is an expectation that it will stay there. You have achieved tangible success that is measurable. As such, you have created a new benchmark of play. That to a certain degree is playing golf at the next level.

What about the players, such as myself, who play to a 5 handicap. For the past 10 years, I have seesawed up and down around that number. My scores are not indicative of the next level, however I feel that my play over the past 3 years demonstrates that I am at a precipice moving forward. This tipping point could be disastrous or full of triumph. I feel that 2020 will be a year that defines where my game will go over the next 5 to 10 years.

Why do I feel this, well it comes down to pure time. Yup, it is as simple as that. Time is still my friend, but as the hourglass continues to run, I feel that other factors that time causes might contribute to my future journey.

The first is physical abilities. I have a strong foundation in that area, however as I quickly approach 60, it is becoming more challenging to maintain a level of fitness to play golf at the next level. Yes, I train and mentally I am strong, but my ordeal in 2018 taught me that at any moment my physical abilities could diminish regardless of what I do to prevent it. Fortunately, at this time, I am all good and feel as strong as ever.

It also erodes our desire to achieve goals. Experience tells us that to attain any achievement I need to dedicate time to the process. With the constant beating down of my dreams by not reaching the next level, time starts to weigh on our expectations. Is it time to give up on my dream of being a scratch golfer? I guess only time will tell (sorry just had to through that pun in!)

Finally, during this off-season, I have the time and facility to practice my golf. I will be setting up a hitting net very soon (yes Brian I will send pictures 🙂 ) and actually work on my swing. This will be a first for sure. I have worked on my game mentally in the past, but physically it has always been tough.

I have played in simulator golf leagues in the past, but it did nothing for my physical game. Mentally, it was great and recommend it as a great way to keep your fingers in the pie.

So, I have laid the gauntlet down at my feet to play golf at the next level. If I can drop my handicap to a solid 4 or 3 by the end of the 2020 golf season, I will consider my game at the next level. It will be a challenge, but one I am looking forward to the challenge.

Do you think your game will go to the next level in 2020?

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


8 thoughts on “Playing Golf at the Next Level

  1. Jim, given what you’ve been through, just playing at your current level is amazing. It’s a testament to your dedication and love of the game. And it’s more amazing that you can play like you do with your protracted off-season.

    As for myself, my handicap went up one stroke this year, but I KNOW I am a better player. It’s a result of breaking down each facet of my game and doing a rebuild. Short game and putting are ahead, full swing is lagging. If I can make the same progress on full swing next season, I may hit the next level.

    You know better than anyone that getting to the next level from a single digit handicap is very challenging. For me, I think it requires a combination of more frequent play, continued work with my instructor, and continuing to play on harder courses. That last one can be tricky. A 77 on a real tough track may be a better round than 72 on your home course from a set of tees you are familiar with. So the numbers don’t always tell the story.

    Eagerly awaiting my photos! LOL!




  2. I have every intention of dropping another couple of strokes off me handicap as well and I’d like to do it while playing some tougher courses while I’m at it.

    Liked by 1 person

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