Owning Your Golf Shot

Owning our golf shot is one of the most difficult aspects of playing. We keep score and because of this do not always take ownership of our score. Golfers will forever blame as many outside influences to their poor luck as possible. I have done this in the past, but rarely do I do now; I generally react to a poor result with some frustration, but do not blame anyone but myself. Of course, I do not mind pointing fingers at my playing partners from time to time, but that is for fun than anything else. 🙂

It is important to receive your fate with an air of acceptance. When we continually look for outside influences to blame, it gets in our head and mentally makes us a less effective player. I remember playing in a stroke tournament years ago where this specific situation resulted in the collapse of my opponent.

It started on the ninth green (actually is was simmering before that). This particular green is close to the parking lot and because of this there is always an excessive amount of noise from people coming and going from the course. Just as my opponent was about to hit his putt, someone slammed their car door. This sudden noise resulted in the breaking of his concentration. He backed off and proceeded to miss his three foot. He said some words that cannot be repeated on this blog; he was fuming as he walked to the 10th tee.

On each of the next 4 holes, he complained about a bad bounce, other noises (that were not really there), bugs, the wind, and the other three players in the group. Each time he complained, he became more frustrated and anger. After a couple of bogeys and doubles, he could have spit nails. The real challenge was he did not own any shot and continued to blame every thing/one but himself.

My opponent finished well back from the top of the leaderboard and continue complaining until he left. Mentally, he was trashed by the car door slamming and he multiplied his misfortune by not owning his next shots. As such, he never regained his swing for the entire back nine. It actually was unfortunate because he was in the top 5 when he focused on blaming outside influences and not owning his shots.

So, regardless of what happens on the golf course, it is important for us to own our shots and results. Pointing your finger at all other influences can on compound your frustration.

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

6 thoughts on “Owning Your Golf Shot

  1. Golf is a lot like life, sometimes the bounces go your way, sometimes they don’t. How you deal with the challenges says a lot.

    Interestingly, I have observed that most people (all?) have no problem taking ownership for the lucky bounces that help their score yet blame something or someone else when things do not go their way. “If not for (insert excuse), I would have shot….” is a familiar refrain. Blaming the grounds crew, someone making a noise, or whatever is obviously why my score is inflated ( tongue firmly in cheek).

    Golf is a journey made up of good shots and bad shots, good bounces and bad bounces, lucky breaks and bad breaks, all of which you need to take ownership of. The score for the day is a reflection of the day’s journey so we might as well accept it.

    When I get frustrated, I have to remind myself that I am playing the game to have fun. Acceptance or ownership of the good and bad is going to allow me to enjoy the whole experience.

    Basically, all of us golfers are legends in our own mind and I think we should have a good laugh at our own expense. I find having a short memory (after a bad shot or break) is helpful in continuing the golf journey in a healthy fashion.

    Taking ownership of the good, the bad, and the ugly is what adds up to the score of the day. After all, tomorrow will be better, right?

    To quote Jim, I am a grateful golfer. When I play today, I am going to shoot 70 today, what hasn’t been determined is which hole I will be on when I score it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim, it’s a tricky balancing act. You have to own your shots and mistakes, but you have to be your own best friend and not beat yourself up too much else you’ll lose confidence. Now whether you deserve all that self confidence is another matter 🙂

    Thanks,

    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      I guess everything in golf is a balance to some degree. Unfortunately, I have played golf with players who own nothing poor; they always blamed things on something other than themselves. The only thing I can control on the golf course is me, so I choose to own shots and stay as positive as possible. This approach works for me and my game.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s right. You hit it, you own it. But I swear, my arm was really hurting after my covid shot the other day. 😂

    Our courses were closed today for some unknown reason so I spent my time on the little range working on my short game. A video I saw early this morning made me want to get out there and give it a try. The pro was advocating for learning 4 swing “weights”. Swing “lengths”. Not sure how you might describe it but you’ll get the idea easy enough. There were:

    1. Club head knee to knee
    2. Club head hip to hip
    3. Club head shoulder to shoulder (about my 50% swing)
    4. Bottom of grip shoulder to shoulder (about my 80% swing)

    I’ll need to find a better place to try it than our little range. I can only do all 4 here with the lob wedge and maybe the sand wedge if the wind is in my face which it wasn’t today. But I emptied my bag of balls three times today anyway practicing it and noting the number of paces to the center of where they landed so I can best make use of the practice.

    Liked by 1 person

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