Golf is a game that requires all players, regardless of skill level, to make hundreds of decisions over the course of one round. In some cases, the challenge of trying to decide on specifics causes paralysis. The indecision faced by many players is nothing new and even players with a low handicap, like myself, will see themselves in a position of not knowing how to play a shot. It is the nature of golf and something that should be embraced in order to feel successful. Accepting that control on the golf course is sometimes an illusion will help strengthen our mental capacity during any given round.
Many golfers think that decision making refers to course management or course strategies. The quick answer to their view is yes you are right…..partially. We as golfers make so many different decisions not relating to specific shot strategy that affect our game at the fundamental level. Let me give you some examples.
How high do you tee your golf ball? Depending on your swing and club being used, you could have the tee flush with the ground or as high as four inches. Regardless, you have to make a decision on how to tee the ball for each shot. Some of you will will suggest that this decision is automatic and yes that is possibly true. Even automatic actions or decisions are decisions in themselves.
You will decide on how many layers to wear when playing fall golf. Personally, I cannot wear anymore than three and still be effective. I have played with more, but my swing feels restricted and clumsy. My decision to wear a specific amount of clothing will determine my comfort when playing and that is fundamentally important to shooting good scores. On a side note, the picture of the fall colours was something I thought worth sharing. Mother Natures beautiful canvas is in full bloom right now and I am grateful to experience her beauty.
We decide whether to walk or ride; what to eat; what to drink; when to play; and so on. You can see that golf is all about making decisions before, during and after each round of golf. As you read this, you might be asking the most important question, “so what? What does this mean?” These are great questions!
Narrowing my focus now to the ‘so what’ aspect of my article, it is important that all golfers stay mindful or in the moment when making even benign decisions. Each choice has an impact on our golf game. Choose poorly and your game suffers; hence consciously making any decision is important to lower golf scores. Yes, being mindful for 6 hours is challenging to all players, but it is what is required to play consistent, effective, low scoring golf. I have played rounds where I felt I was going through the motions and my inattentiveness cost me stroke after stroke because I made the wrong decisions before, during, and after shots. Being mindful and focused is critical to my game and I suggest it might be to yours.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!