Acknowledging Your Successes In Golf

The measure of success on the golf course is something I have struggled with over the years. I have rode the wave of success and failures many times over the course of playing golf. Whether it was a hole in one, breaking par, winning a tournament, or winning a difficult match, I was always elated with my successes. Looking back in retrospect, I realize that these big moments were matched with more disappointing times that seem to have eluded my memory. This is not surprising, but a fact of many athletes psyche who wish to succeed at their chosen sport. And golf is not different. Yet, after pondering on the subject of success, I realize I have overlooked a tremendous number of instances that should be counted as successes in my golf game!

One of my greatest failings when measuring success on the links is focusing on the large events. These times definitely are memorable, yet the multitude of successes that lead to milestones were discarded as minor positive instances. It is interesting how my perspective changed as I became a more consistent and skilled player. It is easy to look back and minimize the proper way to hit a putt for my game, learn to chip with a sand wedge, develop and understand how to hit to distance with my irons, or correct my slice. This list of minor success is endless depending on where you are in your golf journey.

Through introspection, I think I have pared down the possibilities of why I overlooked this minor but important successes in my golf game. I think is all boils down to my expectations. When I was honing my golf skills trying to reach that next level, I expected that I would successfully conquer each skill. There was no doubt that I would fail and as such never really thought that each of these foundational skills was a very big deal. When in reality, they were very big deals and I should have relished just a bit longer in each success.

My failure to recognize the success of building a strong golf game was partly rooted in my lack of understanding of how important these root skills were to my future successes. I expected to be successful and when I actually was (not all of my efforts turned out on the positive side of skill development), I quickly moved on to what I thought should be next to improve my game. Hence, I did not acknowledge the minor successes and I think that is a large oversight during my golf journey.

The minor successes in our golf game are important. As a beginner, developing minor skills or expanding your course management thinking is a huge success. It might not seem like it at the time, but it really is important. Your expectations will play an important role on how you feel about your success, but believe me over the years I have overlooked many accomplishments. As you work through your game, take the time to enjoy your success and be grateful. It is all part of your golf journey and they should be acknowledged because these different successes help build the foundation for a better golf game!

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


6 thoughts on “Acknowledging Your Successes In Golf

  1. I applaud your sucesses. I have been playing the game of golf for a long time. I have been fortunate to measure my game not in strokes, but in friends I’ve made. Where else can you walk up to someone and ask to play with them. I have never been turned down. The course is special place where lifetime friends are made.


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  2. Jim, good thought-provoking post. I tried the mental exercise and the obvious tournament victories and club championships came to mind. But I found that successful pay it forward moments provided even a greater sense of satisfaction. One came to mind back when I was in the business. I gave a series of lessons to a lady who spoke not a word of English. I think she was Japanese. She was a beginner and being to develop her game by thinking of creative ways to get the message of fundamentals across through visualization and manipulation rather than language was incredibly rewarding. In retrospect, I’d say that was my best moment.

    Thanks for the jog down memory lane!


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  3. The one thing I learned over the years that I allowed myself to take the most enjoyment from was also one of the easier ones to accomplish strangely enough. The simple high pitch shot. I learned to do my chipping off the back of my stance and never spent the time learning to control a simple pitch shot. I hit what I knew rather than experiment with other approaches. But I also envied others ability to hit that shot and finally one day broke down and made myself practice it a bit. Hitting the shots weren’t a problem. But I’d had years of practice hitting the old way and just needed time to learn distance control.

    The reason I got the most satisfaction from that one was really because I had identified a lacking, all be it rather late in the game, and corrected it myself in fairly short order. That and I found I became rather better at it than the ones I was trying to emulate thanks to the practice I put in. It was all a very satisfying process and I surely gave myself more than one pat on the back over it.

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