Golfers Hate Change

Of all the sports I have played, I think that golf is one where its players do not adjust to change very well. Whether it is the rules or to their swing, change is not something golfers embrace with open arms. I often wonder why and I think that I found a solution that provides an answer to both dilemmas. I am sure there will be a plethora of other answers, but I for the beginners taking up the game, these answers might be helpful.

First are the rules. Although the new rule book published in three years ago did simplify matters, some of the rules still require a great deal of effort to understand. The rules of golf are not intuitive and many players do not take the time to read them through because it puts them to sleep. The focus on the minutia and the exceptions make golf rules a challenge to absorb. I know it is a challenge, but the slow process of understanding all the rules is a great idea. Personally, I have spent years learning the new rules and any change is a bit frustrating. However, it is part of being a golfer and I accept that it is important and get on with understanding the governing rules.

Having said that about the rules, I would recommend watching some videos. They are a quick way to get the major gist of the rules and refinement can happen over time. The golf rule resources are amazing now and reading a book is not always the most effective way to learn.

The next change that golfers hate more than the rules is a swing change. Many spend so much time honing their swing that having to make changes is frustrating and sometimes impossible (at least in their mind). A golf swing is very complicated with many moving parts, thus changing one thing causes a domino effect that can be frustrating.

This last line leads to the crux of my point. To make changes to any part of our golf swing, we have to have a clear vision on what we are trying to achieve. Then start working towards that end state. Along the way there will be frustrating times, but overall the desire to reach the goal must be greater the challenges along the way. If not, then no proper change can occur.

These flowers were growing in the middle of a dead thicket! Talk about persistence!

It takes persistent effort make any changes to your swing. After 45+ years of tinkering, I can say with certainty that some changes are more challenging than others, but it was worth the effort. At the beginning of each path to change, there was always a point were I wanted to turn back to my old style. Admittedly I did sometimes and regretted it. However as I became more experienced my desire to be a better player overshadowed the other frustration to change; change became easier because I developed a trusted plan and enjoyed the small successful incremental changes.

On a side note, golf is not always about change. If you are happy with your game and can accept the results of your score, then I say carry on. Change for the sake of change is not a good thing and usually never results in the what we expect. If you are happy, then keep doing what your are doing!

Most golfers hate change. Whether it is with the rules or with their swing, change is never easy. I acknowledge that adjustments are easier for some. Regardless of our skill level, if your desire to change is greater than the frustration of making changes, then you are well on your way to being a better player.

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

8 thoughts on “Golfers Hate Change

  1. Like it or not, change is one of the constants in life and in golf. Embracing change will make you a happier person. Adaptability is a positive trait in life and golf.

    One of the challenges I love in golf is adapting my game to the conditions, whether it be wind or playing in cold weather at this time of year. My attitude towards scoring is relative to the conditions I am playing in, the journey is much more important than the destination (score). I also love playing with historical equipment because of the challenges and opportunities for shotmaking that it presents, scoring is secondary to having fun.

    So many golfers are constantly seeking the magic wand that will make them play better, whatever that means. Others avoid difficult courses because they take them because they don’t score well instead of embracing the opportunity to develop their game.

    Personally, I love change. Trying something new in golf brings the potential for both disaster and victory. You will not progress unless you are willing to take a chance on yourself.

    I think I will browse the internet for a new driver that will give me 20 extra yards and let me hit the ball like I did 20 years ago……just kidding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lorne,

      I read your comment and the word challenge kept popping up in my mind. I am not sure they are interchangeable at this point. I, like you, love the challenge of different playing conditions, tough golf courses, and playing with different equipment. The challenge of golf is always fun and what makes me coming back because every round is different.

      I do agree that change is a part of golf and life. Embracing it does improve our outlook and attitude towards the goods and the bads.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

  2. I don’t like change that doesn’t work or changes that makes things worse. I don’t like it when I have a fantastic couple of days putting and come out the next day to find the greens rolled and twice as fast forcing me to adjust again. Unlike those people Brian talked about, I don’t like having to change drivers. Changing is a confidence killer.

    It’s also a required part of golf though. And just like yesterdays article, the solution is to accept it, embrace it or get over it, and move on to the next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      Great point. I did overlook that part of change. Personally, I do not fall into that trap. Experience has shown that dropping a whole bunch of cash without research or fittings is not a great way to spend my hard earned cash.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are very right, change for the sake of change is not good. The average player does not read the rule book prior to picking up a set of clubs, and heading to the course.

    I believe that if the new player gets the passion to play golf he will eventually pick up the rule book. I do not believe that forcing a new player to read the book or watch videos of rules will help right away. I say let them play with veteran golfers and the rules will become part of the outing.

    If the new player has a good time on the course he will eventually start asking questions. The rules of golf read like stereo installation instructions. The first thing we have to do is make the game fun for them. We have to build the passion for golf in them and nurture it from there. If we make the game to confusing they may not want to play again.

    Just my thoughts

    Mike

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike

      Growing the game of golf is about having fun for sure. I agree that brand new players (and many experienced players) never read the rule book. There will come a time, during tournaments for example, where understanding the rules is important to competing. This event may never occur so having a deep understanding of the rules is not required. However, I do believe to all athletes, regardless of their sport, should have a basic understanding of the rules and that should occur with a bit of research. The resources today are so fast and easy to access, I would like to see new players at least grasp some of the major concepts as they develop their golf game.

      There is no right answer here for sure. But you and I do agree that golf is meant to be fun. If it is not fun, then new players will not return regardless of their rule knowledge.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

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