Is it time to back off?

In my last post I talked about how playing more golf is a good thing. It’s especially ideal if you’re the kind of golfer who spends a lot of time on the practice fairway – getting bogged down on swing mechanics and thought.

The article was well received, but I did get  a recurring question,

Cameron, but I already play 4 or 5 times a week. I can’t play anymore! My game is stale and I need some help. What should I do?

Righto. It’s a good question because obviously playing more golf isn’t the answer to everything. Here are some ideas to help those who are lucky enough to play all the golf they want.

If you’re playing a lot of golf and you’re not happy, then maybe it’s time to back off a little. This could mean you play fewer rounds (it might make the wife happy) but I’m also talking about something a little deeper.

It could be you’re trying too hard (a common issue) and just maybe you’ll get a spark of inspiration if you relaxed a little. I know golf is important to you but it really isn’t life and death (it took me years to realise this). I can remember all the times when I’d get worked up before each round – I’d get sweaty and nervous and I’d worry about all the bad things that COULD go wrong.

But it’s wasted effort. This type of bullshit doesn’t help. I know you know all this but it’s worth reminding you. It’s all too easy to get caught up in our own importance. It’s easy to forget that it’s just a stupid game.


If you stop beating yourself up. If you stop thinking about all the bad things you might do. If you stop worrying about what Dave, Mary, Johnno and Fred will think (they don’t care anyway) you’ll play better. If nothing else you’ll play your regular game but with far less stress and tension. And this has got to be better, surely?

And because you play a lot you’ve got a wonderful opportunity to explore and try some new things.

You could leave the driver in the car (almost no male will want to do this)
You could alter your strategy to play more conservatively (this rarely fails)
You could make a commitment to swing like it’s going to be your last game (this also works a treat)
You could chose to play with someone different (go ask the best player in your club)
You could go and play from the back tees (or the lady tees)
You could go and play the public course you haven’t been to in years (or go play the hardest course in your area)
You could just play how you want (forget all the rubbish and just swing the club and hit the shots you want)

The above is far from a definitive list. Make your own list of things that tickle your interest. But I reckon you’ve got to do something different.

If you’re a regular golfer who is a little stale then chances are you’re going through the motions a little. So make a change. Push yourself. Challenge yourself. Go do something different that doesn’t revolve around score, handicap or result.

Go play. And have the best time you can!

And one more thing. Count yourself as lucky. Very lucky. Because there are millions of golfers who can’t play more than once a month. They’re stuck at work or have other commitments that keep them from the course. So don’t waste the opportunity. Go for it. You may need to back off a little, but go give it everything you’ve got.

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  • Adam

    Reply Reply June 7, 2015

    You know, ive always taken this game really seriously. As if it were my job to get really good. But now im free because i realize my life doesnt last forever. I need to play and just enjoy the flipping thing. Smack it hard. Use 3 clubs. Curve it. Shoot the lowest score. My life is only so long, ive wasted these 3 years worrying about stupid things. Like more length. Better ball striking. Making more putts. Dammit! I should have just played!

    You know, i think on it now and realize i was up and down all the time. I never could find a way to know what i wanted. I wanted more distance, more this, less that. I complained over and over again, not seeing that not only was i getting on everyones nerves, but it wasnt helping anything. It only made it worse.

    If i could turn back time, id just go out and enjoy the process. Look at kids. Some kids putt better than professionals. Most of them have made a hole in one in their lifetime. Look at them. They just PLAY. Its not uncommon for them to look and go. They dont care about score. Theyre not trying too hard and worried about 50 rules to remember…they look and go. I think first off, if people just went out and played, there would be much faster play. Second, thered be more competition. If everyone played, theyd get better. So i would have a challenge more often. More challenge makes for more interesting. Third, everyone would enjoy themselves.

    I will email you cameron with my updates.

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