When golf gets too hard

Golf can be a difficult sport. No matter how hard you work at it and how much you want to play well, some days the ball doesn’t go where you want it to.

And this is frustrating. And if you don’t have a strategy your mindset and attitude can take a pounding. I should know, I recently experienced one of the absolute low points in my career. Here’s the story.

Playing in a semi-important club event I let my frustration get the better of me. After a few too many poor shots, bad bounces and bad scores I threw my putter off the green. I was annoyed (only at myself) and yes it was a stupid thing to do. I didn’t break the club and no real damage was done. I probably looked like a goose and I’ll have to learn to live with that.

Making matters worse some players on another hole saw my antics. The entire event probably looked pretty bad and my club throwing event was reported to the powers that be.

Long story short: I have been told not to do it again.

The event has made me take stock of why I play golf. It should be for fun, enjoyment, the challenge and a little exercise and in this instance I let myself down.

So what’s the solution to getting your game back on track?

In my case I took some time off late last week and traveled down to the Mornington Peninsula to play some golf with good friends. Although we are all competitive, I decided to play for fun and not worry about the score or how I played.

This is not always easy to do. But you need to have faith that by swinging freely and letting go that your system will take care of the golf part. This is how I’ve always played my best golf and it rarely fails to deliver. The tricky part is having the discipline to do it time after time.

It also helped that I was playing on unfamiliar courses in tough conditions. The challenge was what I needed to refocus my commitment to automatic golf and forget about results or score I shot. I would be lying if I said I played the best golf of my life, but I did play well and I really did enjoy myself.

Golf is a difficult sport and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can get stressed, panic and play safe. Or you can step up to the ball and make the best swing that you can make without a care in the world. The choice is yours.

Sometimes a bad round, situation or poor shot is the “kick in the bum” that you need to get you back on track. A slight refocus is all that is needed and normality can be restored quickly. This is my way of turning a negative into a positive.

A special thanks to Craig Funch at The National Golf Club for looking after us and making the day such a good one.

Moonah Course

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5 Comments

  • Steady

    Reply Reply August 22, 2009

    Hi Cam,
    can relate to you about losing that loving feeling. The one good thing to come out of it that it shows you care deeply care about what you do. I to have sworn at myself and slammed the occosional club into the ground. Now it happens rarely due to the fact that ican only control my reaction to any dissappointment/bad shot/crappy bounce.
    At least you got back on track and realise/understand why you play.
    Cheers Steady
    PS will call on Monday about some exciting news.
    PPS.No I can’t have any more kids.

  • Artful Golfer

    Reply Reply August 23, 2009

    I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately and have been getting very frustrated… tossed (not thrown) clubs ;), slammed driver after OBs… argh! The worst was a couple weeks ago when I drove a par 4 green and was left with a 12 foot eagle putt. My first putt went 4 feet by, the next 2 feet past, then in frustration, I missed that one and bogied! 4 putts!! The friend that was with me never saw me get so mad. Thanks for reminding me why I play!! Keep it Fun Stupid!

  • Cameron Strachan

    Reply Reply August 23, 2009

    Steady & Artful,

    Thanks for posting! Steady, thanks for leaving a message, I’ll speak to you on Monday.

    Artful Golfer, four putts! Ouch!!! Bad stuff happens sometimes and there’s not much we can do about it other than to suck it up and keep plugging away.

    Good golfing,

    Cameron

  • Prydie

    Reply Reply August 24, 2009

    Cam,
    Clearly your timing was particularly poor that day – next time make sure only people who are less than perfect see you, rather than ‘perfect, unemotional’ dobbers!
    BTW, no-one other than friends saw me do it 2 weeks ago, and with gusto.
    Of course, as you teach, I was practising how hitting the golf ball was just like throwing a club down the fairway – but Cam, using a putter to demonstrate is possibly unusual.
    Cheers,
    Prydie
    PS. Should I turn my left hip like Hogan at the start of the throw or just use mainly arms (still confused).

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply August 26, 2009

    Hi Prydie,

    Lesson learned thanks.

    The big thing is make sure the club doesn’t get stuck in your hands and ends up going over your head or up a tree!

    Keep working at it!

    Cameron

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