Well, spring is approaching, weather will be getting warmer and it will be time to play some golf soon. I sincerely hope that you have fun playing this wonderful game. If you don't, I have a couple of ideas that might help you.
If it is still misery for you, I suggest you find something else to occupy your time.
If after a not-so-good round by your standards, someone asks you, "Hey how are you doing?" and you answer, "Terrible!" take a little time to analyze why you would feel this way about a game. It is just a game after all, especially if you learn to have fun playing it.
Humor and self-esteem are much more than esoteric notions or good ideas. Humor and esteem are the cores of proficiency.
Humor means different things to different folks. In the environment of golf, it needs to mean a lack of self-importance. It needs to mean play, even when the play is extremely focused.
Esteem is a sense of being OK, even when your golf ball ends up in a place that is not OK. It is a separation from self and from outcomes such that you are fine even if your score is not.
Try to experience stress without anxiety. Stress can promote the growth of intelligence. Anxiety can create withdrawal and retard intelligence. Take a tip from Nike commercials and "Just Do It!"
Change "par" to something that makes sense. This little three-letter word has caused so much exasperation for many a golfer. Par doesn't mean "average." It doesn't mean "mediocre." It doesn't mean standard, normal or reasonable. Par is extraordinary! It's stupendous! Colossal!
For the record, in golf, par, is defined as the score an expert golfer could be reasonably expected to make on a hole. The whole concept of par is based on the length of a hole. It is figured on two putts per green. So if playing a par four, an expert can reach the green in two shots, a par 3 in one and so on. So if you are playing a par 4 hole that is 450 yards in length and you can drive only 190 yards, how can you expect to make par?
Find your own par and make it anything you would like it to be. If you want to measure yourself against others, you might try using height.
On the course, if you wish to judge at all, do so by the amount of fun you are having, not by a number.
A player after missing a short putt holes the next putt with the handle of his putter. Ruling?
Answer to last teaser:
A ball rolled next to a rake in a bunker. After marking his ball, he cannot keep it from rolling closer the hole. Ruling: He must drop the ball out of the bunker with a one-stroke penalty.
John Lucas is the professional at SkyRidge Golf Course and can be reached at email@example.com.