2020 – what a golfing year or not?! What is golf all about?
As we look back at 2020, we view challenges and for once not just our performances. Golf courses were underwater at the start of the year; then we had lockdown one. The golf courses reopened but clubs toiled with new regulations on how to keep everyone safe and Covid free. Only for us to find ourselves in shutdown and the golf banned again.
Has golf been banned before?
Yes, in 1491 in Scotland by James IV. Because the men were spending too much time playing (and football) instead of practising their archery.
The other interesting fact about golf is that the rules of play have not changed.
Golf – get the ball from A to B. The lower the number of hits, the better or more skilful you are. When you think about it, golf is as straight forward as that?
According to Rory McIlroy – See ball, hit ball, see putt, hole putt, go to the next. DJ makes the game look so simple.
I believe we have forgotten this, as we get bogged down with science and analysis.
In this lockdown, could we use the time available to good effect and start developing the one shot at a time scenario and embracing the technology that we have at our fingertips.
But why do we make the game challenging?
I believe it is because there are not many sports as intense as golf. By this, I mean that most sports ‘allow for mistakes’, you can miss a penalty in football, and all is forgotten if you score a goal five minutes later, for example. The same goes for tennis, long jump, basketball, cricket and so on. With golf though, every shot counts – you hit, find the ball and hit again from where ever it finishes. Every shot has a consequence!
To put that thought another way. It is tricky to stay in the present moment whilst standing over a golf shot when the mind jumps to the past and asks ‘Why did I slice the ball, resulting in me having to play this recovery shot?’ Then the mind starts thinking about the next tee shot, to make sure it doesn’t result in a slice that one as well. Does this sound familiar?’ How are you going to make a good stroke, right now, with those thoughts buzzing around in your mind? Also, what is your golf swing going to look like by the end of the round? All those thoughts and compensations flying round? It is carnage.
Be sure to look out for my next article in which I discuss how you can use this lockdown period to improve your golf, without hitting too many shots; full swings anyway.