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Golf has a reputation as a game enjoyed by the people of certain status. Sure, times change and these days you will see a wider array of people from different backgrounds but still it remains as one of the more upper class sports out there. And as we all know the bourgeoisie are very aware of themselves and the others.
The first step into development is learning to lose control. Follow the same routine as you always do – take part in classes, keep grinding the putts, exercise, spend time at the range and do your preparations like before but stop thinking too much. Don’t try to follow certain guidelines when you play and stop focusing on the mistakes you or anyone else does. When you are playing, just play.
Stop thinking about the result
Results come and go. If you are practicing correct things the trend is likely to be positive. The most toxic frame of mind you can have is to get obsessed about improving your results. When your game improves the results will follow naturally. You can enjoy a game even if the result is not as good as you would like.
Let others play
An integral part of the etiquette is not to disturb others. Noticed a flaw in someones game? If they specifically haven’t asked for tips, don’t comment. If you are in good terms with the person you might give advice after the course but never while they are playing, you will only do harm if you do. Every tip you give while someone is playing will disturb their game. See someone playing nervously? Don’t make a scene out of it. You can loosen up the tension while you are walking by telling a good story or a joke but don’t make it too obvious.
Stop making excuses
Had a rough week at the office? Good, now’s the time you can finally relax. Don’t bring your daily life with you on the course. Yes, the things outside of golf can have a huge impact on your performance but nobody wants to hear excuses. Everybody has rough times. Also: don’t blame your clubs. It will make you sound like a bad sport.
Yes, there will be bad moments at every course. They are part of the sport or any sport for that matter. Don’t let yourself get frustrated and even if you do don’t let it out on others. Having a toxic attitude will affect your game and the others. Nobody wants to spend hours with a buzzkill that is constantly bringing the mood down.
Keep your head in the game
Golf is a social sport and a perfect time for socialising but when you are playing, play. People have different routines for mental preparation – somebody likes to hit a few balls with the driver at the range, somebody holes a few putts at the green and somebody chats at the club house. There is no right or wrong here, just do something you usually do to get your mind in the game.
Learn fast routines
Hitting the golf ball should take around 18-25 seconds, routines included. No black magic, no talking to the ball, no dancing around, just a few deep breaths and you are good to go. Maybe you have some sort of subconscious things that you do like touching a certain pocket or adjusting your cap slightly – these are fine. But try not to develop routines that take much time. After you’ve walked to the spot you should spend a maximum of seven seconds there before hitting the ball. After that you get overfocused and start to hesitate and question your moves.
Learn to know your strengths and weaknesses. Play freely and without pressure – this should come naturally when you switch your focus from the results to improving. When you are hitting the ball, have a steady stance, a proper grip and concentrate on the rhythm of your swing. If you want to improve your technique go from short distance to long: putts and chips are easier to improve fast.
Learn to embrace success
Feel good when you do well. Don’t get upset about bad things but work on them analytically and coolly.
Remember that it’s only a game
Golfing should never be about performance. It’s a game people play because they want to have a good time. Remember to have fun while you are at it.
Get proper gear
By this we don’t mean necessarily the best of the best. Just something that you are comfortable with and feel you can rely on whenever you are playing. When you are satisfied on your clubs you minimize the urge to come up with excuses. You might even want to consider purchasing some golf accessories to remove all the uncertainties in your game.