Things Only Seasoned Golfers Will Understand
Game respects game when it comes to golf.
The longer I play this stupid yet awesome game, the more I respect quality play. This is a game that is so hard, Tiger Woods once had the chipping yips. A guy who many think of as having some of the best hands in golf.
No matter how good you’re playing, the Golf Gods can change your destiny at any given moment.
That’s just how hard it is to play the game consistently well. Knowing that golf is so challenging, there are some things that happen on the course that seasoned players tend to understand and appreciate.
Here are our top ones…
Fast Pace of Play
Slow golf is killing our great game. There is nothing worse than seeing players take five or more hours to play 18 holes. There is just no reason for it!
My family motto has always been, “Play bad, play bad fast.” Whether you shoot a 70 or 90, you should play in the same amount of time. Lingering over your golf ball every shot isn’t the key to playing better golf.
As a seasoned golfer, nothing drives me crazier than seeing others not play ready golf. Be prepared to hit your shot and have a quick pre-shot routine. If I can shoot under par pretty consistently and play in under four hours, you can play fast too.
Quality Ball Striking
It’s really, really hard to hit the golf ball flush consistently. Most golfers only make it happen a few times per round. Even the best players in the world don’t hit it flush every single time… not even close.
So when someone is doing it effortlessly on the course or consistently on the range, props to them. There’s nothing like watching a ball striking clinic. There is a magical sound that comes off the club face when someone hits it pure.
Go to a PGA Tour event and just hang out on the driving range to listen to the sound of greatness. When you see someone finding the center of the face, make sure to acknowledge their hard work.
The College Golf Question
One of the best compliments you can get from someone on the golf course isn’t a compliment, it’s a question. “Where did you play college golf?”
The person is basically saying, “You’re fantastic and clearly played at a high level” without saying it. If you did play college golf, that can lead to all sorts of tangents and stories of the glory days. If you didn’t play college golf, you can still explain how you got to this level and inspire others in the process.
If you’re a good player, you know that no matter how good you get, you still hit bad shots. In fact, most shots are good (at best) and only a handful are great. Sometimes, your swing just isn’t there and you’re forced to get creative with your short game.
But there is nothing more satisfying than hitting it all over the golf course and still shooting in the 70s (and beating your buddies). I love when I’m missing it left and right off the tee, hitting punch shots, and just grinding my life away. But manage to find a way to chip it close and/or make putts all day long.
It’s exhausting for your competitors to watch. They’re out there hitting great drives, flushing iron, and making the same scores as you. But great scrambling saves a bad day and can even turn it into a great one.
I remember in high school I once hit two greens in regulation and shot 74. Clearly, I didn’t put on a ball striking clinic, but I channeled the magic of Tiger around the greens and scored like a champ.
Even when I’m not playing well and with someone else putting on this show, it’s fun to watch. Never forget the importance of a great short game.
Playing Well With Wind
A windy day on the links makes a hard sport 10X harder. When it’s windy, ball strikers shine while other golfers get exposed.
Perhaps no better example is when you’re hitting directly into the wind. If you hit a shot incorrect at all, your errors are magnified.
If you hit it too high, the wind will kill it and you’ll end up short. A miss to the left or right might only be a few yards but it’ll be substantially worse with wind.
If you see someone hitting it well in the wind, it’s a tip of the cap to them because you know they have some serious game. Especially if they can hit knockdown drivers and stinger irons like Tiger off the tee. That takes practice and solid form to make it happen.
Getting Mad At Par
Sometimes a par is a bad score.
While most average players don’t agree, there are times when a par feels like a double bogey and you know that you just missed a huge opportunity. This is something that only seasoned golfers tend to understand.
Here are three perfect examples:
– You three putt a par 5. I’m not sure anything makes me more mad than bombing a drive, flushing a long iron or hybrid on to a par 5 in two, only to leave with par. Not only did you three putt (which is always infuriating as a good player), you missed an easy birdie!
– You miss a short birdie putt. Missing putts always sucks but missing them from short range is how putters get damaged.
– You hit the pin on your approach shot. Sometimes when you’re so good that you hit the pin, it’s actually a terrible break. Usually when you hit the stick, the ball almost never stays close to the pin. It typically hits it and zips off the green, forcing you to make an up and down just to save par.
No matter where you are in your journey, keep swinging and staying positive. Soon enough you’ll be a seasoned player as well.
What’s something you appreciate on the golf course?
Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Michael Leonard