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WHY DOES GOLF SUCK SO MUCH FOR SO MANY?
The truth about golf from the perspective of an active amateur golfer.
First, let's just get this out of the way. Anything a 60 year old can play better than a 20 year old can't be a sport. Its a game.
Proof: If you look at it, most professional athletes can't play golf better than 60 year olds (men and women) who know the game. Most golfers will tell you they have been beaten by golfers twice their age, sometimes 3 times their age. Andhis is a common occurrence. If you want to be good at it, you will soon find that Golf requires a lot of mental toughness and skill. And good decisions. And that is why it sucks so much for so many...
You have to concentrate for four hours or more on the same set of tasks in a bucolic setting . The human brain is not designed to do that, so you have to FORCE it to. This is not a normal game. And that most certainly sucks.
It was on a whim that I started this blog. I was injured last week so I'm not able to play golf today. It just so happens I was talking about golf on my other blog, and commented on how I could start a separate blog about amateur golf. I googled "Why Golf Sucks " and found an old blog whose last entry was 2011 so I decided this is a good time to start a current blog about the horror of golf.
I was talking about the various stages a golfer goes through. If you're a golfer you know what I'm talking about. If you're not a golfer you will probably leave because this will make no sense.
Forgive the grammatical and spelling errors... I'm just writing off the top of my head with no outline here: I broke it down to the Stage, your average score, and what your skill level and mindset will most likely be.
Stage 1:This is how you might think.
It's not golf if you're not inebriated, or you can't scream stupid shit,or fall down swinging, or hit someone with your ball, club or cart or all of the above.
Your average score: TNTC (Too Numerous to Count) or YDGAS (You Don't Give a Shit)
Golf is fun. You get to swing as hard as you want with cheap, old, beat up clubs.You can get drunk and/or high in a park like setting and act like an ass while driving around in a little cart. I have personally never played in this state, but I see it all the time..
To clarify. This is the general mindset of the Stage 1 golfer. This doesn't mean that you SHOULD act this way if you are new to golf. Many new golfers choose to start out with respect for the game, and slowly work into total disrespect.
When "real" golfers see this, they get pissed off at you, which is a bonus to you.
You probably will hit one good shot during the entire round.
Hitting one good shot will lead you to believe that you could be a good golfer if you put your mind to it
Stage 2:You are a Hack
Your average score: 115+ or VTNTC (Variation of TNTC which only counts the "do-over" swings) Golf is easy. You know you can putt, because of your past miniature golf scores.
You think you have a good short game because most shots from 50 yards end up closer to the hole than you expected. This means within 100 feet of the green. "whoaaaa if that would have stopped rolling it would have been right on the Green!"
You rarely play, but because you have clubs, you tell people you golf. You don't. You truly suck at golf.
Stage 3: You are still a Hack, but you gleefully admit it.
Your average score:Just over 100 with unlimited "mulligans
You start to think there is a chance that you could be a pro.
You go to the range and hit 100 balls. You groove a horrible slice, but it goes 220 yards. "If I can straighten that out I'll be golden".
You hit about one good drive per bucket.
You spend most of the bucket hitting driver.
You don't hit any clubs that are hard to hit.
This means you probably practice with Driver and favorite iron (usually a mid to short iron). You give up on the others clubs quickly.
You play a round with Mulligans and shoot just over 100!
You have decided to rename "do-overs" mulligans because that's more professional
You give yourself putts under 10 feet that come close to going in.
Mulligans consist of any shot that gets topped, bladed, shanked, or out of bounds. About 20 to 30.
Stage 4: You're a bad golfer, but at least you're "not a total Hack"
Your average score: About 97 to 100, but score doesn't matter as much because you know you're better than your score shows. Mulligans are still unlimited
You start spending more time practicing and grooving bad habits.
Your swing is almost always off balance, but you're making better contact.
You continue to believe that farther is always better.
You hit a drive in the middle of the fairway, so you must be getting good.
You don't think you need lessons because you're "getting it down"...and/or:
If you have a lesson you don't trust the pro because you're "worse with lessons".
You play a round and shave 5 strokes off your game at least once.
Stage 5: You're the average SDG "Slightly Delusional Golfer"also known as the SCG Slightly Clueless Golfer.
Your average score: 95 to 100. Anything over 110 is "about 100"
You realize that taking all of those mulligans only cheats yourself so you limit them to shots you "weren't ready to hit". Mostly shots off the tee, and tops that don't go more than 30 yards.
You hit 300-1000 balls per practice and start trying out most of your clubs, but still mostly hit driver.
Your distance improves, so you don't care as much where they go."Go long or go home I say!"
You take lessons and start to listen to the advice only when you have success with the shot. "Oh he's got me all screwed up, but he gave me a great tip on chipping that I can use. It's called uh...concentration!"
You finally start to break 100 with about 5 or six mulligans
You quit counting if you shoot over 110 and call it "about 100"
On average you discover the "Holy Grail of golf tips" about every two weeks. You will occasionally re-discover the exact same tip and not realize it. This is the beginning of a long and varied list that could last your entire life.
Stage 6: You are a little cocky, but you are a Golfer. You're teetering on the edge of totally delusional. TDG. One who thinks the pro tour is still within reach.
Your average score: 88 to 115
You start to count all your strokes because there is no way you'll get better if you live in denial of bad rounds....but you still throw out horrible shots as "practice shots"or mulligans, depending on your mood.
You finally start to limit your mulligans to a couple of tee shots, and some really bad misses during the round because all the other shots were okay and those bad ones "aren't real shots".
You have listened to the pros advice to stop swinging so hard, but you still swing too hard because "it's
the only way to make solid contact".
Your game is more consistent and you can picture yourself one day breaking 80. Just before you turn pro.
You shoot a round or two in the low 90s and maybe break 90 with mulligans. (short putts and occasional out of bounds tee shots)
Short putts are all good, so you don't bother finishing those, or if you miss them you give them to yourself anyway. Some golfers never advance beyond this stage, which is fine too. As long as you KNOW that you would make them because this speeds up play. Of course if you KNOW you would make them, then just make them. Sorry, couldn't stop myself from that comment.
Stage 7: You are a BAGGER. Better than Average Golfer who Gags Every Round.
Your average score:80 to 95
. You still have the occasional awful round, but because you keep a handicap it makes the better rounds seem even better, and now you do count every stroke (at least almost every stroke). Unless you are a cheater, in which case you will probably never count every stroke and you will knowingly break the rules every time you play.
This is the turning point for most golfers.
You have a handicap, which you might not realize is the measure of your BEST rounds, not your average rounds. So you might start to expect to shoot your handicap, which is an incorrect assumption.
You practice with all your clubs and spend an inordinate amount of time getting better with your long irons, not caring that you only hit those clubs a few times during each round.
The lessons pay off because you actually LISTEN to the advice. Tempo is more important than distance.
You still swing too hard and make poor decisions, but not as often.
You spend an unusually large amount of time trying to improve in areas that don't matter as much as your short game. You think to get better you have to hit every club equally well.
There are variations of this stage, but one thing is pretty consistent. You think you should be better than you are. You care about the score and don't give yourself as many mulligans, if any. You get frustrated often because your expectations exceed your ability.
Because of the added pressure you have put on yourself, you discover the ability to consistently GAG.
You are a BAGGER.
You allow a good round to go wrong because all you can think about is "not screwing it up'.
You actually have some decent rounds where you don't top or chunk, blade, or shank shots.
You hate the game because of the frustration, but you love the game because you're hooked on the feeling of making shots. You are probably fully addicted to golf at this stage.
NOTE:IF YOU ARE A CHEATER, THERE IS NO TELLING WHAT YOU'LL DO OR FEEL, BECAUSE YOU HAVE DELUDED YOURSELF INTO THINKING YOU ARE A GOLFER WHEN IN REALITY YOU ARE JUST A CHEATER. No need to go to the next stage, you lose.
Stage 8:You are Good Golfer who hates Golf. You are A GOOGOO.
Your average score:73 to 95 with occasional flare ups.
This stage separates the real golfers from the pretenders, because by this stage you will either be a cheater, or you will be a golfer with integrity. You count all your strokes, you work on your weaknesses, your equipment really matters and you have knowlege of the game that casual golfers don't.
You spend an inordinate amount of time thinking, talking and living golf. You practice hard, though probably not enough on the thing that matters most. Your short game. That is the hardest thing to commit to, because there is nothing like the feeling of hitting a long shot well, and you love that feeling.
You play a lot, and you improve.
It is at this point where all the lessons and practice will either pay off with your breaking 80, or blow up like a mortar in your face every time you approach that magic landmark. You will either be bragging for the rest of your life about the first time you broke 80 , or you will be avoiding the topic and pretending that ability is not indicated in the score. If the latter is in the cards, you could feel the stinging bite of failure for the rest of your life. But you must be patient. It may take years to break 80. The problem is, there is a possibility that you will NEVER break 80. You might just be an average to below average golfer who has exceeded his ability and has peaked. Meanwhile a bunch of 79 year olds will be out there somewhere breaking 80, bragging about shooting their age....They're out there. Lot's of 'em.
Golf sucks that way.
You hate golf, but you can't stop now. It haunts you. It taunts you. You might regress to childlike tantrums on the course. The over analysis of your game can turn your brain to mush if you're not careful. After all is said and done, you are a GOOGOO.
You might bypass this stage with few of these hurdles. But at some point or another you will denounce golf as "the stupidest F---ing game ever invented!!!" This is unavoidable.
Now some of the characteristics described in the stages are transferable to either earlier or later stages, and most can be seen in one form or another for all stages. The inebriated stage, for example, can apply to early stage as well as late stage golfers, but you will find this behaviour exhibited more prominently in the early stage golfers. And the later stage golfers, because of their skill level, for the most part can hold shit together for longer.
Some golfers never throw tantrums, whereas others throw tantrums even when they are not good enough to give even the worst shank a second thought. I, for example have exhibited extreme over-reactive tantrums from pretty much the early stages. This makes me an expert in some respects when it comes to that topic....
But that is a topic for another day.
That is all I have for today.