Wednesday, April 22

My 3 Biggest Lessons in Year One of Golf

By Jake Small

Jake Small (a pseudonym) is an avid golfer and a junior at a midwestern university.

GOLF IS A SPORT WITH a pretty steep learning curve, and that leads to a ton of lessons.

I started to avidly play golf in my teenage years. What a great challenge! I am so happy I stuck with the game and became a student of it to this day. I could go on and on about all of the lessons I have learned through golf, but I have narrowed it down to three.

1. Ask for Help

The first huge lesson was that it's okay to ask for help. Being a bull-headed 14-year-old, I figured that I could just hit hundreds of balls on the driving range and eventually something would click. I was right to some extent. I mean, there was really nowhere to go but up and to improve.

But after a while, I eventually hit a plateau and needed an expert's opinion. After receiving tips and feedback from a local club pro, I was set on the right path. The situation was even a life lesson for me because it showed me that asking for help is the easiest way to improve at something.

2. Consistency

Another incredible thing I learned is that consistency is a key to success in golf and everything in life.

Consistency can mean many things in relation to golf, but I am talking about the pre-shot routine. Too many golfers walk up to the ball and do something different every time. Sometimes they will take two practice swings, and other times they will just waggle their club and proceed to hit the golf ball.

After watching professionals, it struck me that they do the same thing every time to increase focus and get in the zone before a shot. I always overlooked this aspect of the game. Remaining consistent in your routines will improve your concentration and help you improve in the long run.

3. Stay Positive

Staying positive at all times was the biggest takeaway during my first year of golf.

At the end of the day, we are enjoying nature, being social with friends, and playing an incredible game. Competitively, there are going to be bad days. It is inevitable. But I (and you) can always choose to enjoy the game no matter the score or outcome.

Just having fun is actually a great way to improve scores because positive thoughts can translate to better scores.  I noticed that when I was relaxed and not putting so much pressure on myself to play well, I actually played my best!

Our minds are our greatest asset and our greatest liability. Once I fully realized that truth, it raised my golf game to new heights.

Fast forward to today, and I am still a student of golf who is trying to learn as much as possible.

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