Stupid Shots In Your Golf Game 

Are they really stupid?

Have you ever said "Oh, what a stupid shot?" If you were referring to your own shot, how did you feel? Not too good, I bet. And how did you play after that "not good" feeling? Not well, right?

When we watch golf from the sidelines or on TV, it seems deceptively simple. Players move gracefully and hit the ball perfectly without seeming to put much effort into their shots.

We also clearly see where the players "should" have played a certain shot. Of course, we are watching from the comfort of our couch, through a perfectly placed TV camera that gives us an ideal overview of the course.

But in reality golf is a very demanding sport. There are many reasons why, so let's just touch some of the most important ones:

  • The actual game play takes only 10-15% of the time that you spend on the course. The rest of the time, negative or unimportant thoughts occur that negatively influence coordination, timing and motivation, consequently affecting concentration and energy levels too.
  • During your swing you must make decisions in less than a second. No one is perfect, so you make mistakes. How you »handle« these mistakes is crucially important to your game.
  • Golf is an individual sport with no time-outs, no substitutions.

Therefore, before you master all the physical and mentaL skills needed to play the golf game at a high level, you will inevitably make mistakes that may seem "stupid" if you (of course) compare your play to that of top professionals.

And since we are not computers, we sometimes need to miss many times before we realize that a certain approach usually will not work. Before that, we see that the approach isn't working, but we aren't sure whether the problem is the approach or just failing to execute it well enough. That's why we keep trying something even when it may seem stupid to an outside observer.

So now that we know all this and realize that there are no stupid shots, what are these mistakes then?

I simply call them "inexperienced" mistakes.

You haven't enough experience to decide perfectly every time. Sometimes you experiment. Sometimes you want to do your best, but you don't know all the strategic and tactical mistakes or the correct ways of playing the game.

This means that you just lack experience.

So, when you make a mistake, instead of labeling it as a "stupid" mistake, view it as an "inexperienced" mistake. How does that feel?

It sure does feel better, doesn't it?

It relieves you of the guilt feelings and gives you hope for the future. Indeed, seeing mistakes as stupid implies that you are stupid. And, since stupidity is a permanent condition, this view implies that you are doomed to make stupid mistakes forever.

The choice is yours; how will you view your mistakes from now on?

As stupid or as inexperienced?