A Game of Misses

The golf swing is a pretty complex operation. Hitting a great shot is not an easy thing to do. Most swings will result in a miss-hit and managing those results is a key determinant for scoring. Ever since I was a boy, my Grandfather has told me that golf is a game of misses. He taught me to think in terms of where to miss best and insisted I learn the art of recovery. Both of which have shaped the way I play the game. Thanks to Gramps, I’ve developed a knack for thinking my way around a golf course and finding inventive ways to make par. Appreciating the frequency of misses is also important for keeping a level head. A miss is nothing to be mad about. It’s just a situation to deal with. Frustration will only compound the problem. A better approach is to anticipate the misses and be prepared to overcome them. It starts by playing better odds and missing in the right place as much as possible. Par is often found through the path of least resistance. As Gramps might say, “a good miss can help you get where you want to go.”

If you enjoy these musings, you’ll probably like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this year as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.


It’s Good To Be a Grinder

Most golf rounds are a grind. Every shot is a battle against bogey and it is hard to stay in that mindset hole after hole. For the majority of amateurs, managing misses is just a way of life though. Finding a way to turn off-center swings into a string of pars is a real skill. Honestly, it’s much more impressive than the monotonous player’s rhythm of hitting fairways and greens. It takes constant concentration to keep scores low when the ball doesn’t behave the way you’d like. Through some combination of strategy and scrambling, pars can be manufactured from a myriad of challenging positions. Leaving shots in places with room to recover is a key element of that thinking. Steering away from hazards and staying below the hole are smart moves too. Golfers who make many birdies set themselves up with booming drives and well-struck approaches. The par saver makes their hay by knowing where miss-hits are most likely to go. Chips, putts, punches, and sand saves are all important parts of that repertoire. The best grinders take a great deal of pride in this work. And it most certainly is work. There are indeed days where things go more according to plan, but the law of averages usually yields an outing with many difficulties. In this reality, golf can often feel more like a mining operation than leisure. However, there is much to appreciate about hard-fought pars. It’s good to be a grinder.

If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.