A Little Patience Leads To A Lot Of Pars
We have all heard, probably too many times, "Patience is a Virtue". But how often do we make a conscious effort to implement patience; patience with ourselves, our job, our kids, our golf game? We get so anxious for instant results that we lose sight of actually living and experiencing life. To quote Alabama, "we rush and rush until life's no fun".
Patience is vital to our happiness. It is vital to any growth and improvement. It is vital to golf.
When we implement patience, we implement acceptance, curiosity and creativity. We open ourselves up to lasting improvement and a higher state of being.
In golf, patience will be the difference of a good score or a bad score, of a fun, exciting round or a frustrating, anger filled round. Practicing patience on the golf course is the next essential step to becoming a better golfer (and a better human).
Most of us have what it takes to play a great round of golf, we just tend to rush everything. We rush our practice routine, our emotional process of the shot and the shot itself. We forget to take the time to relax into each moment and to create stillness before our actions.
There are three core aspects of patience on the golf course.
1. PATIENCE WITH YOURSELF WHILE LEARNING GOLF
Golf is a game of acceptance, accepting the progression of the golf swing, accepting the bad shots, the golf is learned and improved upon with our misses and mistakes.
It takes time to learn how to hit a golf ball, let alone make all the necessary alterations to hit specific shots, i.e. chip shot or iron vs driver. Be patient with the process and the journey will be more enjoyable. Instead of closing down out of frustration, it will help keep you open, creative and engaged with the game and the learning process.
2. PATIENCE WITH SETBACKS
Learning golf is like climbing a really steep, shale ridden mountain. You take a lot of time and effort to climb up, taking a few steps forward then sliding down a bit. We often reach plateaus on this climb, that is something clicks and you feel like you know what is going on and the hard work is finally being realized. But after that plateaus comes another hill of upward descent with frequent fall backs. Once we accept this it makes it easier to digest, allowing you to have more fun and be more creative in those set back phases.
Our swing changes quite frequently, it seems to have a mind of it’s own. One day you will be hitting it perfectly and the next you have a constant slice. This is true for amateur and pros alike so just go with it. Jack Nicklaus would call it his “swing de jour” or swing of the day. Accept it, have patience with the round that day and you will find the experience to be a lot more enjoyable.
3. PATIENCE DURING THE GOLF SWING
The golf swing requires finesse but also precise timing. When we rush back or through during the swing, whether driver, iron, wedge or putter, we usually do not get the results we want. Instead we need to have patience with making sure the club gets into position before the next movement. If we can have patience during the swing, we will master the timing aspect of the swing much more quickly, making swing progressing at a quicker pace.
The greatest thing about golf is how much it teaches us about life and aids in our personal growth. Patience is just one of the many amazing lesson golf teaches us. Whether it’s patience with learning the game or patience during out actual swing, we learn through trial and error that patience is an essential part of golf and of life. If we want to experience joy in playing and learning golf and in our everyday life we must have understanding, acceptance and patience.
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