Updated: May 21, 2020
I think we can all agree Golf is a simple yet complicated game. Even when we are participating in the more playful version of the game, like Top Golf and Mini Golf, we get frustrated. From my experience this frustrations comes when your results do not line up with your expectations. Given the simplicity of this game it should be pretty easy to hit the ball straight or make a putt, but we learn time and again it takes a lot of focused practice to perform this natural and seemingly simple task of swinging a golf club.
The Biggest Issue with the Frustration is
not only can it can take the joy away from the game, especially when we are just starting to learn, but it exacerbates your inaccuracies and creates a downward frustration spiral. I think most of us have experienced this spiral and can agree, it is awful. Most of the time you are surrounded by beautiful nature on the golf course, which should provide it's own calming remedy, but instead we remain stuck on our rollercoaster of expectations vs results.
What should we do?
Jump off the rollercoaster and give up on having any expectations when playing golf? That seems a little too dangerous for me, and I would bet of you as well.
What we need to do it manage our expectations.
Ask yourself, what do I want to get out of playing this game? Is the answer have fun? Then tweak your expectations to match this result. Find humor or creativity in a missed shot. Take the time to enjoy the nature and the time with your playing partners, remembering you are there to have FUN! What if your expectation is to make par on every hole? Well have you been putting in the practice to make that happen? Are you staying focused with each shot you make?
It is great to have goals for your golf game, but remember to accept the challenge of the game!
We all want to improve, but that does not need to come at the expense of your enjoyment of playing golf. Whether you are playing on the LPGA Tour, hitting a Top Golf Drive or determined to make a ten foot putt on the mini golf course, let go of your expectations and enjoy the process.