Is it not Murphy’s Law that the day you drive well, your iron shots are poor; or the day you hit all the greens, your putter is a cold as ice? With golf, every day is a fresh start on your never-ending quest to shoot a lower score, par a specific hole or hit a certain type of shot well.
The initial challenge for the beginner is, of course, to get the ball airborne. Hitting it straighter comes next and then further. Getting the ball to stop more or less where you want it to is hugely satisfying and worth all the effort required. Finally, there’s the rather important business of actually persuading the ball to drop into the small hole.
Then there are those awkward tasks such as splashing out of bunkers or chipping off a variety of lies. As you grow more proficient, you will be introduced to the fiendishly tricky business of shaping a shot and become acquainted with the hook, slice, draw, fade, high and low ball.
Then there are lies, damned lies and, most difficult of all, downhill lies. To make things even trickier, there are all manner of surfaces from springy links turf to lush country club, from woodland to desert and the threadbare fairways of the local municipal to the manicured heaven that is Augusta National.
And let’s not forget the mental aspect of the game. Do you, for example, go through an identical pre-shot routine before you strike the ball? Do you visualize the shot, fist pump when you hole a putt and are you always positive about your game?
While mastering the techniques and literally getting to grips with the golf, you must also understand the etiquette, which can be every bit as fraught and problematic as where you place your right thumb on the shaft of the club.
However, much more important than understanding how to swing a club is knowing how to score! To this end, you must examine your strategy for playing each hole and consider employing different clubs from the tee so as to enhance the chances of achieving success.
Okay, now you are finally ready to sit down with a six-pack of beer and study the 45-page ‘Rules of Golf’ which you have had in your bag ever since you took up golf five years ago but have never bothered to open. If you do read it, you will have a considerable edge over your opponents who won’t ever have bothered.
All the above might seem like a lot of trouble to go through just to enjoy what is in effect a pleasant stroll in the park. But I assure you, my friends, it is not. Golf is a never-ending challenge that has to be embraced mentally, physically and emotionally for the better of all mankind!
There is simply no sport that can challenge you in so many ways and offers the opportunity for so many personal victories even when you lose. Whatever the final outcome, your longest drive, best putt, holed bunker shot, magnificent recovery or hearing that satisfying click when you make perfect contact will induce a lingering smile as you walk down the fairway.
Andrew Wood is an author and CEO of Legendary Marketing, a Tampa/Orland-based ad agency. He is the world’s leading expert on golf, resort, destination and real estate marketing although his successes go far beyond these core industries. Author of over 40 books including; Confessions of a Golf Pro, Desperately Seeking Members, The Golf Marketing Bible, The Hotel and Resort Marketing Bible and Legendary Advice. Andrew has spoken to thousands of audiences worldwide and was the top ranked speaker at 97.7% of the events where he spoke on sales, marketing, entrepreneurship or leadership. A pioneer in Internet marketing his creative talent, out of the box ideas and copywriting skills are at the core of his expertise. Regarded as one of the top marketing minds in the world for his ability to craft a winning strategy, generate leads and increase income!