This Is Why You Suck At Golf

Simple advice to improve your golf game


Katerina Cervantes

A close look at the Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, CA.

Picture this: It’s a beautiful day on the golf course and you have a 3-foot putt for par. You think to yourself, “This can’t be that hard. I’ve made three footers before. Just make the putt for par.”

You get up to the ball, you putt, and you miss. Whether you hit it too soft, rolled it ten feet past the hole, or the ball did went around the hole, you missed the putt.

It’s okay. We’ve all been there. You miss a par putt on one hole and the next thing you know you get upset and then you ruin your entire game playing the next hole frustrated.

I’ve played golf for ten years of my life. I’ve taken lessons from different coaches, I played in individual tournaments, I played in high school, and I currently play for the Mt. SAC Women’s Team. The only thing that all that experience says about me is that I’ve seen a lot of good golf and I’ve seen plenty of bad golf.

The truth is the missed par putt isn’t worth getting angry over. Sure, it’s upsetting but it’s not detrimental to your score. Do you know what does negatively impact your score? That next hole that you played frustrated.

There is no doubt that golf can be one of the most frustrating activities you partake in. However, if you want to lower your score and you’re serious about improvement, you have to accept the fact that nobody starts off as Tiger Woods. You are bound to miss a putt, hit a tee shot out-of-bounds, lose a ball in the water, and get stuck in a sand trap.

Ironically, the most important part of the golf game is how a golfer deals with those difficult situations. Don’t get upset over hitting a bad shot that landed in the sand, or the water, or the trees. Instead, simply ask yourself, “how can I make as small of a mess as possible?”

Perhaps you hit a tee shot out-of-bounds and have to re-tee. You have essentially “wasted” two strokes by that one out-of-bounds shot, (you count the shot that you hit out-of-bounds and you add a penalty), making this shot you are hitting your third shot of the hole. Instead of being pessimistic or upset and rethinking that bad first shot, just forget about it. In golf, you want to have a memory like a goldfish. Goldfish have a memory that lasts approximately ten seconds so just forget about that last shot and move on.

It’s true that the first shot that was hit out of bounds doesn’t put someone in a very good position to make par, but just try to save a bogey or even a double bogey. Do what you can to minimize the damage.
Keeping yourself calm and attempting to minimize the damage you make on the course will drastically improve your game so keep working on it and good luck!