Not sure I can face the all consuming nature of golf again.

Do I return to golf or leave it in the past? (See previous post above)


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Mustardears1

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In my 20's and 30's I thoroughly enjoyed the 6-8 rounds I played a year with very little expectation, treating it a bit like a cross between cricket and hockey whilst playing to a handicap of 15 which rarely altered much.

I was diagnosed with a medical condition when I turned 40 which the doctors thought competitive golf could help me with, so I dedicated most of my spare time to practice and gameplay and over the next 3 years reduced my handicap down to 2.8.

The result of this was that i absolutely hated the game. I was un-able to just have a hit around with my friends and anything over a 75 would result in entire weekends being wasted as I wallowed in my own misery.

Golf is a game of disappointment on the whole, as one rarely hits the shot that you know you can, at the time it is needed. When you hit it to 5 feet from 190 yards uphill into the wind, why didn't you hit it to 2 feet as you have done at some time in the past? Lip out from 40 feet and you are sure that you've holed from that distance at some stage. Other people cant understand it as to them you are playing like a God, so you spend the whole time in a constant state of not letting the beast from within bubble to the surface, for fear that you may actually drown your playing partners in the pond in front of the clubhouse!

One day I woke up and decided that I did not get one ounce of joy from golf so put my clubs in the barn and have not gone anywhere near them since. No more Golf Channel, no more Golf Monthly, nothing! Cold Turkey for me. I cut every thought and golf paraphernalia from my life entirely and that was just over 12 years ago!

Why am I sharing this with you after so many years?

Well, my two sons bought us a couple of hours on the indoor simulator which they thought would be great fun and something that we could all be competitive at. I might add that they are both International sportsmen in their own right but had never really tried golf apart from the odd thrash with beer at a TopGolf facility somewhere.

Having given me much abuse, they pushed me forward for 5 practice shots and then straight into combat. Looking down at what used to be irons that were quite large enough to get the job done, my tiny blades looked like a training aid and there seemed to be a large stomach where the ball used to be visible. Honestly having made a half swing with said 6 iron, I nearly had a wiff! Straight up I nearly missed the ball altogether. The boys howled with laughter. I didn't! After four more slightly better efforts, it was time to tee off. Out come the big dog as these boys needed to be silenced.....and the face was soooooo much bigger! Despite only putting half swings on both my drive and approach I some how birdied the 1st and the gallery was silent!

From then on it was all over the place with much barracking, probably more by me at my offspring than the other way around, but we had great fun and something that I would love to do again.

Within hours of getting home, all of my kit had been retrieved from the barn and what the mice hadn't eaten, was being hosed down and disinfected. I had started to read Golf Monthly and You Tube was showing all sorts of golf clips. I can feel it reeling me in. 😱

This is where you come in.

Knowing my addictive personality, 5 stone weight gain and a swing speed which will be about half of what it used to be, do I let myself get sucked back into golf?

Clubs are different, balls are different, spin rates are the opposite to what we looked for. Can I accept that every shot will be a disappointment for some considerable time? Can I get my body to turn, my old clubs with poker shafts and bladed heads to work with a non spinning/low compression ball? Drivers used to be about controlling the spin from a high swing speed and balls were either hard or soft. You see the dilemma I'm sure, but I am genuinely torn. I am not one for doing anything half heartedly, and I don't enjoy doing things badly but then I do enjoy the peace and tranquility of trout fishing in the chalkstream's of southern England even when we don't catch anything. Go figure?

Damn these children. I suspect they the knew all along that they were opening Pandora's box!

I would really like to hear your views and maybe you may have even faced the same issue during your own golfing journey?
 

Mustardears1

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I wouldn't bother. You obviously hated it when you were quite good and will probably hate it even more when you can't get to the standard you once played to. Get the fishing rods out and go on enjoying the tranquil life.
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
 

DeanoMK

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It's a hard one to answer. You're obviously competitive and push yourself to be the best you can be.

But, there is so much more to the game than the score. Maybe read through a few golf psychology books or even just psychology books, like the chimp paradox, and try and find a better perspective for you to approach the game from.
 

gopher99

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The trouble with putting any kind of target in any sport that you play, your brain is then wired to meet that target. So effectively you are setting yourself up for failure, unless you meet that target. Why don’t you go out with the mindset of just playing golf whilst you are healthy enough to play and enjoy friends company, just take it you are going to hit bad shots and also going to hit some great shots. I guarantee that in the clubhouse afterwards, no one hardly ever talks about the horror shots on the course unless it’s a top of the first tee with everyone watching.
 

Mustardears1

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Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I am embarrased to say that i have a Psychology Degree so I understand the concept but I am not so good at smelling the roses or enjoying the journey. I was a professional sportsman briefly when younger and the entire focus in those days was the win. Results business for both players and Coaches and I have never been able to get too far away from that, even in my business life. My illness completely changed so much of my outlook in everything as long as I am not actually doing it. Watching the boys sports careers flourish has been hugely enjoyable but you wont find me in the front row or basking in their glory. I am hiding in the shadows but they know that I am there whenever I can be. Golf remember is played against yourself effectively so there is nobody else to feed off or offload your own anxiety onto. I think that is why I have found it so confronting and don't know if trying to tame it might be possible with my new outlook, but it may also just release the beast? 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

Lord Tyrion

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What do you want from the game? That's probably the key question.

If you want to be the absolute best you can be, beat everyone else every time you step on the course, don't bother. From the sound of it, you will soon hate the game again.

If you want to enjoy the game, the social aspect, the walk, the scenery etc, give it a go.

Only you know which of the above questions matters to you most.
 

Mustardears1

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The trouble with putting any kind of target in any sport that you play, your brain is then wired to meet that target. So effectively you are setting yourself up for failure, unless you meet that target. Why don’t you go out with the mindset of just playing golf whilst you are healthy enough to play and enjoy friends company, just take it you are going to hit bad shots and also going to hit some great shots. I guarantee that in the clubhouse afterwards, no one hardly ever talks about the horror shots on the course unless it’s a top of the first tee with everyone watching.
Great advice and It’s this that makes me even think that I may be able to enjoy it. I need to compartmentalise what I'm doing now by calling it "sticks" and not to compare it to "golf" that I stopped enjoying. Lets see what the general thoughts are and then we can take it from there.
 

Lord Tyrion

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I'll lock this thread as there is an identical thread also running but with a poll attached. If I can discover if we can merge them I will do. Otherwise.......
 

Hobbit

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You highlighted what you enjoyed at the range/simulator session, i.e. the banter. Most rounds of golf, if you let them, are about being with good company and having a good time. I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing when you say golf is a great disappointment.

We don’t play it for a living. It isn’t essential to us in putting food on the table. If you can’t laugh at yourself, don’t return to golf.
 

Captain_Black.

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If you are that much older now & gained a fair bit of weight, you will undoubtedly need new clubs with a softer shaft.

I love my golf, the game itself, the exercise, the company.

One caveat though is, I know lots of older golfers who once played off single figures, unless you can accept that you'll never get back to where you once we're & just enjoy the game for what it is, it won't bring you happiness & enjoyment.
 

Mustardears1

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@Mustardears1 I can lock this and unlock the other if you prefer. Your choice
I thought that a poll might be more fun but I don’t mind which one you remove.
What do you want from the game? That's probably the key question.

If you want to be the absolute best you can be, beat everyone else every time you step on the course, don't bother. From the sound of it, you will soon hate the game again.

If you want to enjoy the game, the social aspect, the walk, the scenery etc, give it a go.

Only you know which of the above questions matters to you most.
Thank you for your time. As you may have deduced, I am battling more than golf in my head.
 

Crazyface

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Right.......What the hell is wrong with you?????? Golf is THE GREATEST GAME EVER INVENTED. You get a handicap to help you play competively against others, if you so desire. You get out in the fresh air. You get out away from the stresses and strains of all the crap life has to throw at you. You get to play with mates, albeit some of them are cheating bandits with golf handicaps that do not match their abilities, but this is just another banter stick to use as you go round! It's THE FUNNIEST game EVER! What other game can you watch a mate completely implode after playing like a god for two holes, and then unfathomably, not be able to hit the ball at all. And to see their imploring looks they give you, as if you can help them in any way, LOL You get to wander around on Gods earth, on some of the most perfect beautiful areas designed for recreation with stunning views.
At the end of the round you get to relive it in the bar afterwards and tell the tales of glorious shots you have made and amazing escape shots though a copse of trees that really you have no right to get the ball out of. The joy of also recounting a mates violent duck hook that looked for all the world he was going to , at the very least, completely destroy the golf ball, if he managed to connect with it correctly.
I could go on and on........but this is why we all play this stupid game
 

Mustardears1

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If you are that much older now & gained a fair bit of weight, you will undoubtedly need new clubs with a softer shaft.

I love my golf, the game itself, the exercise, the company.

One caveat though is, I know lots of older golfers who once played off single figures, unless you can accept that you'll never get back to where you once we're & just enjoy the game for what it is, it won't bring you happiness & enjoyment.
Perfectly summed up. Thank you for your time.
 

Mustardears1

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Right.......What the hell is wrong with you?????? Golf is THE GREATEST GAME EVER INVENTED. You get a handicap to help you play competively against others, if you so desire. You get out in the fresh air. You get out away from the stresses and strains of all the crap life has to throw at you. You get to play with mates, albeit some of them are cheating bandits with golf handicaps that do not match their abilities, but this is just another banter stick to use as you go round! It's THE FUNNIEST game EVER! What other game can you watch a mate completely implode after playing like a god for two holes, and then unfathomably, not be able to hit the ball at all. And to see their imploring looks they give you, as if you can help them in any way, LOL You get to wander around on Gods earth, on some of the most perfect beautiful areas designed for recreation with stunning views.
At the end of the round you get to relive it in the bar afterwards and tell the tales of glorious shots you have made and amazing escape shots though a copse of trees that really you have no right to get the ball out of. The joy of also recounting a mates violent duck hook that looked for all the world he was going to , at the very least, completely destroy the golf ball, if he managed to connect with it correctly.
I could go on and on........but this is why we all play this stupid game
What the hell is wrong with you??????
You haven’t got long enough I assure you. All the points you raise are not only valid but how I enjoyed my game when I was actually taking another sport more seriously but golf became all consuming and it’s the points that you raise competing with this that I am considering. Thank you for sharing your views.
 

Lord Tyrion

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I thought that a poll might be more fun but I don’t mind which one you remove.

Thank you for your time. As you may have deduced, I am battling more than golf in my head.
Polls do add fun so we will leave this one going 😄. People have added to it so it is serving its purpose 👍.

Ideally, the release of golf will help. However, as you know, if it stops being a release and instead adds to your troubles.......find another sport (said in the nicest possible way)
 

BiMGuy

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I pretty much stopped playing for a similar length of time. I wasn’t as bad as you in terms of temperament, but playing badly made me angry. I needed to see constant improvement.

I woke up one Saturday, didn’t fancy playing and didn’t pick up a club for a few years. I played once or twice a year for about 8 years and quite enjoyed not caring about my score.

4 years ago a mate asked if I wanted to play and we started playing once a month, before I knew it I had joined a club and am back playing weekly, if not more often.

If you start again I would read The Four Foundations of Golf. Specifically the chapter on managing expectations.
Don’t focus on the score, focus on the process. Challenge yourself to committing to every shot and accepting the outcome.

Forgot about handicapped and so called competitive golf. It’s not proper competition. HCs just give the illusion that they allow people with different abilities to compete.

Play for the joy of playing!
 

KenL

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As you're a bit older, and hopefully more relaxed, the challenges of the game won't upset you so much.
I used to be a bit annoyed if I hit a poor shot, these days I just take in on the chin and try hard to make up for it.

Golf is more enjoyable that way and will make you a better player.
 
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Voyager EMH

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What was the other sport that you took seriously?
What was the condition that caused you to stop that and switch to golf.

What has caused the huge weight gain?

Why did you not sell your clubs or give them to a charity shop?
 
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