OPINION: Take A Break From Stats

By: Leslie K. Hughes - Feb 16, 2021

Golf is a sport that places a heavy emphasis on numbers. How many yards you drive the ball, what number of club you use, and of course, how many strokes it takes to get the ball in the hole. While we are very much for getting your game down to a point where you’ve mastered what clubs to use when, and where you celebrate increasing your drive distance, there is something to be said about the concept of tracking statistics.

And we are here to suggest that next time you play, take a break from keeping statistics on the course and grab a glass of wine instead.

If you’re playing a tournament or other competitive game, obviously keeping statistics is a must. However, if you’re out for a laid-back round, why don’t you give yourself a break from the stress of whether or not you got up and down?

There is so much worth attached to numbers that you wind up writing down at the end of a round, and that number has the ability to have a negative effect on your mental health, and likely your enjoyment of the game.

Instead, consider playing a round of golf and focus your attention on how the shots feel. Did that chip feel smooth, or was it rough and just a lucky shot? Did you follow through with that putt, or did you cut it short? Paying attention to these things is where the real growth in your game happens, not whether you got lucky and parred the hole.

My favorite way to play non-competitive golf is to, as mentioned above, focus on how I feel when hitting the ball, and to keep score on the holes that make me feel good -- the ones I think I earned a good score on. The holes that don’t go well and that I feel badly about, I simply put a giant X on the card and move on.

A major part of golf is mindset, and if you keep reminding yourself of how poorly you played on previous holes by seeing those numbers on paper, you’re essentially condemning yourself to a bad round. Instead, allow yourself to celebrate the holes you did well on (not just the ones you scored low on, but the ones that felt good), and mark the areas you need to work on. Notice if you keep struggling with your drives, or your long iron shots rather than noticing how many hits it took you to get the ball in the cup.

Next time you head out for a non-competitive round of golf, try this approach to it, and I’m willing to guarantee that you’ll enjoy the round far more, and your chances of improving your game will be greater.

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