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Know your limitations even in playing golf

Today we are going to talk about being patient and knowing your limitations, which are very important to playing a nice round of golf.

Often I will see players try to reach a green, but they are trying to hit their optimum shot. I like the theory that you may mis-hit the shot, so take enough club so that if you do mis-hit the shot you will still reach the green or carry that bunker in the front of the green.

This is a good example of knowing your limitations -- in this case, how far you hit the golf ball. We all see the golfers on TV hitting the golf ball a long distance, but unfortunately that is not us. When you hit a really good tee shot, do the math and realize how far you actually hit the ball. Gauge your distance with iron shots on the driving range, and this is where you may be quite surprised with how far you actually hit the ball.

This may be bad news for your ego, but golf is a game of reality, and you really need to know your limitations.

Patience is an important trait in playing golf because it takes 4 hours or more to play a round of golf. Even in the process of making a golf swing, I feel patience is important. Don’t rush your decisions to hit the ball, don’t rush your swing. Be thinking about what club you may need as you approach your ball, so that you will be more ready to play when it is your turn.

Now let’s talk about putting. There was a study a number of years ago that was enlightening. For professionals and very good players, they would only make something in the range of 50% of their putts from 6 feet, and 30% from about 10 feet. These numbers surprised me, but it gave me a comfort level that I was not a bad putter just because I did not make every 6-foot putt I tried. So…some will go in and some will miss.

If you take a realistic view when you are trying to make a putt, I think you will putt better. Don’t try so hard and don’t get upset if the putt misses. If you make a patient smooth putting stroke your rate for success is likely more high. If you are nervous and filled with anxiety because the putt just has to go in, that is a potion for another missed putt.

Patient people will play patient golf, and anxious type-a people will play anxious golf. If you look in the golfing mirror and realize which type you are it may help you on the course. Hopefully this session on the couch with Uncle John will also assist you towards playing better golf. Let me know before our next session.

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