There is nothing in the world equal to the beginner's joy
Here's a fun article I discovered in the Oregon Journal from 1922. The author explains "the beginner at golf is the only one who can enjoy the game," because otherwise we follow the "fatal path" of the novice golfer "who loses all hope" spending hours endeavouring "how to drive" and "how to putt."
It is a good antidote to players who are flummoxed one Sunday morning declaring "I lost my swing!"
As Vinny DiGiano says "Do not pin your happiness to the state of your golf game, you will only bemiserable." No worse advice has ever been offered.
Be hopeful and optimistic at every moment of the round. It will not only help you, but it will greatly annoy your opponents if their luck is poor.
Did you enjoy the article?
My favorite line: "He [the novice] spends hours learning to drive, then he is put to the next weapon of offence [irons, chipping putting], only to find when he has grasped the intricacies he has forgotten how to drive!
Who doesn't know that feeling? Stripe the ball down the middle one round, missing greens right and left. This leads to hours of short iron approach shots, dialing in the wedges to exact yardages. Then just when the golfer is ready to finally conquer the course like never before, she pull hooks the first drive deep out of bounds.
The alternate, as advocated in this old editorial is to show up without a care in the world. It reminds me of our Club Champion Todd Downes, who spent most of the 2017 holed up in his apartment doing god knows what? He played less than 5 total rounds since February (other than the Eastmoreland/Olympic Club grudge match at Bandon and the May SunRiver Shootout). So I called him up suggesting he come play a practice round. The club championship was just a few weeks away in August and we want the 2015 champion to be there! He already skipped the City Championship in July for the first time in 5 years. Some of us were beginning to wonder if he might have truly given up the game forever. Thankfully, he shows up for the Sunday game, but, as it turns out shoots an 80 which is a pretty rare blow up for Todd. However, there was a ray of hope after the damage of 7 over on the front 9, he shot even par on the back going 1 under on the final 5 holes. Still I had to wonder as we shook hands on 18 if he would scratch out his name for club championship the following weekend.
He did show up... really show up. He said he "figured something out last week" as he apt to say before shooting lights out, then turns in a scorecard for 74, one shot off the lead. He goes on to back it up and shoot 73 the next day against Byron and Jack winning the Club Championship by a stroke.
"I was just having fun" he remarked with very little emotion and only a hint of smile.
BTW: Are you perhaps so golf addicted that you furrow your brow that the last bit of wisdom is cut short for the article above?
Would the author dare to hold back the secret wisdom hidden way back in time from 1922?
Of course not - as the subheader gem explains: "patience necessary"