Man Up, No Excuses
Excuse; justification, apology; both imply an explanation of some failure or failing with a desire to avoid punishment or rebuke.
Golf can be a fickle game, which at times can drive us to the brink of despair, and we contemplate whether we have the strength to carry on, almost losing our will to live at times. Then it happens… a 30-yard pitch onto the 17th green finds the hole, and with that stroke, the world is back on its’ proper axis with the thrill of taking on all challengers running through our veins, at least that’s how it’s always been with me.
It is at the low times in our struggles with the game that we have a shrewd tendency to make up the “well timed, excuse(s)” for our poor performance. Some golfers are so proficient at making up excuses that they convince themselves with their own rationalization for their sub-par results. The scary part is, some truly believe what they are saying.
I had a young up and coming golfer work for me, great kid. However, after each round he played, he came up with a different excuse on why he didn’t play well. I finally advised him to write down his excuses and then number them and give me a copy. I told him when he finished a round just yell out the corresponding number. That will save about 20 minutes of me having to listen to the reason why that round didn’t measure up to his expectations.
We have all heard them and can start reciting said excuses without skipping a beat; the course was too wet, the bunkers had too much sand, not enough sand, it was too windy, it was too calm, Billy-Bob burped in my backswing, I didn’t drink enough, I drank too much, tees were too far back, rough was too long, greens were too fast, too slow etc.… We could go on and on and never run out of excuses.
In my early playing days, I felt it was my obligation to explain why this or that round didn’t quite measure up to the rest of the field, then someone who I respected greatly took me aside and imparted some sage advice. He held up a scorecard asked me to look at where the numbers went in relation to each hole played. I responded by saying “it’s just a little box, only big enough for a number.” His reply was pure logic, he said, “yep, not enough room for a description on how you played the hole, just a number. The moment they require descriptions after each hole is played will be the time I give up the game. No one cares how you made that quadruple bogey or that eagle they just want the score recorded. It’s that simple.”
Sometimes breaks go our way and sometimes they don’t, it’s called “rub of the green.” We have all had bounces that we can’t explain. Bounces or breaks I believe will even themselves out over time. Today the ball took a bad bounce and ended up in the pond from 30 yards away, tomorrow the ball will ricochet off a tree nearly out of bounds and then ends up 3 feet from the hole. That’s golf.
The last thing my mentor told me was, “let your score do the talking, not your mouth. Nobody wants to hear your round, they just want to see it.”
Frieism: You can always talk or buy a better game it just depends on how deep your pockets are in conjunction with your vocabulary.
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