Have you lost your enthusiasm for golf? Do you find it difficult to have fun while playing?
Many golfers experience the same dilemma…
When you first started playing golf, you probably couldn’t wait to get to the course…
Every hole presented a unique challenge and it was exciting to figure out the best way to play each hole…
At some point the sport you loved became the sport you loathed…
The fun was somehow gone… Dread replaced your enthusiasm… Anxiety and frustration displaced your excitement.
So what changed?
The most likely culprits that took the fun out of the game were excessive pressure and high expectations.
You see, when you first started to play, you just played. You were immersed in the moment and that’s where fun resides.
Then, at some point, you became overly focused on results and all those emotions took over. The result was a fun-less game with below average scores.
Michelle Wie knows exactly what happens when a player loses their enthusiasm to play the sport… Wie hit the pro circuit with so much promise and fanfare.
In 2003, Wie won the Women’s Amateur Public Links tournament becoming the youngest player ever to win a USGA adult event, then followed up that performance by making the cut at the US Women’s Open at the age of 13.
In 2014, Wie won two LPGA events, one of which was her first major at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, and achieved 13 Top-10 finishes.
Unfortunately, when labeled with promise, this comes with high expectations and pressure…
During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Wie had only one Top-10 finish and missed 19 cuts. Wie quickly realized that when you experience overwhelming pressure or excessively high expectations, the game that started out as fun can become a chore.
If Wie was to find her way out of her performance drought she would need to re-discover the fun of the game and that is one reason Wie has turned things around in 2017.
Wie recently climbed up 15 spots in the rankings to No.33 with her fifth Top-10 finish of the year at the Meijer LPGA Classic where she placed tied for second. What is truly remarkable is that Wie started the year ranked 174th in the world.
After the Meijer LPGA Classic, Wie talked about how much fun she had playing despite challenging weather and course conditions.
WIE: “It was a lot of fun. It was tough out there. I mean the wind just started blowing and it was just interesting. Some spots are really wet, some spots are dry, but overall I felt like I played good this week and I’m happy about it.”
If you want to regain your enthusiasm for playing golf, you must find the fun and overcome frustration. And when golf is fun, you will gain the added benefit of playing a whole lot better.
Try This Tip to Regain Your Enthusiasm:
Stop chasing scores and go back in time. Ask yourself, “Why did I start playing golf in the first place?”
Look for all the reasons that golf was fun for you (playing with friends, nice weather, family outings, challenging yourself, etc.).
When you hit the course, rediscover those reasons by telling yourself, “I love playing with my friends,“This weather is amazing,” or, “Let’s try to hit this shot there.”
Fun and success and are intertwined so make sure to find the fun!
By:  PGTAA member Dr. Patrick Cohn