Having the Correct Golf Mentality

You may have wondered, in a moment of idle reflection about this game, why more people do not play better golf than they do. It should be a simple game. You are hitting a ball that does not move.

You are swinging clubs that have been designed with a great deal of care, involving time, money, and engineering skill. No one does anything to hinder you, either, or even to distract you.

One reason most of our scores stay high is our mental approach to the game. We are beaten before we start. The golf game has defeated the player for so many generations that the player now has an inferiority complex that would defy the combined skills of Freud, Jung, and Adler. To the man who habitually goes around in 93, the thought of breaking into the 70's is the height of absurdity.

A complete reorientation is necessary in golf. This has been completed in other sports, particularly in track and field. The four-minute mile, the seven-foot high jump, the sixty-foot shot-put are only three examples. It would take a superman, the track experts said, to run a mile in under four minutes. But once Dr. Roger Bannister did it a new plateau was established, onto which many other milers soon proceeded to climb. Back in 1920 Dick Landon won the Olympic high jump with 6 feet 4 inches. At Rome in 1960 a leap of 7 feet 14 inch was good for only third place.

The point here is that mental barriers were broken, as well as those of time and altitude. The normal golfer has a similar mental barrier, and it, too, must be shattered. Once you believe you can improve your golf game, it will all become much easier.

Naturally, Dr. Bannister and the other pioneers in the track and field record-breaking did not set their marks purely by thinking they could. The new marks stemmed from improved training methods and, especially in the field events, from vastly better techniques. This is true in golf.

Here we come very close to golf. Golf is a game of techniques. Training, in the sense of physical conditioning, is reliably not of great importance, unless we are engaged in tournament play. The average man, once he gets out on the course a few times in the spring, finds no physical difficulty in playing an eighteen-hole round. Often he is fresh enough to play eighteen more holes, or nine, anyway.

So get the best advice and practice as much as you can. Your golf game will improve no-end.