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Tuesday, 26 December 2017

It Ain't How...

Golf is a peculiar game. And golfers can be a funny bunch. It's kind of like life. As the old folks used to say, "There's nothing as queer as folk."

Golf is a game where you hit a ball from a teeing ground towards, and ultimately into, a hole. The one who does it in the fewest strokes wins. It's a simple enough concept. And yet, golfers seem to have a tendency to become awfully confused about it.

I read recently somewhere that most golfers seek out lessons to try to learn how to swing the club better, hit the ball more consistently; and hit the ball farther. It was suggested that most golfers taking lessons identified scoring lower as less of a priority than hitting the ball better.

It makes you wonder. Golfers, if they are being honest when identifying their goals to their teachers, are obviously not really understanding the game. Golf is a game where the only thing that matters is the score. And yet, when going for a lesson, most students are apparently not asking their teachers to help them score better. And, by all accounts, many teachers are not making better scorers out of their students.

One successful teacher on an internet site that I regularly visit admitted that the average improvement in scoring by his students, based on a review he conducted, was about one tenth of a stroke per round. He said his students continue to come to him because they like him as a friend and enjoy the lessons. Improvement--or should I say lack of improvement--in their scoring doesn't seem to deter them from parting with their money.

Golf is a game, like pretty much every other game, where the only thing that really matters is the score. That's why we have sayings like, "No pictures on the scorecard"; or "It ain't how, it's how many"; or "Drive for show and putt for dough." Most golfers know those sayings, and will even repeat them. And yet, when they go for lessons, they are more interested, it seems, in learning how to make a prettier swing, or in learning how to hit the ball farther. 

Golfers, it would seem, are a strange bunch. But then, as my old Irish grandmother would have said, "there's nothing as queer as folk."