8 Jul 2004
I don’t know about you, but I play a different kind of golf game than I did when I was younger.
I don’t hit my drives as far as I once did and where I used to hit a 7 iron, I have to hit a 6 or sometimes a 5 iron for the same distance. I hit fewer greens in regulation than when I was younger. But, I have a better short game and am a better putter than I was then.
When I first started noticing the changes, I felt frustrated by what I felt was a declining golf game. Many golfers feel the same way and allow those frustrations to take away their enjoyment of the game.
You must recognize that as your God given natural physical game has declined through the years, He has more than made up for in allowing us to gain experience. Using this experience will allowed you to adjust to the way you must play the game now compared to your younger self.
Meg Mallon showed us just this in winning the U.S. Women’s Open Championship last weekend. Mallon did not get rattled by her own mistakes, just expecting them as part of her game.
She stayed focused and calm, even having fun and enjoying the game, while her younger playing partner got rattled by her own mistakes and her frustrations became obvious.
Mallon does not hit the ball as far as her fellow competitors who were battling for the title. She makes up for lack of distance by steady play, great approach irons and excellent putting.
Her longer hitting fellow competitors were making mental errors, making poor swings under pressure, or failing to make key putts during the round.
Mallon is forty-one. She won this championship thirteen years earlier. During the awards interview, she was asked if she ever though she would win this event again at age forty-one.
“Of course” was her response.
Golf is one sport where experience is the most valuable asset we have. Let’s learn from Mallon’s example and recognize our strengths and enjoy the game again.