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Mental Game Mastery, Issue #124, Monthly Ezine -- Why Play This Stupid Game?
July 27, 2008

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Let's Face It, The Game Is Absurd

As the witty, yet infinitely wise, David Faherty says, "the game is absurd." If you give even a cursory look at your shots and your entire game you'll have to agree, at least somewhat, that the game is indeed absurd.

You can play lights out and hit the ball exactly as you imagine and yet get nothing out of your round. And other times it seems like it's a struggle to get get the ball airborne and yet you score like Seve Ballesteros in his prime. You practice until your hands bleed, play 3 - 4 times a week and score worse.

There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to the oddity of this grand game. You want the ball to go left so you have to aim right. You want it to go up so you have to hit down on it. Even in the way you address the ball it's ridiculous. What other sport/game do you not face your target when playing it? We face 45 degrees away from it!

The Golfing Gods

Then add to all this the vagaries of the game like the bad bounces you get, the embedded lies, the ball resting in an unfilled divot after you just ripped the best drive you've hit all day down the middle of the fairway.

You make a perfect swing after selecting the perfect club and the wind gusts as soon as the ball leaves your club and knocks it offline and short 10 yards of your target. These absurdities don't even touch the human aspects of the game like slow play! Guys who take a full minute in their pre-shot routine and then stand over the ball almost paralyzed. Long enough to be sculpted...

You got your whiners, players with serious anger issues, the token "change rattler", guys who peel their glove off in your backswing, step on your line, walk around while your putting, leave the flag directly behind the hole when you're putting, don't putt out 3 footers then talk later how well they played that day. And on and on it goes...

So Why Play this Stupid Game?

It is a good question, let's be honest! Yet the reality is the game offers something that transcends itself. Something that opens us to a world of possibilities. The endless opportunity to experience who we are.

You see, what we trade for these all to brief moments of golfing nirvana is disproportionate, to say the least. Yet this still doesn't dissuade us from playing this game. Why? While individual reasons may be personal there is one universal theme that underlies our obsession with golf.

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Testimonial:

I have been playing golf for many years with two handicaps - yes two - a golf handicap and a psychological/emotional handicap! After purchasing your course material I now have only a golf handicap. Your material has already really started to have an impact on my game; not only the quality of my golf, but the enjoyment that is to be found in the game.

I think for years on the course I have been an emotional wreck - but your material has released me to be myself and to relax and enjoy my golf and in doing so I have no doubt that by studying your material it will improve my game greatly. You have provided me with a Bible for my golfing life and I thank you for that. I know that by using your material my mental resilience and 'mental toughness' will increase and more importantly my enjoyment of the game will increase. Thank you one again - it is the best money that I have ever invested in my golf.

Terry Hoar - Handicap 10.

UK

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It's called flow. The game takes a long time to become proficient at yet along the way we ALL experience some flow. A book called Flow was written by a Russian with a name too long to type, and it is a detailed, all be it exhaustive analysis, of why people do anything in life.

It's All About Flow

What is flow, as I'm speaking about it here? In short, when you learn a new skill and attain some ability at it, you enjoy the feeling that comes with being able to perform that act. At each stage of your skill development a new set of challenges can be overcome. A new way to test your abilities. It is this "flow" that forever keeps us addicted to the game. A game that can never be totally 'mastered", in the strictest sense.

A long as we have a relationship to the game that allows us to embrace the absurdities and understand that golf is not a game of perfect, then we can more fully enter this "flow". We will consistently experience the joy that got us playing the game in the first place.

So this month's newsletter, although it isn't filled with specific tips like usual, is critical for your game. I recommend reading other inner game books and developing a mindset that lets you fully accept all parts of this great game. Not just the good shots and low scores.

Your flow will increase and, interestingly enough, your scores will improve along with your fulfillment and joy...

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Wade Pearse
Keeping you on target
The Mental Game of Golf
Mental Game Blog

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