The story so far….

Continuing on from my last blog, I’m in Palm Springs ready to attend Fred Shoemaker’s workshop, I’m jet lagged, so arrive pretty early. Fred is setting up. He invites me for a cup of coffee in the restaurant overlooking the beautiful 18th green. There are palm trees, an ocean of bunkers, the sun is coming up and the sprinklers are on. Fred says “so Tony what do you want” by this I guess he’s asking me what I want from golf? What a question! How do you answer that in under a week?

Fred was kind enough to elaborate this by telling me about when he had the same conversation with an up and coming young pro. The pro replied “I want to win my University championship”. Fred replied “ok and then what?” So the pro said “I want to win the State championship” and Fred replied again “and then what?” This continued right up to winning the US Masters with Fred still replying “and then what?”

His message to the young pro was that “is winning the only thing you want to get from the great game of golf”?

Why do you play golf?

Now take a minute and list the reasons you play golf and rank them focusing on your top 3. This is not a trivial exercise. Hopefully it will get right to the heart of what energises you about golf – your golf DNA. For example,

  • Fresh air and exercise
  • Great scenery and wildlife
  • The social side; having a laugh with my mates
  • The challenge of “mastering” the golf swing
  • Taking on the course architect – navigating my way around the course; avoiding the obstacles he’s laid out to trip me up
  • Competing with others
  • Competing with myself
  • Being the best player I can be
  • Playing a variety of different courses; parkland, links or heathland
  • Having fun!

Now consider your last few rounds. Did you play each round according to your top 3 reasons? If yes, congratulations but if not, perhaps now is a good time to reflect on the miss-match

Having Fun!

Surely we all want to have fun when playing golf, otherwise what’s the point?

Were you fun to be with last time you played or a miserable b*****d?

Are you able to “let go” and accept the nuances of bad bounces, poor lies or are you the unluckiest golfer who ever lived?

Being the best player I can be

Do you have a plan (see blogs 1 and blog 2)?

Are you measuring your progress? (Blog 2 + 3)

Have you explored all avenues where you can make marginal gains? (Blog 4)

Are you in the right frame of mind? (Blog 5)

Have you tried all types of golf courses rather than just your home course?


If there is a miss match between “why” you play golf and “what” you actually do in practice, then you won’t be enjoying this great game as much as you could. Be true to yourself and make a commitment to stick to your values.
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