Have you ever noticed those times where you hear a word or phrase repeatedly in the same day or week? This seemed to happen to me last week with the word “commitment.” I heard it from different people about different things yet the use of the word implied the same thing for each. It happened so many times, I had to comment about it. In fact, one of the moments where I heard “commitment” was in reference to what someone intended to do differently this year as it pertained to his golf game. He declared that his motto for the season was “Commitment.” He was going to get committed. He was going to commit to practicing and when he’s playing he’s going to commit to each shot…even if he didn’t like the shot…he was going to commit. He seemed pretty enthused about the idea of his motto. This prompted me to explore the idea of the word “commitment” in golf and what that really means.
We all want to enjoy the game more, play better and of course, lower our scores. In order to do that, golfers not only need a plan but they also need commitment. Commitment is one of the key ingredients to being successful while learning or playing golf. You need to have a goal in mind and with the help of a good golf coach, a realistic road map to get there. Asking yourself a few key questions will help you better understand what that means for you.
1) What do I want to do with golf?
2) How important is golf to me?
3) How much time do I really have to spend on my golf game?
4) What are my goals for the season?
5) Do I have a plan for my game improvement?
These are a few questions that can help you better understand what golf is to you and moreover, if it’s an important enough part of your life to invest time and money to improve. If somewhere in the questions above, your answers have something to do with getting better and wanting to improve, then you definitely want to get a real sense of what time you have available to improve your game. Once you know what that is, then you can start to set realistic goals. If you only have 2 days a week to devote to golf and one of those days you are planning to play with your friends, then setting achievable goals for your game improvement is critical. It’s really no different if you have 5 days a week to devote to golf…it’s about setting reasonable goals and having plan to reach them.
Here’s where we come back to the word “commitment.” Regardless of your time availability and the goals you have set, you want to be committed to the process. If you want to improve your short game, then that should be where you spend your time. If it’s putting you want to improve, then the putting green it is. The key is having a plan and spending time committed to that plan for your improvement. The importance of good guidance through the process is key. Also, the understanding that there really are no “quick fixes” for long-lasting and solid skill acquisition. Like other activities that require skill acquisition, be it learning to play an instrument, inserting an IV, juggling or doing algebraic equations, those who make it look easy were committed to acquiring the skills to do so. They had a plan in mind and set goals along the way to get there. So ask yourself a few questions about golf and what it means to you then create your plan. Once you have it, all you have to do is commit to it!