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Senior Golfer - On The Green

ON THE GREEN is courtesy of the Senior Connection Newspaper, visit their web site. The author is Jerry Koncel, a free-lance writer who lives in Schaumburg, IL.

Patience is a virtue for your golf game

The Putting Green

Patience in the pursuit of perfection is a virtue. Patience when chasing that little white ball around acres of green grass, sand and water is also a virtue, albeit one that most golfers don't recognize or value. Let me explain.

When you listen to pros who won their first tournament describe what it took to achieve this goal, one of the first sentences out of their mouths is: "It took a lot of patience to achieve this goal." If you're like me, you're wondering, "What the heck is this guy talking about?"

I asked my friend Larry that very question and he came up with this answer: "Pros realize that they can't force things, so they're patient on the golf course. Some times putts fall, while at other times they hang on the lip. Some times drives end up in divots, buried in sandtraps, or even in the long rough. You can't force these things. You just have to play your game."

So, I thought about what Larry said, and while I agree with him, I wonder what it means for the average senior golfer? When I asked Larry this question, he gave me this quizzical look as if I had never played the game, and replied, "It's the same thing for us!"

Armed with this information, I want to remind you to be patient. It does not mean not trying to get better with your golf game. On the contrary, it means trying your hardest to become better so that you can shoot lower scores, and win more bets from your golfing buddies. That being said, when you hit a 20-foot putt and it ends up six inches short, dead into the hole, you can be upset-for about three seconds. Then, go hit the ball into the cup and prepare to hit the next tee shot.

This sounds simple, and like most of the other aspects of the game of golf, is very complicated. Golfers are notorious for having long memories. I know most of us can recall the time we three-putted a green, stepped to the next tee, and either hit a terrible slice or a duck hook because we were still mad the three-putt green. It could have been last week, last month, or even several years ago.

I can still recall playing on particular Saturday when I started off birdie-birdie-birdie, heading to a 152 yard par three over water. I took out my seven-iron, hit a soaring shot to within 10 feet of the pin, and looked forward to my fourth consecutive birdie. Instead, I left the putt dead-in short. I was so upset that I never got over this and ended up shooting 13-over par for the next 14 holes. I was impatient.

Patience comes with years of experience. You have to know how to differentiate that thin line between getting upset and losing patience. If you lose patience, you lose focus and concentration on the shot at hand. Instead of swinging smoothly, hitting down on the ball, and waiting for the best results, you're anxious, overswinging, and can't wait to finish the round.

To make patience a virtue in your golf games, relax, take deep breaths, and remember that you're not perfect, just taking another on the way to getting there.

ON THE GREEN is courtesy of the Senior Connection Newspaper, visit their web site. The author is Jerry Koncel, a free-lance writer who lives in Schaumburg, IL.

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