The Truth About Your Golf Score

Its been said that golf is a great metaphor for life. Where else can you put yourself under the microscope and within a few hours find out how well you handle success, failure and all the little voices in your head?

One of the interesting parallels is how golf reveals a person’s issues with ego. It’s amazing how easy it is for us to put our self worth into the approval of others, especially related to something as trivial as our golf game. We do this so much that golfers everywhere routinely lie about their scores. If they don’t lie, they often devalue the experience with statements like, “If I could only putt,” or “At least I’m not dead.” This pattern is so predictable you can find the same boring, recycled conversations occurring at every golf course.

As a junior golf I remember struggling with this quite a bit, coming off the 18th green and being greeted with the old “what did you shoot?” routine. Growing up in a small town as the son of the club pro, I cared tremendously about my golf game. Although my family never pressured me to play or perform, I personally sought approval from others related to my game. When competing in local events, if my round started going awry I’d often experience anxiety. The anxiety wasn’t related to the competition, but the score that would be posted next to my name in the morning paper. Worrying about your game is tough enough. Dealing with how you feel others might think of you because of your game can be downright debilitating. Feeling like less of a person because you didn’t play your best is ridiculous. Filtering your performance with a lesser version of the truth is an indication this pattern may exist elsewhere. One thing the game has taught me is that your golf score isn’t who you are. But, how you respond to it is.

Your golf score isn’t who you are. But, how you respond to it is.

This idea of authenticity has way more impact than just how other people view your golf game. It’s literally one of the keys to happiness itself. Our choices in how we communicate set up a cycle, which will lead us down either a circle of pain or a circle of gain. No matter who we are, there’s a segment of the population who will love us, while at the same time, there will be another segment who won’t. This is the law of attraction and repulsion.

At the beginning of each cycle is personal choice or how you choose to communicate with the people around you.  Doubt and fear often cause us to communicate in an “unauthentic” manner. We don’t speak truthfully about who we are or how we really feel. Once our choice of communication is sent, we’re either attracting or pushing away others. Communicating unauthentically may attract those who we would normally be repulsed by and pushes away those who we would be genuinely attracted to. As the toxic cycle continues, we become insecure about our relationships because they’re operating out of fear. Fear of approval, fear of acceptance and the fear we can never reveal our true selves.

If our choice is to communicate in an “authentic” manner, then we’re speaking our truth. We’re saying, “This is who I am and this is what I am all about.” Now we know the people who will be attracted to us are the ones who are genuinely cool with who we are. Communication based on truth means we have nothing to hide. This is the foundation for any positive relationship.

Living confidently and without fear is a great way to feel on or off the golf course. The next time you tee it up, make it your goal to approach your life and golf game with a higher level of authenticity. Give each shot your best, enjoy the challenge and let the chips fall where they may. After your round state your score and make no excuses. You’ll find the truth, will indeed, set you free.

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