What do you really want from your golf this season?

For golfers, this is that most wonderful time of the year.

We’re enchanted by azaleas, a dangerously beautiful junction known as Amen Corner, and our own favourite Masters moments. And this year is even more special with the return of Tiger Woods, and great story lines around Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Tony Finau.

And after a long winter, the Masters also signifies the start of the golf season for most of us in North America.

So, with the excitement of the season upon us, I have a question for you:

What do you want for yourself this golf season?

Ask most serious golfers that question, and you can count on them hitting upon something like lowering their handicap or winning a division of their club championship. They might also mention things like reducing the number of putts, eating better, having a better practice routine, and so on.

Heck, me too!

But aren’t those the same goals—or pretty similar—to the goals from last year? And the year before that?

Are we always focused on scoring and performance? Is these the only reasons we play golf?

I’m not saying to dispense with your scoring goals, but to be open to the possibility there may be some other things you want from golf this year. And the funny thing is—they will likely help your scoring goals.

Just for an example, here are some of my wants for my golf this year:

  • Have fun every round
  • Feel a sense of freedom on every shot and in my life
  • Savour the beauty of the course (feel the breeze, hear the birds)
  • Learn more about myself as a tournament competitor
  • And … lower my handicap

I’m inviting you to find out what you want from your golf this season through a little writing exercise.

Take out a couple of sheets of blank paper and a pen, and write across the top: ‘What do I want this golf season?’

Then start writing. The key is to keep the pen moving. Just let the words pour out of the pen on to the page. Do not stop to think, look out the window for inspiration, look up stuff on the internet, fix spelling, or check past lists, etc. Keep writing and writing. (If typing is your preferred method, fine.)

If you keep writing, you’ll get past your conscious ego-driven—and judging—mind and into your subconscious, the deeper part of you where your memories, hopes and dreams live.

That’s where you’ll find what you really want from golf—and other parts of your life.

If you’ve never done much writing or journaling before, two pages is likely enough. If you want to go for three, fine. When you’ve written your allotted pages, stop, and turn the pages over. Wait for later in the day, or even the next day until you read them.

(If you are more verbal person, you might talk into a voice-recording app for five minutes. Or if you’re visual, draw pictures, or create graphics on your computer. Clip pictures from magazines and create a collage. Whatever works for you.)

When you review what you’ve produced, you might be surprised. When most people do this exercise, they find that they get into far deeper stuff than ‘break 80’, ‘beat my buddies’ and ‘don’t look like an idiot on the first tee.’

You might connect with some things that you hadn’t considered for a long time. Or you might connect to some themes that have been coming up in other parts of your life, perhaps around relationships, work, direction, desires, blocks, changes you want to make, and so on.

The exercise might just lead you to enjoy some new possibilities this season.

And you might also find that it’s really important to you that you lower your handicap and drive the ball farther than anyone in your foursome, and that you’re going to work even harder this season to make those things happen.

The point of the exercise is that in the hurly burly of our lives and the constant onslaught of distractions that befall most of us on a daily basis, we’re often unaware of the important things that are brewing within us. Or what made us fall in love with golf in the first place.

By asking yourself what you really want for your golf this year, you can make a claim for who you want to be as a golfer this year.

And then, you can determine the actions that you are going to commit to that will bring you closer to realizing these goals. (More about that in a future blog.)

Enjoy the Masters, and your golf season.

If kickstarting your 2018 season is important to you, I encourage you to contact me about a complimentary coaching session. Let’s talk and see what happens.

In other news…

Would you be willing to help the University of Guelph men’s golf team make the trip to the Canadian Univerisity/College Championships in B.C. at the end of May? (I coach ’em.) We qualified but we don’t have funding to travel there and the players would love to finish their great season in style. Click here for our gofundme campaign. Thanks for your consideration.

Swing Thoughts adds a new sponsor:  GSL (Howard Glassman) and I are excited to welcome adidas Golf Canada as a new partner in our Swing Thoughts podcast. We’ve both been wearing adidas for a few years now, and we thought, ‘Well, why not make this all nice and bring them on the team? So we did. Thanks to GM Lesley Hawkins and Casey David Lennon. Click here to listen to our first podcast with adidas Golf Canada.

I’m giving a presentation on Moe Norman on Tuesday, April 17 at 7 p.m. at Cutten Fields in Guelph. Interactive, fun and with lots of storytelling, the talk is called, “What We Can Learn From the Eccentric Genius of Golf.” Admission is free, there will be a cash bar and I’ll sign copies of my book, The Feeling of Greatness: The Moe Norman Story. Come on out!

About Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor is a golf and life coach, an award-winning writer, Head Coach of the University of Guelph golf team and Mental Performance Coach at the ClubLink Academy at Glen Abbey. He is author of the newly released second edition of The Feeling of Greatness: The Moe Norman Story. He is co-host of the Swing Thoughts podcast with Howard Glassman, and a leader in training in the ManKind Project. He gets all excited when he helps people tap into their brilliance.

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