The art of patience in golf

When we look at days like the last two at the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship, where time was less than desirable, we know the truth is this: the players who can be the most patient will inevitably be the same ones who set themselves up for success coming on Sunday.

I could ask you that question in general, in life, or in relation to how you behave on the golf course, or in training, or as you work your way through a series of lessons. The answer for some may be the same on and off the golf course: I am a very impatient person, or, I am very patient. For others, and in my estimation, that includes most of us, it’s a mixed bag. You feel that you are patient in some aspects of your life and not in others.

Golf is in itself a game that drives you crazy. It can test those who are the most patient people in seemingly all other aspects of their lives.

“Patience is an important feature that allows you to properly arrange a punch and do your best throughout the round. Losing patience can be the difference between good and bad scoring. ”

– David Breslow, world famous performance coach

No matter where your golf game is, you need to learn to practice the ability to stay patient. Whether you are a world class golfer, a brand new adult player or a very competitive junior, you need to learn to be patient in this game. If you don’t, it’s very, very hard to imagine that you’ll have any real and lasting success playing.

Golf is a journey. PGA and LPGA Tour Professionals will be among the first to tell you this. The trip could be something short-lived, like a tournament, a round, a hole or even a shot. The journey could be broken down into a single goal, such as trying to break through 100, 90, 80 or a pair. The journey could only be to have the ball fly into the air if you are a beginner or learn how to reduce the total number of strokes in a round. The journey could consist of countless different things, many of which could happen at the same time as you learn and play the game.

One thing I keep emphasizing to the juniors I train is this: you have to have confidence. Believe in me, as your coach, believe in the process of improving or achieving goals and most importantly, believe in yourself.

Over the years, I have learned that some of the most important things needed for a student to build trust in me, and me with them, are the following:

  • Think about building a long-term relationship (it could be a coach-student relationship, or even your relationship with the game of golf itself)

  • Be honest (again, to each other in the coach-student relationship, or to yourself in general)

  • Communicate effectively (critical coach-student relationship and key to long-term improvement)

  • Relax a little (nothing is more important than being a little vulnerable to improve something)

  • Stay committed (As I said, golf is a journey and it requires dedication)

Learning to have more confidence, as mentioned above, can help you become a more patient golfer.

When we see that the best in the world are put to the test, we see that the art of patience is fully demonstrated. Watching them can be a great time for self-reflection and asking yourself, “How patient am I with my game?”

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