PGA

Hooked on Golf: Amateur Edition

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 19:  Tiger Woods makes a statement from the Sunset Room on the second floor of the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour on February 19, 2010 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Woods publicly admitted to cheating on his wife Elin Nordegren but maintained that the issues remain 'a matter between a husband and a wife.'  (Photo by Lori Moffett-Pool/Getty Images)
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eCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2009

For many amateur golfers, the quest to pick apart every aspect of the game remains an obsession that we'll never overcome. And that's precisely the problem.

About 10 years ago, we decided to stop tinkering around with the nuisances of our driving and mid-range game and start concentrating on how we can perfect our putting game.

Once we're able to reach the green (in four or five strokes on a par three), we start playing up to our potential as real golf pros.

Now, we've never played at any challenging courses (i.e. Pebble Beach) before, and we still feel we're better than the average Joe. We just don't know why.

One day we vowed to shoot under 100, but managed to hurl every one of our clubs deep into the woods Happy Gilmore style.

We figured we would break 100 and move on to something less challenging, like water boarding or surfing. We soon found out we weren't really good at either one of them, even when we put our mind to it.

It seemed like a reasonable goal at the time. Or so we thought. Turns out, we hadn't played since we were teenagers and it showed in how we reacted to our poor play.

To solve this conundrum, we took some mini-golf lessons from our favorite golf analyst, Kelly Tilghman, and listened to her tips on how she deals with golf legend Tiger Woods. But to no avail.

We joined Augusta National and other high-end country clubs, but were denied access because we weren't the greatest black golfer of all time: We sucked. 

And while we enjoyed our time on back-country greens nationwide, we still couldn't break 100 on an average course. The quest to improve our game became futile at this point.

No matter what we did to improve, nothing ever worked. Worse, the more we failed to break 100, the more we had to break 100.

Our once modest goal blossomed into an agonizing obsession: We were hooked on golf.

This obsession causes us to struggle with the mental aspect errors of our game. We're not sure how to get back on track, even with everything we've learned in our lessons. All of our time practicing at the local driving range did us no good. Most of the time, we slice the ball into the rough and our scores continue to climb.

One solution to our mental shortcomings is to stop fixating on our score and stay aggressive as possible. But that's easier said than done. The hardest thing about the mental part of golf is that it's hard to separate ourselves from, well, ourselves.

That's why we have no choice but to abandon our quest to break 100 and just enjoy the sport. Someday soon we'll improve our scores if we keep practicing.

We now believe: It's not whether we break 100, but how we play each game. We'll accept that whatever happens, well, happens.

Yes, we're still obsessed. But we wonder whether we're alone in our obsession?

For many people, breaking 100 can be a hallmark moment. For us, it's just a way to pass the time.

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