How Golf Teaches You to Not Be Intimidated by the Unknown

29 ° degrees today in sunny Southend…

I finished my golf lesson on the driving range and made way to the South Course at Garon Park.

Today I’d learnt the invaluable lesson, of making sure my positioning was correct as I addressed the ball, in relation to the size of the club I was using. It enabled me to take the learning straight out on the course and implement it (successfully) into my game.

mental obstacles

I managed to not overheat in the process and was doing well, bringing myself back to centre after each shot, under a cloud kissed, blue sky.

I knew the intention I had set myself, on rocking up to the course. Putt the ball into the hole, at each green in two shots.

Each time I step up to the first tee, I know what I want to do. What I can’t guarantee as a novice golfer, is the outcome.  I always have to mind, what I’m trying to achieve and at each hole, I have a plan on how I’m going to do it – depending on the lay of the green, the weather on the day and the course I’m playing on.

  • Long-term goal – complete the course.
  • Mid term goal – complete each hole in two over par.
  • Short-term goal – each shot,  a fresh shot and meant I could create a different outcome.

The round had been going quite well. There was only a couple of times my game went awry.

  • Learn, practice and play.
  • Develop in self and golf awareness.
  • Take into account all mitigating factors.

This gives you some but not the whole picture.

The unknown

My physical confidence has a huge impact – as does my strategic mind, which enjoys the thinking element of golf.

As I stepped up to the 7th hole, I realised that I didn’t have a clue what was in front of me. It was unknown. All I could see was vast open space. I became disorientated – looking at an expanse of burnt grass and green trees.

I felt intimidated.

I didn’t know what was to come – I could not see the hole, nor did I have clear direction on which way the fairway curved.

I knew there was only one thing I could do in this instance and that was to stare into the face of the unknown. Using instinct, desire and foresight.

Take the only possible next shot I could take. Which would enable me to move onward.

As I knew, the closer I got to the hole, the more the fairway would open up, possibilities would appear and I would once again know what direction and next shot to take.

The Unknown

It led me to thinking about life.

The choices we make, the chances we take.

How that fear of the unknown can be so intimidating, it tends to want us to remain safe. So we don’t mess up or make a mistake.

Yet if we don’t feel that intimidation and stare blithely into the face of the unknown and go for what we want. Then it will have no opportunity to come to us.

I know the bounce of the golf ball on a scorched and sun dried fairway, is causing me to use a shorter club but is still allowing me to gather distance. (Another plus of learning from a golf pro!) Means I’ve learnt that a good player, needs to learn to adjust: stance, club and attitude, to ensure a round is finished as cleanly as possible and today, it taught me all I needed to know about dealing with the great unknown and that was..

Just take your best shot with all the information, insight and knowledge you have in that moment. Then re-centre yourself, in preparation for the next one!

That’s all you can do and that’s all there is to it.

What will your next shot be?



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