What drives a golfer to be the best at their club or on their high school team? What factors separate those that overcome rough patches with their game from those who do not?

Fore the LOVE of the Game…

What drives a golfer to be the best at their club or on their high school team? What factors separate those that overcome rough patches with their game from those who do not?

I could easily list off some standard answers such as hard work, determination, an undying belief in one’s self, and several other traits that would indeed be valid but with youth golfers, there is one thing that is the one differentiator. And, this actually does not just apply to youth golfers, but rather all of us that play the game. So, what is this magic dust? It’s simply a passion for the game. By definition, Passion is:  A strong and barely controllable emotion. So, in the interest of this article and furthering my point, we will define the particular emotion as Love. According to Wikipedia, Love encompasses a variety of strong and positive emotional and mental states, ranging from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure.

As a coach working with youth golfers as well as guiding their parents, I try to emphasize this fact. Love and Fun must always and forever be the main theme to a long-term game plan and course of pursuit for any golfer and any level. Believe it or not, this holds even more true for the ultra-competitive player.

A great work ethic, determination, preparation, charted and concentrated practices are all part of the equation…no question. But no sane person would continue for an extended period of time doing something that they don’t Love and don’t enjoy doing. When we are dealing with youth golfers, we not only need to be aware of the emotional state of the player but also the emotional state of us, the parent, the coach or the adults involved in the process. We MUST keep the Love and Passion for the game at the forefront and always make sure the child is having Fun! This is non-negotiable in my mind.

kid playing golf in red shirt

As we see the reemergence of Tiger Woods this year, it is hard to not notice that he is enjoying the game more now than probably at any other point in his career. In my humble opinion, he has fallen in Love again with the game and this is likely, whether he knows it or not, the key component to his form returning.

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