Have you ever had a round when you scored well, but wouldn’t have said you had a particularly enjoyable time?

Or have you had a really enjoyable game, but lost or the score was just mediocre, or even really bad?

You will have had both scenarios at some time or other. So with respect to scoring and enjoyment – we have had one without the otherand if you think about that, it raises some interesting questions:

Do we play for the scores or enjoyment? Can we play for both? Is one more important than the other? Is either important?

Let’s have a look at each:

What contributes to your score – your skill, some luck, the preparations you’ve made, your discipline and routine, the weather, the course set up, the play of others, decisions and choices you make on the courseand I know you can add plenty more to this list.

The truth with scoring is you can not and will not be able to control every element which plays a part in your scoring.

So what contributes to your enjoyment of a round?

Your skill, some luck, the preparation s you’ve made, your discipline and routine, the weather, the course set up, the play of other, decisions and choices you make on the courseagain the list goes on

sound familiar?

The list is the same for your scoring as it is for your enjoyment

or is it?

As you know yourself, you could have all these things working well for you and you still might not enjoy the round.

What’s the difference?

Well I believe it’s all about a simple choice you make, you will decide whether or not you enjoy your round or not and it has nothing to do with the lists above – it’s your choice, your decision.

Does this mean I believe you should behave like a “Pollyanna” and dance a happy dance after every time you three putt from 6 feet or chunk an approach shot short and into a lake – no, but after an event like that you have the choice how you react and you have a choice.

The worst possible reaction is to get mad at yourself, cause the bodies stress chemicals to be released into your system, stand on the next tee determined to exact your revenge on the ball, the course, even on the game itself – this isn’t how good players put together good rounds.

You have the choice – you always have the choice.

The best reaction is to accept what’s happened, in fact it’s the only option, and you can’t undo it.

And this is exactly what good players do, they’ll decide they can’t undo what they just did, they accept it, move on to the next shot with optimism, staying calm and putting the mistake behind them.

You can decide you’ll enjoy your round, you’ll enjoy the challenges it will present you, you’ll enjoy the difficulties presented by the good play of others, and by the chances to try a creative shot when you find yourself out of positionit’s your choice – you decide.

Some players I’ve known have argued they couldn’t enjoy the game I describe because they are “too competitive”. To them, golf is a game of attrition; it’s about “grinding” out scores. Unfortunately for them, they are so close, but so far away from the truth about golf – the determination they believe in is misdirected, better is to be determined you’ll enjoy the game despite what happens – that is the determination of a winner.

The decision to enjoy the challenges of the game will soon become your strongest competitive advantage.

Always remember: Golf is a game, played for enjoyment, when you decide you’ll enjoy it, the better you’ll play,

And the better you play, the more you enjoy your golf.

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Paul D’Arcy is a regular golfer who has been searching for consistency and improvement in his game. It took him 2 years, but he did it; he discovered how to get the game he wanted and he became much more consistent, and got down to scoring mid to low 70′s. He can give you practical golf lessons to improve your golf game with ease.