So If we all can learn
something from the exciting month of March and all of its heartbreak,
celebrating, buzzer-beating heroics and late second-half collapses, maybe this
one very important message will dominate your brain waves at the beginning of
your golf season: Do not peak too early.
Sure, the first round of
golf this season might go like you have deamed it would all winter: a few birdies, a few sand saves, drives
covering the center of a soggy pre-spring fairway. Your season will start strong and will
only get better. Wake up. While these are all good and positive
thoughts to have, let a little realism creep into your bag.
Controlling the ups and
downs on the golf course, not only for each round, but also for each golf
season is paramount when looking to achieve greater heights on the course. Sometimes a winter off is just what your
mind and body need for you to play better when you lug your clubs to the
fairways and greens for the first time the next year.
A fresh mind, a newly-fit
body from your grueling winter workout regimen (hopefully a few of you have
left the couch) and you are ready to go.
Ready to go with a simple word that will play a major role in your game
during the hot and humid summers of Southeastern PA: Expectations.
Peaking at the beginning of
the season can set a high expectation level, which can often leave you reaching
far into the fall. Understand that
your spring season is much like spring training in baseball. How many times do you see a pitcher,
after he tosses no-hit ball for three innings, running off the mound in
excitement, pounding his barely sweaty mitt during a Grapefruit League
game? If you saw "Doc" (Halladay)
doing this before the season started, wouldn’t you worry that he might be
peaking a bit early?
April should serve as your
month to get in golf shape for the summer.
Take the good with the bad.
Be as happy with your 92 as your 82. If you stop and think, there is more to
learn from the higher scorer. At
the end of the month, ask yourself what things you did well and what things you
did not do so well. From there,
starting off in May, goals can be set and weaknesses can be improved upon and
strengths can be sharpened.
expectations before, during and after a round is just as important as spending
hours at the driving range, putting green and short game area. Too many birdies too soon will be
equaled by too many bogeys the more you play.
Why do you think they have
Club Championships and Member-Guests in the summer months? If they moved the U.S. Open to
March, wouldn’t you think that was a bit odd? Use the beginning of the year wisely and
peak when performance matters the most.
Ryan Gingrow is PGA teaching
professional at Whitford CC. His full bio is here.