By Adam Bowles

I have recently played a round of golf here at our Apple Valley golf course and I had an epiphany.  I do realize that is a really big word for a golf professional to use in a sentence and I do realize it is a not a menu item from the local Mexican restaurant.  An epiphany is defined as an experience of sudden and striking realization.  I realized that no matter how much I wanted to play a good round of golf that day, I really needed to apply my own teaching philosophy to my own game.  My teaching philosophy is to enjoy the game of golf by simplifying your golf game.  I want my students to just relax and focus on a small task for each shot.  Whether it be a chip shot or a drive I want them to only think of that one shot ahead of them and focus on hitting the shot to their own ability.

It was around the third hole that I realized that I was not applying my teaching to my own game and I started to calm down and take the round shot by shot.  I was not going to analyze why a certain shot ended up like it did, what I wanted my score to be for the day, or why the birdie putts just were not falling in.  I stopped myself and changed my though patterns to good thoughts and successful things began to happen.  I ended up shooting under par on my round and all I could remember after the round was how much fun I had.  I was not consumed by all of the putts that could have gone in, or if I was going to win the match with my playing partners.  I just left the course remembering that it was a great time on the beautiful course with friends.

So here is what you should take from all of this.  The more you begin to realize that you cannot beat the game of golf, no one will ever shoot a perfect round of golf, and how lucky we are to play golf, you will truly begin to play better.  I guarantee it.  So stop reading self-help teaching books on golf and go out and enjoy yourself.



Adam H. Bowles, PGA, is Golf Operations Manager at Rumbling Bald Resort, Lake Lure.