10 Signs That You Are Addicted to Golf
Look, we’ve all had that moment in time where our love for the game perhaps crosses a line into addiction. It could be when you first take up the sport, or maybe after your best round. If you’re thinking that you might be taking the game a little too seriously, check out our 10 signs of golf addiction below. You may even spot a few that are familiar …
Practice Swing Pete
Now, we’re expecting this one to resonate with everybody somewhat. You’re at home, at a bit of a loose end, and it seems a decent idea to work on your golf grip in the front room; only, your clubs are in the car, so the TV remote will have to do! Or perhaps you’ve convinced yourself that the kitchen rolling pin is perfectly suited for use in practicing your backswing! Whilst these things remain in the house, it’s not too bad.
The issue comes when you start to take your imaginary swings to the outside world! You’re in the line at the supermarket, or on the sidelines of your kids’ football game … and you're still practice swinging away. We’re almost certain this is doing nothing to improve your game, and for the sake of your street cred, and the embarrassment of your loved ones, please try and keep the practice swings to the driving range!
Hiding Your Golf Related Purchases
It’s tempting to try out that new driver. Heck, you might even gain some much-needed distance. But what happens when that first driver doesn’t quite do the trick? Inevitably, there’ll be another visit to eBay to see what other spoils your fellow golfers are looking to get rid of. And whilst you’re there, maybe a new putter is in order too?! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself to some new bats every now and again … but once you start to hide the purchases from your family (perhaps by having them delivered to your work), you may have the beginnings of an issue …
The Golf YouTube Wormhole
YouTube has been fantastic for our sport. The ability to problem solve every golf fault imaginable through the medium of video can be much more effective to golfers’ improvement than reading tips from a magazine. However, golf YouTube tuition has now been around for more than a decade, and in that time, literally thousands of videos have been created, mostly trying to solve the same core issues (slices, distance, fats, thins, chipping etc). There’s only so many ways to fix each fault, and continually searching for a magic cure is a fools’ errand.
Instead, what we’d suggest, is to find a channel that you like - with well-regarded experts - and try and stick to this one coach as your main source of instruction. Otherwise, you’re likely to be implementing competing swing thoughts, leaving you more confused than when your started. If you’re looking for that perfect channel to trust, might we suggest our own Golfshake YouTube!
Struggling to find a free weekend date for the next two months due to incessant tee-time booking? Rearranging family holidays around the Club Championships? Sound familiar? Perhaps it’s time to be a little more considerate with your time, maybe sharing some of it with your loved ones. If you really must play both days at the weekend, how about going out early on a Saturday, and then late on the Sunday, having a solid 24-hour break for family endeavours between?!
Or, why not head out for 9-holes in the evening after work to get your golf fix instead? You’ll likely find it helps to improve your golf, as well as clearing your head - and could even free up a little time at the weekend for slightly *ahem* more important things!
Playing Through The Pain
“Beware the wounded golfer” they say. Whilst this might have been true for the majority of Tiger Woods’ career, you ain’t him. This is supposed to be your hobby, and something you do for fun - not a physical quest to be conquered. If you’re continually playing through pain, whether from a bad back, wrist, knee, or other ailment - might we politely suggest you take a little time off, rather than making things worse! We know it might be equally painful to refrain from your usual 36-hole weekend … but perhaps this is the time to practice your putting or short game whilst your body recovers?
Golf Dictating Your Mood
Speaking of taking some time off. If your scores are beginning to dictate your mood away from the sport, it’s a pretty clear sign that you may be addicted. We know how frustrating it can be to look forward to your round all week, only to make a mess of it on the first hole - before continuing to play poorly for the remaining 17! However, do you know what is more frustrating? Your partner having to listen to you talk about your upcoming round all week, only to receive you home afterwards in a foul mood! Let it go. Golf should be something that we enjoy, and whilst having a competitive spirit can add to this enjoyment, it certainly shouldn’t be affecting your mood when you leave the 19th hole.
Getting ‘Golf Fit’
You’ve been getting nagged at to lose that Christmas weight for the last dozen Christmases. However, getting on a treadmill or push bike doesn’t sound that appetising. Step forward, golf fitness. This is the one area of golf addiction that we’d actually advocate for, as building up your flexibility through dedicated stretching routines, as well as potentially losing a pound or two, is extremely good for your overall health. That said, if the promise of improved performance on the golf course was the only thing that could get you to take that first step, you might be putting slightly too much stock into your involvement in the sport.
Playing The Mental Round, Before The Round
“So, if I birdie the 16th hole, and then par the last couple, I think I’ll shoot 73. That will get me a 0.6 cut on my handicap, and I’ll finally be off single figures”. Sound familiar? We love having a strategy before you head to the course, but it shouldn’t be preoccupying your brain for a week before you hit the first tee. And you certainly shouldn’t be placing the extra burden of certain score expectations on yourself a week out! By all means, get familiar with the course you’re playing next - perhaps even check it out on YouTube - but please don’t spend every waking moment playing a hypothetical round in your head in the build-up to your knock. It doesn’t help, and is a little (lot) overkill.
Delusions Of Grandeur
Speaking of overthinking things. If possible, try not to get too carried away with your position in the sport. We all have our different levels of ability, and setting goals can be a great way of keeping you focused. However, telling everybody that will listen that you’re going to qualify for The Open this year because you recently broke 80 for the first time (“and if I really put the work in” etc) can just be a bit annoying!
The wonders of modern club technology have given us golfers more options than ever before. But if you’re going to bed worrying that your driver is set to -1°, when you really think it ought to be at +1°, then it’s may be time to drift off to sleep. If you’re really concerned about your spin rates, launch conditions, ball speed, and shaft flex, book in with a professional … and then, importantly, trust what they tell you. You can get yourself in a world of trouble by overanalysing your golf club setup. In truth, all modern equipment is pretty good, and if you’ve not found a fairway in your last three rounds, it’s likely not the driver that’s at fault …
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