3 Characteristics of All Great Golfers
I’m often asked what it takes to play great golf, what it takes to play at the highest level? The answer is no different than what it takes to play your best golf. Passion, Commitment, Wisdom.
The difference is the pressure that you experience versus a tour professional. Pressure is relative to the circumstances you choose to experience. Whether you aspire to be a touring professional or just your play your best each weekend, you can share and use 3 Characteristics all great golfers share; Passion, Commitment, Wisdom.
Characteristic #1 – The Passion to Know No Sacrifice
Passion is more than just love for someone or something. Some say it is a strong and barely controllable emotion for something or someone. According to Webster, it can be an intense, driving, overpowering feeling or conviction.
The Passion of a golfer takes many forms, but always manifests in the golfer’s ability to relate golf to life, and vise versa. Many of the lessons we learn from our birth are taught within the game. And it’s the game that allows us to existentially examine ourselves at our best and our worst times. In turn, the golfer’s introspective passion for the game can sometimes mask any potential “sacrifice” they may be making as effort to be the best golfer they can be.
The passionate golfer therefore doesn’t view time or material loss as a sacrifice. Loved ones of the golfer as well as others who surround the golfer may feel the golfer is making extraordinary sacrifices for golf, in lieu of others or what is deemed as more important than golf. To the golfer with true and unyielding passion, there is no sacrifice too small or too big, to play their best.
How do You Use Your Passion for Golf?
Passion is your first priority as a golfer. Either you have it or you don’t. To sustain your passion, you must first have a priority system of life that allows for your passion to evolve, as you evolve as a golfer. Unless you plan to play touring competitive golf, don’t forget the priorities in your life. Family, Faith, Profession are normally the first 3 mentioned when asked. Wherever golf falls within your priority system is how deep your passion will be for the game. In turn this position will most likely dictate your ability to play to a realistic potential. As golf increases in priority, the items listed below it are not a sacrifice. It is a necessary process of elimination that determines whether or not you reach your potential.
Characteristic #2 – The Commitment to Know No Boundaries
Commitment is an outcome of Passion. It’s a state of becoming emotionally impelled to do anything it takes to be the best golfer, no matter the sacrifice. True commitment holds no boundaries, whether real or implied. And a truly committed golfer reaches beyond their own real boundaries as well as eliminated any artificial boundaries imposed by others.
Your real boundaries lie within. Going beyond your boundaries is not a comfortable feeling for most. With commitment comes unknown risks. And some people just don’t want to deal with risk. In order to make a commitment, you must resolve your fears of risk. Also, you need to minimize or eliminate the fears you have of the inevitable outcomes, good or bad, that come with taking risks.
Implied boundaries are those that are placed upon you by others. These boundaries are normally conceived from a jealous or envious feeling others may have towards you. If this is true, then you must be doing something right, or else they would not feel jealous or envious of you. But taking these labels in a negative sense is an excuse for your failures, waiting to happen.
How do You Eliminate Your Boundaries to Intensify Your Commitment?
Use your passion for golf to discover your commitment level to the game. Everyone’s commitment level is different. And your commitment must be in balance with the other commitments higher on your priority list.
First you must come to grips with how far you are willing to take a risk, your level of commitment takes care of itself. As with other risk reward situations within your life, use the same problem solving techniques to place a realistic value of time and resource to your commitment. Second, you must completely ignore the implied boundaries others place on you. Or, use those perceived labels as motivation to prove your detractors wrong.
Sounds simple for both. And it is simple, once you commit.
Characteristic #3 – The Wisdom to Know No Ceiling
Wisdom is the accumulation of your total experiences over time with and without golf. You use those experiences to make educated decisions to propel your abilities, within any situation life or golf throws at you.
I’ve been telling my son this for years. And I began using this question with all my clients when I began asking my son, “What is the difference between being dumb and being stupid?” Answer – Stupid Knows Better!
Wisdom is the ability to distinguish between what will allow you to succeed and what will not. This is all based upon you experiencing good and bad within similar previous opportunities. Because you lived this situation or problem in the past, Wisdom provides you easier to find answers for what you may perceive as a harder than normal problems to solve. And the easier answer normally leads to Wisdom consistently presenting new and positive opportunities for you and your game.
How to Eliminate Your Ceiling using Your Wisdom to Maximize Your Commitment?
There is no short cut to wisdom. Wisdom takes time. That time can be shortened by witnessing others succeed or fail before you at a certain skill or experience. Don’t mistake short bursts of concentrated playing or practicing as gaining wisdom and experience. The accumulation over years, related or not to golf, creates the fabric of your wisdom.
As the phrase suggests, “the sky’s the limit.” If you are committed to a realistic plan, built around the wisdom you possess, you should never experience a plateau, a peak, or a ceiling with your golf game. Commitment to your passion can sometimes blur your journey due to the emotional qualities of both. Wisdom is the mindset of taking control of the situations presented you. And, making a decision that is best for you as a person first, golfer second. This is true whether you’re aspiring to play tour golf or just trying to reach your next playing milestone.
Conclusion – How Do Passion Commitment Wisdom Help You?
Passion, Commitment, Wisdom are just a few of many characteristics that comprise success. Arguably, there are other characteristics of successful people, golfers included. But Passion, Commitment, and Wisdom are the 3 Characteristics that all golfers are required to own if they plan to play their best. Passion, Commitment, and Wisdom comprise a trilogy of interconnected pillars that allow a great golfer to function without any fear. And in turn pull from their inner courage to succeed at a level that is relative to the situations they experience.