Is Happiness The Key?
By Kickntrue on 10/15/08
... or is it a gimmick by Golf Magazine to sell more magazines? Golf.com has launched a full special series of articles on being happy and how that is the key to shooting lower golf scores. Don't get me wrong- I like the idea but it's maybe a little far-fetched.
Because happiness is the small stuff. According to Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard University and the author of Stumbling On Happiness, we all have "a psychological immune system" that regulates our emotions in the wake of Big Life Events (your child's wedding, your spouse's death). But unless you're Tiger Woods or Lorena Ochoa, golf does not qualify as a Big Life Event GÇö so that immune system is switched off when you're on the course. Which means golf has the potential to make you happy. Very happy.What do you guys think?
Golf.com's Be Happy Section
[ comments ]
far-fetched, every round that I have scored low on has come when I was just having fun or it didn't seem to matter. I was just talking and having fun and every shot just seem to be great and the score in the end made me even more happy...
loose and happy is good...
No, it isn't a gimmick or far-fetched at all. I've put into practice some of the principles of this article and have managed to re-capture the enjoyment of the game instead of questioning why I'm putting myself through all of this frustration. I've played 5 of my most enjoyable rounds since reading this article 3 weeks ago. The main premise is if you're happy while playing, you'll be relaxed. Relaxed swing = good results. If you are unhappy(at your bad shots, scores etc) you'll be tense. Tense swing = bad results. So, for me, a high handicapper struggling mentally, it has been a tremendous help to quit focusing on the score and focus on having fun(fun=happy) and I know the scores will come in their own time.
Seems to me this is pretty much common sense. If you are POed while playing, you typically play bad, if you're happy and enjoying yourself, you play good. Not to mention it's a selfsustaining cycle. If you're mad and hitting bad shots, you just get madder. While if you're happy and hitting good shots, you just keep rolling, and the bad shot here and doesn't affect you much.
It's no secret that you play better if you're playing in the moment and enjoying the game. However, many golfers are unable to just that. That's why they need all these psychologists to teach them relax and just enjoy playing.
Great topic... If anyone remembers, one of my pet peeves was playing with grumpy, angry players - not just blowing off steam on stupid/awful shots, but chronicly frustrated golfers, usually drinking, and assuming they should be better. There are illusions in golf the game, but not in your score. There is luck, but it's balanced. If you accept the tree or rock ricochet that deposits your ball in a perfect spot, you must accept the crappy carom off the sprinkler head. The literal definition of "happiness" refers to happenstance, not eternal glee. Happines is accepting the unexpected variations in life. Happiness is about not crying over spilled milk, eating crumbled cookies, and rolling with the punches. The best lesson from golf, and from oobgolf is looking at how our scores go up and down - that is predictable. "My driving was incredible for months, now all of a sudden I'm duck-hooking it."
We can't expect to shoot our best round every time out - there lies madness. It's ok to double-bogey the hole you birdied last week! In this way, golf can ensure our happiness, and let us improve over time - because we continue to go out there and try in earnest, not just beat our friends to inflate our egos. Who cares if you you beat another lousy golfer? You always walk around with your best round and your worst round right inside ready to come out.
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