How To Play Stupid Golf Vs. Smart Golf

Do you play stupid golf or smart golf?

I just finished playing three days of tournament golf on three different courses here in the northeast. It was a challenge. First day was cold, raw and windy, second day, hot and humid. The third day, sticky and threatening thunderstorms. But I can’t blame the weather for my golfing funk. I just couldn’t concentrate on my game.

Golf swing setupBy the 14th hole of the third golf course, on the third day, the temperature was hovering around 95 degrees in the shade, my partner and I were in real danger of losing the match to our opponents. I was facing a distance of 250 yards to the green from my ball on the fairway, with a wide brook in between.

It was match play and my partner had already hit a decent shot off to the right of the fairway, avoiding the brook. A smart, conservative move. She would probably be on the green with her next hit. Our opponents also chose to take the conservative route. So now it was my turn. Should I play smart golf or stupid golf?

What is the difference between the two? Smart golf is when you know how good you are and you choose to play accordingly. Stupid golf is when you play with a bit of arrogance, as if anything is possible. Facing the brook and the 250 yard distance to the green I was thinking “in-between.”

I know I could hit my 3-wood and clear the brook, but it would have to be a really solid shot. I’d done it a couple times earlier in the match. But this little voice in my head started talking to me. “Lay up! That’s the smart choice. Just hit to this side of the brook, then go for the green on your next swing.”

Of course, I decided to play stupid golf and I went for it. I looked at my target, adjusted my grip, pictured my ball flying off the face of my 3-wood, sailing towards the green. But just as I went to hit the ball, that little voice snuck into my consciousness one more time. “Lay up! Don’t take the risk.”

Duh? I ignored the voice. Swung the club and …  went right into the brook!

We lost the match. Not by much, but enough. And that stubborn, stupid golf mistake cost us. I’ll get over it. My partner will forgive me… but it grinds me the wrong way.

When you hear that little warning voice in your head, do you pay attention to it? Or do you play stupid golf? Add your comment in the space below… and tell me what I should do next time.

  4 comments for “How To Play Stupid Golf Vs. Smart Golf

  1. Teri
    March 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Problem is you were thinking. She was safe so why not take the pressure off, step up to it, say watch out flagstick here I come, and wack it with confidence. If the little voice creeps in say..F— you little voice, I got this!

    • March 17, 2014 at 8:28 am

      Teri… you are right. I was thinking. And the ball became my target instead of the green becoming the target. I let myself become unfocused. Something I definitely need to practice. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Annie
    September 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    So do you think if your 2nd little voice hadn’t piped up, you might have hit the ball over the brook and close to the green? Perhaps instead of playing safer ‘smart’ golf, you need to make sure the sneaky little doubting voice doesn’t make a comment just before you hit the ball.

    • Pat Mullaly
      September 14, 2013 at 11:16 am

      I need to take some mind control classes to shut down the “little nagging voice!”

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