Shaw Charity Classic, 2019
Hole 14, Par-3
Canyon Meadows G&CC
“I don’t let birdies and pars get in the way of having a good time.”
– Angelo Spagnolo
One thing I have learned is that golf is a game – and that’s all it is. It seems to take most of us a very long time to understand this reality. The bottom line is: golf is just a game and it is only a game. Pure and simple. Nothing more and nothing less. Period.
I know that sometimes (okay, often times) I can forget this important part of the game and this reality-check can feel elusive, like wet sand slipping through my hands as I reach down across the ocean floor and try to scoop some of it up. To me, the scorecard is a distraction. It is just a metric that uses numbers to quantify and objectify what we shoot on any given hole or round. Then we use these very same numbers to analyze and measure our golfing potential. Even the bravest among us enter their scores into a USGA public domain database from which the software rolls out one’s handicap, which for non-golfers, is a numerical value that tells us what we should be shooting on average from any course we tee it up at.
Of course, even that computerized system is set up to make us feel like failures by the index number being an unfair numerical value. It actually tells us what we should shoot – if we shoot the lights out. So, it’s very realistic as you can see. By the very nature of this mega-large database being public means anyone can see the scores we’ve posted, from anywhere. Once in the system, or not, we compare our rounds with our playing partners and others we know, based on that smallish-looking, pencilled in, confined value we give ourselves (not always honestly, I might add) after each hole played, culminating in a total, or final round, score.
And that’s the problem: the comparison that our “score” so often brings us and each other. This proverbial measuring stick feels like we’re constantly under the microscope with ourselves and the golfing world. So I say, take the pressure-cooker off and let the air escape. Let it all evaporate, like the helium coming out of your mouth after you’ve breathed it in from a party balloon. Simply put, don’t keep score or the score will keep you. Doing so, I think you’ll find the game much more fun, relaxing, and enjoyable; all of which are probably the very reasons you, or any one of us, probably picked up the game in the first place. So go scoreless, not for the sake of the score but your own sanity – and those around you. You might even gain some friends around the track.