What are your shameful golf habits? We all have a vice that keeps us from maximizing our enjoyment of the game and often prevents us from playing our best.
Here’s a confession that most people who’ve played with me can attest to: I curse like a sailor when I hit a bad shot. I try not to get too angry, so my cursing sounds like a mid-Western housewife who just said sh%^ for the first time.
I’ve become keenly aware of my cursing habit on the course and in life because I have an 18 month old child who is on the verge of talking and repeating everything I say. I won’t be winning any mother-of-the-year awards if her canned response to slicing it out-of-bounds is “What the fu*% was that sh#$?!?”
Thankfully, the cursing habit is broken more easily that smoking cessation or even flossing more. We can all be cautious about how we talk in certain situations, so I’m confident I can break this habit, but I’m going to need some help. That’s where Will Bowen and A Complaint Free World come in.
21 Day Challenge Explained
According to the Complaint Free World website: “In July 2006 Rev. Will Bowen was teaching a series on Prosperity. Part of this series was helping the congregation to form a habit of gratitude by going 21-days without complaining. Studies show it takes 21 days for people to form a new habit. In an effort to make the lesson practical, the church purchased purple bracelets and gave them away encouraging them to move the bracelet to the other arm if they caught themselves complaining.”
Simple. Wear the bracelet and if you catch yourself engaging in your bad habit, move the bracelet to the other arm and START OVER.
If the research says it takes 21 days to form a new habit, then after 3 weeks you will be able to rid yourself of your cursing, complaining, or other vice.
How to get started
Let’s do a little exercise: Write down 3 things that you do on the golf course (or in life) that you wish you didn’t do. Three compulsive bad golf habits. Go!
Ok, now, out of those three I’m guessing one stands out from the rest. That’s your bad golf habit for the 21 day challenge. Go find yourself a pretty rubber bracelet or a rubber band and slap it on your wrist and keep it there for 21 days…or 3 months…or however long it takes to go 21 CONSECUTIVE days without falling back into your old ways.
I’m going to go with ending my love affair with cursing on the golf course and in life, but some other potentially harmful golf habits come to mind:
- Angry outbursts and/or throwing clubs – for the record, I don’t actually do this. I have seen my dad do it twice and I quite enjoy watching him throw a 5-iron farther than he hit his previous shot. The most dangerous thing you can do is let a club thrower see you laugh, so its best to stifle your laughter by pretending to tie your shoe.
- Complaining/Moaning/Whining – the original aim of the “Complaint Free World” movement.
- Negative Self-Talk – this one is challenging because it’s always in your head (unless you’re cuckoo and you express your stream of thoughts out loud 24/7) and it’s hard to control one’s thoughts. Perhaps allowing yourself to dwell on these thoughts and not change the course of your negative thoughts would be grounds for moving the bracelet and starting over.
- Blaming – Do you blame your club, a bad lie, a ball mark on the green, or distracting playing partners for your bad shots? Stop! You are responsible for yourself and if you always play the role of the victim, you might consider a 21 day challenge for accepting responsibility for whatever happens in your life.
- Arriving late for your round – or any other appointment. Imagine how much better you could play and how much more relaxed you would feel on the first tee if you showed up 15 minutes earlier and had time to practice a few putts to get a feel for the roll of the greens and warm-up and stretch before your round.
- Caring about or keeping track of other players’ scores – Trying to keep up with the Joneses are ya? Many of you are totally oblivious to how others are playing, which is exactly how you want to be. But if you are keeping someone else’s score and you never have to ask them what they had on a given hole, you’re probably pay too much attention to their round and not enough to your own.
- Drinking – Some people claim that they play better when they’ve had a drink or two…or three or ten…but you don’t see PGA players drinking Miller Lite’s or Bloody Mary’s during their round, do you? I drink once in a while during a round of golf, but I think I, like most, would be better off if I just stick to water.
Committing to a [INSERT BAD HABIT HERE]-free life for 21 consecutive days will help you hit the reset button on habits that probably aren’t good for your golf game…or good for you as a person. The end result will be more enjoyable experiences on the course and in life!
I have 10 black bracelets and I’ll send you one if you…
1) Subscribe to my newsletter – click here
2) Leave a comment about what bad habit you will tackle for your 21 day challenge.