Going to College Archive

Is There More to Golf Than a Score?

Yes. Keep the Proper Perspective.

As summer approaches, I want to provide some general perspectives for junior golfers. Many of you are getting ready to participate in summer tournaments with the goal to someday compete at the collegiate level. Others may move on after college to pursue professional golf, enter the golf business world, or simply enjoy the game throughout your life. Wherever golf leads you, there will be many lessons learned and memories to reflect upon. Throughout my years involved with golf, there have been a few perspectives that have resonated with me which are worth sharing as you begin competing in your summer tournaments.

Having a sense of being grateful for the wonderful opportunities that golf brings you is essential. Many of you are playing because you love the competition and the opportunity to be the best at something. Others might simply like to meet new friends or love the personal challenge of improvement. Whatever the level of ambition, be sure to thank those who make your golf experience possible—first and foremost, your parents or loved ones for supporting your passion to pursue the game you love. They are spending countless hours helping you have every opportunity possible to follow your dreams. As you compete in tournaments this summer, there are many others to thank who assist in making your golf experience memorable—the pro shop staff and/or club membership for allowing the tournament to be hosted at the golf course, the superintendent who prepares the course for competition, and the junior tour director and staff who run the actual event. A simple “thank you” can go a long way toward letting others know that you appreciate their contributions to this great game. As a coach, these seemingly routine courtesies were expected and emphasized among my team as we traveled to various tournaments and venues.

This sense of thankfulness will help you have a better attitude. During my coaching days, I watched players’ attitudes very closely, as one poor attitude would greatly affect the dynamics and culture of the entire team. It was critical for an incoming player to have an attitude that would be infectious in a positive manner. As I evaluated prospective recruits in tournament situations, I would watch closely how they reacted to a poor shot or poor hole in competition. I wanted to gain a sense of how well they handled adversity. Golf will inevitably present challenging situations, and maintaining a positive attitude will enable you to better handle those circumstances.

The last perspective I want to impress upon you is to ENJOY the game of golf. It is easy to get caught up in your score for the day or how you finished in the tournament. Remember, that golf is a game and one that you’ll be able to play for as long as you choose. Have fun competing, challenging yourself, being with friends, spending time outdoors, and traveling to new places. Certainly, golf and competition can be frustrating and even disappointing at times; however, having the proper outlook will allow you to stay steadfast in your pursuits.

Whether you are just beginning your entry into competitive golf or are in the middle of the recruiting process, much can be said for keeping things in perspective. While shooting the lowest score possible is your main objective, at the end of the day, all you can do is your best. Continue to be thankful for the opportunities that you have, learn from each competitive experience, and maintain a positive attitude. Enjoy the process and your personal journey with the game of golf.

Ted Gleason

Road to College Golf


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