It’s easy to get caught up in your score or how you play. While this is understandable, could you be missing out?

For so long, my golf has been defined by score alone. If I played well I was happy – and unhappy if the score didn’t live up to expectations. The more I write about learning (and walking my talk) I’ve realised I’ve redefined what’s important.

On Sunday I missed a sitter of a putt. It was only about a foot long and straight in. Not sure what happened and to be honest I don’t want to know. It’s not like knowing is going to make it go in. And will knowing prevent me from missing one again?


What surprised me was my reaction. I was a little shocked and annoyed, but not overly so. Normally a miss like this would result in more attention and frustration. I was calm and focused.

I realised right there that score isn’t overly important to me anymore. Sure, it’s nice to play well and it would have been better if that small putt had found the hole but I didn’t really care. I made a joke about it and moved on.

So what is important?

For me it’s about playing the game with full attention. On learning (I’m still learning) to play automatically and trust my swing when the pressure is on. I’m also keen to explore new shots and work on these shots so I can give them my full attention under the heat of competition.

I know score will still be a factor, but it’s not going to be the most important thing for me. I’m well aware that this sounds airy fairy and most will ignore it and/or think I’m going crazy. I’m comfortable with that. We’ve all gotta walk to the beat of our own drum.

One thing is for sure. Learning, attention and trust are far bigger than just the score. They’re also miles ahead of grip, stance and swing. And when we aim for something larger it’s when the unexpected hits us between the eyes.

– a truly satisfying score
– deeper meaning and more enjoyment
– or hitting the pin from 103 metres and making birdie (which happened to me after missing that silly putt)

Are you missing something with your game? And how could you play that would give you something bigger?