One of my all-time favorite business books is “The Ten Commandments for Business Failure,” by former Coca Cola President Donald R. Keough. Rumor has it Keough was asked to write about keys to success, but he said to his publisher, “Can’t do it. But I can tell how you can surely fail.”
His advice was spiked by “quit taking risks” and “keep doing what has worked for now.”
I thought that type of complacency would practically guarantee failing at golf, so I created Golf Doctor’s Ten Commandments for How to Fail at Golf.
In my view, failing equates to an overwhelming combination of consistently poor performance, unsatisfying results, gross inadequacy and scarcity of any true mastery of the game. But apply your own private logic to failure.
- Remain mindlessly remain unaware of your gross swing flaws, not noticing how better golfers swing the club and manage to strike the ball solidly and consistently, ignoring the thousands of books, articles and videos analyzing the golf swing.
- Never practice your short game – chipping and putting – which is where most of your strokes are accounted for.
- When you do go to the range, cluelessly keep flailing away, and eventually like the proverbial monkey with a typewriter, you’ll get the ball airborne.
- Embrace paranoia. Maintain a golfing attitude that is characterized by persistent negativity, pessimism, defeatism with the sense that nothing will go your way.
- Cheat. Do this by believing that the rules of golf are for losers, meant to be broken. I know some golfers who follow the football, baseball and hockey mindset, where it doesn’t become a foul unless you’re caught at it.
- Staunchly avoid lessons. Stupidly thinking that you don’t need or can’t afford golf lessons may let you save some cash, but it’ll leave you struggling and failing without any comprehension of the fundamentals of the golf swing or the game itself.
- Don’t even look like a golfer, clad in cutoff blue jeans, faded t-shirt and sandals. And continue to delude yourself that you are clever and cagy with those fake knockoff clubs.
- Accept the fact that you have been playing golf for many years and have not gotten one bit better in all that time. Remain satisfied by failure and mediocrity, while staying unwilling to make any significant change with your golf swing, your thinking or your game. Habit may be comfortable, but it ain’t successful.
- Remain dependent on your bloated handicap. You probably haven’t improved your game, because you insist on maintaining your artificially inflated handicap, so you don’t lose face or money when playing with equally inept cronies who also masquerade as “golfers.”
- Continue to be a choke artist. Get nervous, stewing over nothing but the implications and disappointment of missing a putt, along with possibly having to face the savage needling of your buddies.
And while clenching your putter with a death grip, jerk your head up quickly, before even finishing the stroke, to look anxiously, only to see your ball slide well past the hole.
Dr. Charlie Blanchard is a licensed psychologist specializing in sports and leadership. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.