Why Do You Want to Play Competitive Golf?

By on February 17, 2014

Golf has a set of skills that determine your success. There are the physical skills of ball-striking and short game and the cerebral skills of course management and mental toughness. In this article I want to talk about one of the Core Mental Toughness principles. To illustrate my point, I want to share with you a story of my student, Jean, who is a very good player.

Jean has been on and off the LPGA tour after a very successful amateur career. She is a gifted ball-striker and has solid skills in the short game. One time during our time as teacher and student, she was a real low point with her game and the mediocre scores she was shooting. She told me what had been going on and how frustrated and angry she had been recently.

The Why Question

“Why Do You Want to Be a Competitive Player?”

So I asked her, “Why do you want to be a competitive player?”. The question came as a surprise to her (as it does for a lot of golfers) because she hadn’t really thought about it. She said, “Well, I’m good at golf and I want to take it to the next level and play on Tour like I dreamed about when I was a kid.  I guess I haven’t thought about it much deeper than that.”

I then explained to her that there are 3 reasons to pick competitive golf as a profession:

1. You are good at it

If you want to play golf professionally, you should be first and foremost good at it and very, very skillful.


2. You love golf

You have to love what you do in order to excel in it. Playing golf without your heart in it will lead you nowhere near success.


3. Competition thrills you

You have to love competition too. If you’re going to play golf for a living, guess what?  You wake up in the morning and everyday is about competition.  If you don’t like the concept of competition and don’t have that built in to your nervous system, then it’s going to be a problem.


Jean and I dug deeper on the “why” questions and it’s been helpful to her. She is very clear now on why she wants to be a competitive player. When we have the ‘why’ questions all straightened out, she was now able to joyfully compete and play each shot with equal value. She quit worrying about the final score and became process oriented. Having the answers can help you create a plan for the rest of your golf game and maximize its mental side.

How about you, why do you want to play golf? I would love to hear about it in the comment section below.


Charlie King is a Golf Digest 50 Best Instructor and a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher. He is the author of 3 golf instruction books with one on the way. He created the website www.antimethodgolf.com to help golfers keep their uniqueness as they improve at this crazy, great game.

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