Golf Scores and Goals : More than a Number

Season 9, Tournament 1,, golf scores, more than a numberConnor Bear started playing US Kids golf tournaments in 2010.  We’ve  played hundreds of tournaments with the organization but today I found myself for the first time on the other side of the scoring table.  I was the Director’s assistant and helped with collecting scores and putting them on the leader board.  First tournament of the Fall season, big field, we were kept on our toes and the day clicked over liked a well-oiled machine.  US Kids Golf has always been a very well run organization. When it stalls it’s primarily chronic over-coaching and generally problems with bottlenecking on the course, kids playing out of their skill level, trees and water getting in the way …… that sort of thing. Administratively it is run by some of the most experienced and competent people in the golfing world.  So what I’m trying to say is that I was not needed, but I was glad of the opportunity to experience tournament day from the other side of the desk while Dad was on Rob’s (Peach) bag.

What I saw mostly was numbers. Over a hundred scores streamed in over the day, 9 to 18 numbers accompanying each score.  And what I learned, entering one after the other, is that they are just that – numbers.

From a player’s perspective there is just one number.  A number ascribed great significance in the moment, but probably forgotten by next week.  The only relevance or importance attributed to the score is a matter of the player’s perception. (Or daddy-caddy’s perception as per a comment overhead at the scoring table: I can’t even remember the last time my son shot 49, we are going to go to the range and hit a bucket of 3 woods right now.) What do you do with that number? Celebrate, then stress because how are you ever going to maintain that trajectory? Label yourself a loser, mediocre at best? Use it as a trigger : what do I need to sharpen?  3 woods really need work, I’m going to focus on gaining distance on my driver.  Short game, short game, short game ……..

Rob’s number today was 89.  I asked him : Does 89 reflect how you played today?

I think I played better than that.   I played half my game much better on the back 9. (not necessarily sure what he mean’t by that).  I had very few bogeys but I had a lot of doubles and one triple.  And those where mostly as a result of 1 shot, driver or hybrid.  The good thing is I figured stuff out during the round, especially my iron shots.

What did you hope to achieve today?

I decided my goal this round was to shoot less than 85 but Dad said I had to rephrase my goal – that it is not about the number.  My re-phrased goals were:

  • learn something, take something away from the round
  • have fun and enjoy myself
  • find something to inspire myself to come back again and shoot lower

There is more to goals and golf than a number written down on a score sheet, handed in to the scoring table and probably forgotten by morning.


What were we doing this time 1 year ago : Season 6, Tournament 1 : Cop out, Constructive Criticism and Letting go

What we were doing this time 2 years ago : Season 3, Tournament 1 : The Proof is in the Pudding

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