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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Insecurity and the Weekend Golfer

A few days ago I did a guest post at Apryl DeLancey’s Women Love Sports blog about male insecurity and women athletes. (I mentioned that before, as you’ll remember.) It drew several comments, including some from golf bloggers like Art Murphy at LifeandGolf and Vince Spence at The One-Eyed Golfer. In fact, it apparently inspired Vince to do a related post about LPGA golfer Anna Rawson, who blitzed the field at the Canadian Women’s Open Thursday. (OK, maybe he just wanted an excuse to post her picture. I can live with that.)

But one interesting comment wasn’t posted; rather, I received it in an email. Greg D’Andrea at From The Rough sent me a link to “The PGA Tour is Giving Us a Complex,” a post he wrote nearly a month ago. In my guest post I said that men were not only intimidated by skilled women athletes, but by older male athletes who outdid them; Greg’s email added “there's such a vast degree of separation between most average golfers and the pros, that I tend to be intimidated by the men too!” In the post he suggested that a tour where bad players get together (a PGA of sorts―the Pitiful Golfers of America) and play for beer and steak; that, he said, might encourage more guys to take up the game.

I’m not so sure about that.

It reminded me of my first attempts at golf. Two close friends took up the game with me, but one gave up the game after only one round. Why? He was so self-conscious about his swing that he couldn’t bear to have anyone watch him try to hit the ball… even though the only two guys watching it were no better than he was!

Insecurity can hit any one of us at any time, especially since weekend golfers can’t always play enough to keep their games sharp. The results can be devastating to our game, but there are ways to overcome it. Over the next couple of days I’ll look at some of the causes of insecurity and how we can start getting past it, so we can make the best of the skills we have.

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