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“It is what it is.”


The expression, “It is what it is.” means, “Be realistic and recognize that what you are seeing or experiencing is what you should expect at this time.” Don’t fool yourself or try to fool others into believing that it is different from what you see, hear, smell, and feel.

This expression applies to our golf game. We are no better or worse than how we play the game. If we play par golf, we are a par golfer. If play bogey golf, we are a bogey golfer. If we can hit the driver 225 on a level fairway, then it is what it is. If we only hit the fairway 40% of the time, then it is what it is. If we have trouble getting the ball on and in the hole in three shots from inside 60 yards, then it is what it is.

The way we typically play golf, the way we typically drive the ball, the clubs we typically hit well, represents the way it is. We are no better or worse than how we currently play golf.

You may be asking “So what?” I believe most golfers spend a lot of energy denying the truth. They are either a better or worse golfer than they are willing to admit. Usually they are not as a good as they think they are, and certainly not as good as they would like to be. As a result, as golfers we tend to…

  1. Get mad at ourselves for missing shots that we shouldn’t have expected to make.
  2. Base our club selection on an ideal shot rather than the club that has the highest percentage of making it to the pin.
  3. Think we should be able to shoot our handicap each time we go out when actually it represents only our better rounds.

I call it “denial” because we are unwilling to take into account some room for the errors and flaws in our game. Our friends are not nearly as surprised as we are when we fail to complete a shot we attempted. That is because they are not in denial about our golf game, just their own.

I think these observations call for more realistic expectations. Of course, we should work to improve each aspect of our game. We can build on strengths and overcome limitations in our game. But in the meantime, let’s be more realistic. You will play better golf and enjoy it more. Golf doesn’t always have to be a frustrating experience for you.

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