Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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Making triple bogey on the last hole of second stage of tour school, to miss advancing by one, would by most almost any standards be considered a failure. I had worked hard to get to that moment, and in that instance, the moment got me.

I share this experience because I was miserable for months after, the failure wasn’t that big of a deal, I had made great progress in my career to that point. The real problem was not doing everything I could to learn from my failure. I had hit one bad shot under difficult conditions, under even more difficult circumstances. The pressure of the moment was something I hadn’t experienced yet, and with the exception of the last shot I had done pretty well that day. My lack of awareness cost me months of progress.

I read a great article a while ago that talked about a rock climber trying to scale El Capitan in Yosemite, but failing time and time again. His response, “Success is not the primary point of the climb.” The climber knew the mountain was making him better with each failure. Sharpening his mind and his skills with each attempt. Sound familiar?

We all strive to improve our game, lower our handicap, and a lot of the time are never sure if we’re making any progress. All of us love to practice what we’re good at, I’m no exception. The reason, comfort. Progress doesn’t always feel like progress.

Going through a drill or a series of drills and hitting horrible shot after horrible shot can be miserable. If you know, or have been shown, how much good the positions do for your golf swing and your game, where the ball is flying shouldn’t matter. I know, much easier said than done.

You should never strive for failure trying to learn something, you should always work hard to accomplish your goals and do your best. Don’t turn a blind eye to what is happening when things don’t go your way, be aware and understand there’s lots to learn in any situation good or bad. Good luck and have fun!