Do You Suffer from Golfer’s Memory?

By Hans Kersting, Golf Professional

Last update: Friday, April 14th, 2017

Do you suffer from golfer’s memory?

Last I checked, it’s not exactly a recognized disease, yet, I know quite a few who suffer from it.

Heck, I know for a fact that I suffer from it.

Golfer’s memory is that thing which allows us to remember the most mundane moments of a golf game, yet, we struggle to remember significant moments outside of golf.

My golfer’s memory is a bit more extreme than other’s that I know.

I’ll admit it.
How is it possible to constantly forget what I am looking for at the grocery store, yet, I can still recall the anguish I felt when I missed a 3-foot putt to lose a junior golf tournament 35 years ago?

It doesn’t end there, however.  I have literally played thousands of holes in competitive golf, and I am shocked at the moments I can recall over the past 35 years.

In May of 1989, I hit what is probably the greatest golf shot I’ve ever hit. I was a junior in high school competing in my state championship.

On the 16th hole, I struck a 1-iron from the middle of the desert to within five feet of the hole for an eagle opportunity.

I won’t say if I made the putt, because I prefer to stay somewhat positive throughout the rest of this story.

You can see where I’m going with this.

Any of you who have played golf for a reasonable amount of time can probably recall certain shots or moments that stand out in your mind. This can be both good and bad.

The negative side effects of golfer’s memory are most commonly seen in those players who have too many swing thoughts in their head.

If you play golf long enough, you are sure to have been told more “tips” and “secrets” to improve your game than you possibly contain. Fortunately, the remedy for this is simple.

Wipe the slate clean.

The less you remember, the better off you’ll usually be.

Golfer’s memory should be selective. Work on remembering those moments that are positive, and do your best to forget those that aren’t. I struggle with the latter part of that, but I’m working on it.

It’s hard to explain why golfers have an uncanny ability to remember so many things that have happened to them on the golf course.

I suspect that the more passionate you are about this wonderful game, the easier it is for you to remember moments that were important.

So, the next time you arrive at the store, scratching your head trying to remember why you’re there, don’t fret.

You simply suffer from a case of golfer’s memory.  The good news, however, is that you will not forget about that smooth 6-iron you hit on the 12th hole a few years back.

It helped you make birdie, after all.

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Do You Suffer from Golfer’s Memory?

iStock/Artwork by Erik Luna

Do you suffer from golfer’s memory?

Last I checked, it’s not exactly a recognized disease, yet, I know quite a few who suffer from it.

Heck, I know for a fact that I suffer from it.

Golfer’s memory is that thing which allows us to remember the most mundane moments of a golf game, yet, we struggle to remember significant moments outside of golf.

My golfer’s memory is a bit more extreme than other’s that I know.

I’ll admit it.
How is it possible to constantly forget what I am looking for at the grocery store, yet, I can still recall the anguish I felt when I missed a 3-foot putt to lose a junior golf tournament 35 years ago?

It doesn’t end there, however.  I have literally played thousands of holes in competitive golf, and I am shocked at the moments I can recall over the past 35 years.

In May of 1989, I hit what is probably the greatest golf shot I’ve ever hit. I was a junior in high school competing in my state championship.

On the 16th hole, I struck a 1-iron from the middle of the desert to within five feet of the hole for an eagle opportunity.

I won’t say if I made the putt, because I prefer to stay somewhat positive throughout the rest of this story.

You can see where I’m going with this.

Any of you who have played golf for a reasonable amount of time can probably recall certain shots or moments that stand out in your mind. This can be both good and bad.

The negative side effects of golfer’s memory are most commonly seen in those players who have too many swing thoughts in their head.

If you play golf long enough, you are sure to have been told more “tips” and “secrets” to improve your game than you possibly contain. Fortunately, the remedy for this is simple.

Wipe the slate clean.

The less you remember, the better off you’ll usually be.

Golfer’s memory should be selective. Work on remembering those moments that are positive, and do your best to forget those that aren’t. I struggle with the latter part of that, but I’m working on it.

It’s hard to explain why golfers have an uncanny ability to remember so many things that have happened to them on the golf course.

I suspect that the more passionate you are about this wonderful game, the easier it is for you to remember moments that were important.

So, the next time you arrive at the store, scratching your head trying to remember why you’re there, don’t fret.

You simply suffer from a case of golfer’s memory.  The good news, however, is that you will not forget about that smooth 6-iron you hit on the 12th hole a few years back.

It helped you make birdie, after all.

About the author

Hans Kersting

Hans Kersting, Golf Professional

Hans Kersting, Golf Professional

Hans Kersting