Stay Calm, Cool… And Enjoy

Getting upset at mistakes is a common experience for amateurs or new-to-the-game players of golf. Actually, even golfers who have played for an extended time.

Golf, as we all know, is a fickle game. Highs, lows and everything between.

Listen to how the professionals handle such situations:

1. They make four bogeys in a row and have lost control of the round. Ignore it. Move on.

2. They make four birdies in a row and are vying for a championship. Celebrate? No. Once again, ignore it. Move on.

The best response to success or failure on a golf course is to keep an even-keel. The mental game, the attitude game, is important.

The typical golfer might curse after a bad shot. The typical golfer might even throw his club after a bad shot.
Not helpful.

Red alert: Losing control results in a losing, frustrating round.

As Charlie DeLucca, a teaching pro who runs Melreese-International Links Golf Course in Miami-Dade, says, “Enjoy yourself. You are spending 4 hours on a beautiful day in a beautiful setting. And, when you think about it, this is in a time (meaning pandemic) when you can hardly get outside that much.

“Spending 4 hours with your friends is great. You are with people that you like, love and care about. Even the trash talking adds to the fun.

“Also, how many Dads get to spend 4 hours with their sons and daughters on a golf course. It is special.”

Meet The Pro: Charlie Delucca

Charlie DeLucca, 53, is a certified teaching pro with more-than-impressive credentials. He is the personal coach of Erik Compton, the home-grown Miamian who finished T2 in the 2014 U.S. Open. DeLucca’s family is historic in South Florida golf history. Charlie’s father, who died in 2019, was a much-loved advocate for kids, education and the game of golf. He was the Father figure of golf here, setting a tone that hitting a dimpled ball, finished a distant third behind kids and education. The son now steps forward where his father left off, running Melreese-International Links and serving any kid in sight. Dad would be proud.

Advice for a novice golfer?

Attitude can improve your game. Just enjoy yourself. Do not put pressure on yourself. It’s just you and your golf ball out there. And a golf course is a beautiful setting. Golf is the only real individual sport, and it’s a test, a difficult test. But it’s fun.

Favorite current pro?

I would be in trouble if I didn’t say Erik Compton. I play with him and coach him and he’s a person I admire. I also really like Rory McIlroy. He’s a guy who just loves the game and has fun out there. He always enjoys what he is doing.

1 person, 1 round. who is it?

Easy answer. My father. He taught kids so many things. I miss him.

Favorite thing about golf?

I love teaching golf – more than playing it. But what I really like is our philosophy toward kids. We just want them to have fun. That’s important.

First thing a newcomer should learn?

They need confidence because golf is a difficult game, so if they are struggling I tell them to tee the ball up everywhere. Tee box, fairway, rough, wherever. Kids starting out especially, but also adults. Maybe the most important thing in golf attitude is having confidence.

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