Golf occupies your mind like no other sport. From the moment you arrive at the course to that moment you tap in that putt for 87 on the 18th green that lump in your head is in overdrive.
And none of us really know what anyone else is thinking out there on the course where all these mad thoughts are running through our heads thanks to this bloody game!
So our Editor Ryan Curtis thought he'd get down his thoughts on a standard golfing day and let you see how similar yours are... Kind of like a scientific experiment.
Driving range/Putting green
Now these are dependent on your organisation, traffic and the amount of beers you had the night before.
I'd say for me it's about 50/50 whether we have enough time to get some kind of warm up/get the eye in period.
If we've got a good bit of time then I might head to the range. Here I'll chuck a load of balls down whilst half chatting to my mates and go through the irons. I'm starting with a wedge before going down the even numbers.
I reckon I hit way more wedges than 4-irons though... Just because in my head I'll have come off the range nailing everything that way.
Another way I trick myself into thinking I'm nailing it is by not really picking out any target or aiming. I'm literally just swinging the club and trying to find somewhere near the middle of the face and heading skywards.
Once I'm suitably impressed with my Sergio like iron striking it's straight to the big dog. Now this is slightly different as most of the time I know I'm going to hit this off the first tee.
So now I am picking some kind of target out in the distance and unloading... this is where I find out I'm not Sergio.
If there has been plenty of time and it is nearby I may pop on the putting green before starting. This will be the loosest warm up where I'll chuck three balls down and try to hole 80 foot putts across the green. Absolutely pointless thinking about it.
The First Tee
So you head over to the first tee. If I had the success stats of my tee shots from after warming up versus not warming up I'm confident they'd be exactly the same, rendering that last section pointless.
No other shot on a golf course do I not know what's happening more than that first tee shot of the day. I could nail it, most likely is a horrible block and then there is the horror shot.
We've all had a few of these where we sky it, hit a huge snap hook out of bounds or my favourite the stone cold top.
I remember playing a junior event as a 17-year old and we'd all just found alcohol. We went out the night before and got wrecked on all sorts of shit and I distinctly remember my mouth tasting of Aftershock (Remember that shit?!)
I'm stood over my ball on the first tee barely capable of standing up straight in front of about 80 kids and parents in the first group out.
I stood there staring at the ball, with my mouth foaming, praying I just got it forward so I could get out of this cauldron.
I proceeded to top it about 20 yards before walking up to it with my driver and attempting another swipe from the semi rough with 9.5 degrees of loft and varying degrees of embarrassment.
Obviously it squirted horrifically out the bottom groove decapitating 100 worms along the way to it's final resting place another 140 yards down the right rough.
I don't care who you are, the first tee is somewhere you just don't want to be. Start me on that fairway with an iron in my hand and I'll walk straight there everytime!
Now my thought process on these shots vary, dependent on how early in the round we are or just how shit I'm playing.
At the start I'm going 'Right got 150, slightly uphill so add 5, wind off the left so aim a bit left, pin tucked left so aim just left of the pin with my little fade and if wind hits it I'm in the middle. 155 should be a nice 8-iron. Yeh, let's do it.'
Further into the round and what I would consider to be fairly good thought process starts to get picked away by my impatience, lack of caring and frustration.'
'Yeh that looks about 140. Wind off the left I think? Ah fuck it, I'll just hit at the flag.'
And this is the weird thing. I'm just stood over the ball not thinking about anything. Like when Homer Simpson starts thinking about the monkey playing the symbols in his head. I never actually think 'Fuck it, just hit it,' I just don't think at all.
My achilles heel, we all have one. And yes there will be technical issues but the mental side must play a big part.
I'm stood over a 50 yard pitch after booming a drive and I'm thinking 'I'll probably duff this...'
Make sure you swing through it, swing fast, make sure you hit it.'
Queue the big decel and the chunk short of the green. This now leaves you thinking I've got to do that all over again. Birdie turns to bogey or double and you wonder why you bother!
Now just so you don't think I'm some kind of negative melt when it comes to putting I'm actually pretty confident.
On the long ones I'm thinking 'Just pick a spot, look at the hole for two practice swings, then just roll it up close.
Mid ones I'm thinking of holing everything. Just because there is nothing that pisses your playing partners of more than doing all the hacking aforementioned before sinking a 30-footer for par!
And short ones I just think 'It's short, so therefore it must be easy. Pick a spot, hit it there. Simple.'
The end for me can come anywhere between 13 and 18. I'll always finish out on 18 but I'm probably not there in spirit if the day has gone poorly.
Basically I'm thinking about my post-round beer on the clubhouse balcony and chatting shit with the lads somewhere between 13 and 18.
And do you know what? No matter what has happened on the course, all those stupid negative thoughts, anger, frustration and confusion immediately evaporate when that final putt drops and you can have a good laugh about it all over a that clubhouse beer (or maybe two!)
Golf is a fairly simple game that people, including myself, seem to over-complicate. You just have to get the ball in the hole as quickly as possible, and it really doesn't matter how you go about doing it.
So just chill out in the knowledge that the best bit is the beer afterwards anyway!
Please comment below on Facebook or Twitter if you do similar things or if anything I do seems a bit mental... be good to know!
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.