A Lot Like Golf

Trading is a lot like golf. You’re probably thinking I’ve lost the plot and the strange water down-under has turned me into a babbling fool. You might be right but hear me out..

I used to play golf a lot and when I was a teenager I had aspirations of being a touring professional and I managed to get my handicap down to +1 (below 0), I also majored in it at University. Playing for University and County meant there were occasions when the pressure was really on to perform; a clutch putt or a great iron from trouble. However, I always had a tendency to over think things. I’d say to myself, ‘okay make par here and the next two holes are easy birdie holes and then par in.’ Speak to any professional golfer and they’ll tell you that thinking ahead is a game killer. I’d try to force things and more often than not I’d end up with a worse score than my plan had allowed. I remember when I was 16/17 actually filling in a blank scorecard before a competition or match and then checking it throughout my round!!

What on earth does filling in a scorecard have to do with trading? Well, quite a lot. I have several spreadsheets with past results and current performance and I frequently use these as predictions for upcoming weeks/months. When these predictions don’t come to fruition I feel disappointed and wonder why my plan isn’t working. That is precisely my trouble; thinking ahead. My Dad used to try to drill into me to take one shot at a time and only focus on that particular shot, and let the round come to me. Whenever he caddied for me, I frequently played some of my best golf. So, from now on I’m going to do my best to focus on each trade as an individual event and try to not worry about how my week/month is going. It all boils down to staying calm and not rushing under pressure. It’s obviously a lot easier said than done but having a ‘one trade at a time’ mentality should help me keep on the straight and narrow and away from my trigger happy finger!

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