Does trying fail? – a case study

I have just opened my new golf teaching studio. It’s located in Hawthorn in Melbourne’s inner east. If you’d like a lesson on reaching your full potential and discovering your natural and powerful golf game then give me a tingle…it would be great to hear from you.

I gave a lesson yesterday to Mark. He had an interesting story that I’d like to share with you.

Mark has recently competed in the Club Championships at his golf club. He found himself in the last group going into the last round…only a few strokes from the lead.

To ensure he gave himself the best chance of winning he practiced each morning in the week leading up to the big day. On some days he visited the course on the way home from work. He was determined to do well.

On the morning of the last round he arrived at the course for some more practice. He spent some time on his swing, chipping and finished off with putting. By the time he got to the first tee he was ready….at least he thought he was.

Standing on the tee he started shaking. He was so nervous he didn’t know what to do. The result? He self destructed. He hit his first shot out of bounds and made an eight. The second hole, a par 3, he took 7. He didn’t get much better making another 7 followed by a string of 6’s. Those opening holes ruined his chance of winning or even performing well. He ended up scoring 108, his worst score in many years.

This might sound controversial, but his hard work earlier in the week was the problem. His usual routine is to rush to the first tee and then play. He did this on the first three rounds and found himself in contention for the title. Why would he change?

Working on your game and trying hard is intuitive…it makes sense. Especially when you have an important round coming up.

I believe that the best way to improve your golf can be counter intuitive. Mark should have resisted the urge to practice hard and work on his game. It would have been far better to play with ‘what he had’ and stick to his usual routine.

Golfers will be rewarded with improvement and fun if they approach golf counter intuitively. The following are some ideas that at first don’t make sense, but when you understand the learning process, open up a world of possibilities and new discoveries.

  • Leave swing alone
  • Try less- stop trying harder
  • Focus on nothing. Forget about target, or your swing. Be neutral
  • Near enough is good enough – don’t waste time perfecting your golf swing
  • Practice less not more
  • Play with your heart not your head
  • Aim for long term results not instant gratification
  • The long game is only a part of golf- the short game is more important, so spend more time on that
  • Use golf clubs that work for you. Don’t buy expensive clubs for the sake of it
  • Have more fun. Forget about your score

If you’d like to learn more about this please contact me. I know it might seem radical but I strongly believe this is the way to make significant improvement to your game.If you’ve been playing for any length of time and have worked hard and diligently on your game but have not seen the results that you think you’re capable of then it could be time for a change. If you keep doing the same thing over and over and expect to get a different result you could be wasting your time.


At the very least, attempt to play more instinctively for your next three rounds…have fun and don’t worry about your score.

Let me know how you get on.

Good golfing,


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