Getting more from Automatic Golf

The last post on Slow and Heavy created some feedback. I like it when that happens – what started as an idea while in the shower, turned out to be an informative post that got people thinking. The questions and comments push me too. They get me going and challenge me to improve. Grayden got back to me with this gem:

“Slow and heavy” just APPEARS when you’re swinging well WITHOUT FEAR ABOUT OUTCOME.

Steady loved it! He told me so when we caught up for a game during the week. One of the best questions I’ve received came from Holdini who asked this gem:

I would like to ask Cameron if you still count and feel the swing at the same time or is it ok to just feel slow and heavy without counting?

Counting has always been part of the Automatic Golf make up. It helps get your conscious mind off of the art of playing golf and allows your subconscious mind to perform the action. Counting is what is known as a secondary task and it’s a brilliant way to get your game back on track. If your golf is in a bit of a rut, or you’re tired of the continual stream of thought each time you play, then counting will definitely help you. It should be the first step for those starting out with Auto Golf.

But counting is easily ignored. It’s easy to forget or you can get so accustomed to it that it can lose its power. Over the years I’ve gone really deep into this learning process and wanted to find the best ways of performing golf at the optimal level. And I’ve think I’ve managed to take AG past the counting level. In fact, I’d now say that counting is the poor man’s way of playing automatically.

Back to Holdini’s question. It’s brilliant and right up there with the best comments I’ve received (and I’ve had over 3000). It stirred something inside me and made me realise a small percentage of the golfers who come here want more. At this point there are over 520 free golf instruction blogs – thousands of words that will help you get the most from your game. I realised the answer to Holdini’s question is not going to be for everyone, that it will be too deep for many.

This will be the first of a weekly premium post by me. And to get access to this premium content will require membership to The Golf Tribe. There’s other perks too, and you can check everything out for yourself over here. Bottom line is it will cost you about the same as a cup of coffee each week.

Taking Automatic Golf to the Next Level

The following is an excerpt from my new e-book Secret Confessions of a Rogue Golf Coach (you get the latest edition by joining The Golf Tribe). And to give you even greater value I’m going to spell out one of my most important findings with Auto Golf.

Evan: Do I always have to count/sing?

Cameron: In the early days I think you should. This is something that you have to learn to do and will take some discipline. Some golfers forget, so you may need to keep reminding yourself. There’s no magic pill here, either you have the guts to do it or you don’t. If you’re not going to do it then there’s not much help for you. New clubs, swing tips, lessons or other gimmicks will never work for you.

But after a while. And this could be a year or two down the track, something really amazing happens that will take you golf to a completely new place.

Evan: What is it?

Cameron: Automatic Golf becomes automatic. So you don’t have to think about what you’re doing. When you go to play, the process above will be as normal as riding a bike.

Evan: So I can stop counting?

Cameron: That might happen. Or you may just count in your head without knowing you’re doing it. The entire process will become second nature. You won’t really think about it. I find it almost impossible to go out and play with conscious control – I’ve got so good at “not thinking” that I can’t play with a lot of thought going on in my head.

So even if I get bored, or am just mucking around, I still rarely leave playing automatically.

If you ever get to this point, and you will if you stick with AG, your golf will take on an entire new look. You’ll play with more energy and your level of performance will take off. You will find you won’t need to practice as much and you’ll play far more consistently.

I believe it’s the holy grail of golf. When automatic becomes “automatic”, you’ll become a master golfer.

Evan: I’m intrigued with all of this. What you’re saying is that in the early days Automatic Golf will work, but will require a little bit of discipline but at some point, it will go to an entirely new level and become, well, automatic?

Cameron: Yes. The hard part from a coaching point of view is getting people over the hump. As a people, we have become accustomed to instant gratification and almost nobody is prepared to look long-term. We want things yesterday.

And this mindset has been taken advantage of by the golf industry. All of the quick-tips, and promises of immediate distance is aimed at the instant gratification attitude. But it’s all short-term and really doesn’t last.

My belief is you should do it right from the start and be left with something that will give you years of joy and satisfaction. The really funny part is this:

If you apply Automatic Golf, and do it right, you’ll reach your golfing goals more quickly then any other way.

So AG, is actually quicker…

Now to Holdini’s question:

Counting is a brilliant technique and I still use it each time I play. If I’m under the pump or find myself getting distracted then I will count in my head while I play. But at some point you’re going to leave counting behind, you’re going to move to the next level.

And one of the best ways to do this is to simply feel your swing from start to finish. If you can feel your swing (or even a part of your swing) there is no need to count. In fact, if you’ve got great feel for your swing, you may find that trying to count on top of this may harm you. My strong advice is to forget about the counting and go with what you’re feeling.

But let me be really clear on this point: You are not trying to change your swing in anyway or manipulate it artificially. All you are doing is swinging away and being aware what is happening. It’s almost like you’re an observer and taking note of what is going on. You are NOT trying to swing “slow and heavy”. Slow and heavy (or any other feel) finds you when you get out of the way.

My final point is this: Counting can be a bit like a security blanket and you can get really comfortable with it. But you should learn to let it go and put your trust in your feelings. This will give you better feedback and put you onto the path for true mastery.

And this is what the really good players are able to do. While they might not say they play automatically, they have a tremendous feel for what they’re able to do. Their attention is on their “feel” when they’re out playing, they are definitely not thinking about their technique. And for my money they are 100% automatic.

In a future lesson we’ll dig a little deeper with some awareness exercises.

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7 Comments

  • Steady

    Reply Reply April 28, 2013

    Hi Cam,
    Yes AG does become auto. I have since played 2 practice games shooting 75 and 71 at Narrandera Golf Club. Weeks ago I was busting my hump to break 84 round there, even though I play off 7 at the time.
    Biggest obstacle to people playing auto golf is letting go and playing with what they have if it is a draw or fade. Once you have this information you can take aim over and over again and really start to play your game and have great scores.
    We are told by the golf industry that you should be hitting straight build this swing ( which you already have by the way fade or draw) and scores will come down.BS
    Cam I draw the ball consistently even though I was told years ago that I fade the ball.
    I get on the middle to left side of the tee, go through my routine and consistently hitting fairways and greens.
    Yep still working on the 110 to 90 m approaches yet the game becomes infinitely easier with what you have.
    To add to a debate or question that will arise What happens if you draw the ball and start hitting fades during your round or vice versa?
    How do you overcome this?
    Enough of my ramblings all the best with the tribe.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply April 28, 2013

      Steady: Can almost guarantee that this will result from you not playing automatically. It’s very hard for you NOT to get your natural shot when you let go. Or, it might just be a once off so I wouldn’t worry too much – just keep swinging the sticks.

  • Lukey

    Reply Reply April 28, 2013

    Hi Cam
    I’m sticking to the poor mans way and will continue to count and as far as my swing goes these days I pretty well take whatever is happening on the day . I would still like to think that if a particular shot required a draw, hook, fade (in trouble) that I would give it a go but be very quick to say not the glory shot.
    Cheers Lukey.

  • adam

    Reply Reply April 29, 2013

    Moe norman said this game is so easy its laughable. Why do people make things so complicated? I hit theball dead freaking straight every single time just like moe did but wheni think technical i draw or fade severely. Makes no sense to think other than where you want the ball to go. Dead. Freaking. Straight.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply April 29, 2013

      I’ve done a bit on Moe Norman and while most think he had some amazing technique – I reckon he was completely automatic. He used to talk while he swung….

      Positive thinking is learning to focus on what you want to do. Pretty simple.

  • holdini

    Reply Reply May 2, 2013

    Im in it for the long term. Im going to master automatic! Sometimes i have it, slow and heavy appears. Sometimes i dont, and i start to manipulate the feel of the swing. One final question to anyone who may know: why is it hard to let go, remove the straight jacket? It should be easy? Theres nothing to it is there!

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply May 2, 2013

      Good to hear Holdini. Mastery will happen. And it happens when you learn to trust in your system and believe in yourself. Don’t fight things. Enjoy swinging the club and strive to waken up and “feel” what is happening when you play.

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