Lost Passion

Golf has been my passion for 25 years. But last year it was like BB King says,”the thrill is gone.” How can I get that feeling back for the game?

Here’s my take:

You’ve gotta stop thinking so much and trying so hard to swing correctly. It’s time for you to take a deep breath and swing the club in a way that truly satisfies you. There is no right and wrong here – you’re the captain of your own game and you’re free to play how you want.

In my experience, traditional instruction focuses too much on technique and we become “swing bound”. Long term this kills our enjoyment, enthusiasm and passion. If we’re not careful it’s possible to lose our best golfing years.

So get outside and play how you want. You might just surprise yourself.

This website contains lots of lessons and insight and hopefully gives you the courage to truly play the game. You have permission, it’s now over to you.

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  • Grayden Provis

    Reply Reply February 3, 2013

    G’day Cam

    Check out this from trumpet player Jason Pellett (my CAPS):

    “It gets ingrained in us from the beginning that playing trumpet is hard. The body’s natural response to having to do something ‘hard’ is to tense up. It is necessary to retrain the mind so that playing is not thought of as difficult but instead is just done. Watch Matthias Hoffs playing. He plays with the same ease that most of us speak. It is easy for him simply because he allows it to be. Let yourself breathe and play as though you are just speaking. To make this change it is important to NOT CARE WHAT YOU SOUND LIKE. Imagine the sound that you wish to make but DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHETHER IT HAPPENS. This is one of the most difficult concepts to completely apply but yields the greatest reward. Playing trumpet becomes not about wrestling the instrument but SIMPLY PLAYING MUSIC”

    I think this is worth re-reading carefully. I think what Jason has described here is actually universal for ANY skill development. Substitute “golf club” for “trumpet” for example and I reckon you have a pretty good blue print on how to “swing the sticks” to quote my favourite Strachanism 🙂

    You mention in your post Cam that at the end of the day we have to swing in a way that “truly satisfies us”. You’re right. If you never achieve that then you will definitely lose the passion because it will just feel like hard work all the time. And what is the way that will truly satisfy us? The way that allows us to swing with EASE as Jason says. It has to feel easy, rhythmical and natural. It will NEVER be satisfying without this ease. Who wants to go out and “wrestle” the golf clubs every week? Not me. Go for EASE first and and as Jason says don’t worry about the outcome. Control over the flight of the ball will come naturally as a result of lots of repetitions of relaxed, rhyhmic swings.

    The great difference between trumpet and golf is that with trumpet you can do all these repetitions with their less-than-perfect outcomes in the privacy of your own home away from prying eyes. With golf you’re out on show to the rest of the world and have to have a pretty thick skin. Most can’t abide that so they go into their shell and try and control the ball from day one and never let a natural, rhythmic swing develop at all – for their whole playing careers in fact.
    I’ve shot a video of a simple, rhythmic, 100% repeatable swing technique (I call it 123 golf) that has finally resulted in this sense of ease for me. It’ll be on my blog when I can get the thing to load (!)

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 4, 2013

      GP: Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant!! Where do you find this stuff? Do you play the trumpet too?

      I have sorta taken an interest in some of these talent shows – for the most part they are money making adventures for the networks, but some of the kids (mostly kids) have real talent. Anyway, what I find interesting is the lack of technical direction – maybe “technique” is hard to teach with singing but it seems to me the participants aren’t getting bogged down with all the crap golfers do. They “sing” and there are very few train wrecks (despite the obvious nerves). Maybe to someone in the know they are awful and not close – but from an outsider it’s interesting to see the consistent performances.

      Point is this: music seems to focus more on the music and less on the exact technique. Golf focus too much on the technique and less on the playing.

      Great stuff as usual GP

  • Grayden Provis

    Reply Reply February 4, 2013

    Just a word about “ease”: it doesn’t mean “lazy”. In the video I’ve made you can hear in my counting that there’s definitely energy in the swings. Admittedly thats partly because I’m 53 and a bit out of nick (!) but point is the “ease” is MENTAL as much as physical. When you have a rhythmic, 100% repeatable swing like this you stop worrying about the swinging – you KNOW how you’re going to swing, you don’t have to think about it – and think only about the playing.

    And yes, I do play trumpet too. Its been a very interesting exercise resurrecting it from the closet again after all these years. I gave it away basically because I played it the way I used to play golf – “wrestled” with it. But after reading stuff like the above from Jason Pellett (and realizing that what I’ve learned about golf over all these years is directly applicable to trumpet or anything else for that matter) I pulled it down off the shelf and started again – this time with “ease” at the forefront of my mind and not worrying about how I sound. Its only early days but I can see a world of difference already. Very exciting actually!

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 4, 2013

      GP: All really good stuff. I love it and wish more would get with the programme. I have always had a knack of playing ball sports quite well – but since adopting this mindset/approach of “play” the standard has always remained quite high. Last year I went ten-pin bowling for the first time in 100 years – I scored 220. My goal was to hit the head pin – nothing else. My mates all struggled and couldn’t believe my score – they all thought I had been bowling for years. Was a tonne of fun trying to explain this simplistic approach.

      I agree. It is exciting. And once it all clicks in your head you can definitely apply it to other things. I wish I had more interest in music – but I think I’m tone deaf. Over and out.

  • Steady

    Reply Reply February 4, 2013

    Great work GP and Strachs,
    People must be saying is it that simple. As in playing golf
    You will discover this Cam with your own
    Child. You will freak out how much they can
    Pick up. Between the ages of 18 months to
    About the age of 10 they are sponges.
    I see my own son playing guitar stuff he does
    Is amazing.
    So yes be happy with what you have and enjoy
    The game !
    Ta Steady

  • Steady

    Reply Reply February 4, 2013

    Your children will also
    Watch listen and mimic
    You so be mindful of
    Your actions.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 5, 2013

      I know. Will have to start behaving myself.

  • James Smith

    Reply Reply February 5, 2013

    I’ve been there, too; discouraged with the game, but I’ve never given up. Too hardheaded, I suppose. Best way out of it for me is to do a total brain flush of whatever swing thoughts that have taken hold, and start free-wheeling it with a clean slate. The sooner you flush, the sooner the stink is gone. 🙂

  • Scott Barrow

    Reply Reply February 5, 2013

    Nice work Cam and Grayden,

    From Grayden’s comments/quote “Imagine the sound that you wish to make but DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHETHER IT HAPPENS.” This is the same as “be absolutely precise on your intention and be very accepting of the outcome”. In golf terms, know exactly where you want to hit it, roll with where it ends up, find it, and do it again. And love it all.

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