The perfect golfer

Evan has been helping out with some of the golf videos I’ve been shooting. As a payback he has been getting some assistance with his game.

He is a good golfer but I think he is letting himself down. Here’s why.

He is trying too hard. He his scared of making mistakes and is trying to be the perfect golfer.

This is counter intuitive I know – but he needs to stop caring and trying so much. The stupid game of golf is a paradox. When you can swing without care and fear, your game game goes up a level or two. When you can swing this way for a length of time you realise your potential.

Heading back from the course tonight I was listening to a golf DVD (I was stuck in traffic and bored). The coach was insisting that golfers need to get precise and aim for perfection. I disagree with this fully.

Evan played three poor shots in the first three holes. He was grinding and trying as hard as he could (probably in an effort to beat me 🙂 )After each bad shot he threw another ball down in disgust. The next attempt was successful. Same guy, same swing but a different mindset.

The other attempts were hit without care or thought. He wasn’t even trying that hard. When I highlighted this he recommitted to following the automatic process for the next few weeks. This means;

  • He can’t start complaining about his swing
  • He isn’t allowed to tell stories about the odd bad shot or two
  • And he definitely can’t start analysing and go searching for a different swing
  • Perfection is out – free, flowing and natural golf is in

The perfect golfer mindset is common. But for most it needs to be replaced with an easy going and care free spirit.

Not easy to do but could be the only thing standing between you and playing near perfect golf.

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3 Comments

  • Steady

    Reply Reply December 10, 2009

    Hi Cam,
    can relate to Ev’s situation. The reason he is trying so hard is that he cares so much about his game.I could sum him up by saying he is driven, gets down on himself when things go wrong and trying to remedy the bad hole/shot or putt you try even harder.With a crappier result than from the one we started with. I think as golfers we all have been there , however we need to becareful not to make the game any more difficult than what it is.
    That means caring enough about the way we play golf that we play outside ourselves. Consciously and I have done it to, you blame everybody and anything for our failures on a golf course.Our conscious/critical mind is at fault here. Not the slow greens/ chatter/ camera shutters while you putt or the any other billion distractions that come from within or outside.
    If Ev is reading this I’m not having a crack, I’ve been exactly were you are and know what it’s like to practice, care and try so hard only to wind up with a shitty result/score. The only question I ask anybody is. With what you have done in the past, can it take you to the level of golf you want to play?
    I want to be the best golfer I can be. Currently I’m off 7. Been as low as 5. So I now set a goals to get to 5 then 4 then 3 then 2 ? But remember these are only numbers. Not who you are as a Golfer.
    We already have the tools, skills knowledge and understanding to play golf a great level. However we must get the massive gorilla off our back with having to play a certain way or follow a set of procedures of grip, alignment,posture bakswing,downswing follow through.
    My advice is go out and play like a 7 year old kid would. Just don’t get the shits with results, throw your clubs and walk off the course. Just play. Enjoy being in the moment. Make stuff up in your head about playing in the final holes in you club champs, quilifying for the aussie open, kicking you best friends arse for $6 keno ticket, what ever but enjoy yourself.
    Isn’t that the real reason why we play golf ? or do we play for a number/ a feeling we get/ or ust plain fun.
    I hope this helps. Thats’ all I’m here to do is pass on experience/knowledge. I can’t help being a teacher even away from a bloody classroom.
    Cheers Steady

  • Grayden Provis

    Reply Reply December 11, 2009

    “This is counter intuitive I know – but he needs to stop caring and trying so much. The stupid game of golf is a paradox. When you can swing without care and fear, your game game goes up a level or two. When you can swing this way for a length of time you realise your potential.”

    Great comment. I think it pretty much captures the whole story. And I particularly like the last bit: “doing it for a length of time.” Be patient. Allow the learning to take place. It happens without you even realizing it if you just “keep the faith”. But it happens at a pre-determined pace. You can’t short cut it or rush it. Be patient. Golf (life) is a journey not a destination.

    this: (life): try less, do more. . I often think golfers must subconsciously think of their golf clubs as

  • Tony Lucas (Lukey)

    Reply Reply December 11, 2009

    Steady Grayden Cam
    As I have no doubt Steady would be able to back up that I was very similar to Evan in as much that every shot had to be perfect my alignment hand to be centimeter perfect you name it that was me.Firstly with the auto process I agreed that if you could automate the swing that would fix it but and I say but you still had to have good posture,alignment etc etc.How wrong was I you have to let go on the lot and that took heaps for me but constantly talking to Steady and reading what Cam said made me realise I had to go down this (automate the lot)track and it is only now that I am starting to see results.The magic has not quite happened yet but a shot hear a good shot there a good hole here a good hole there and I have every optomisim that I am indeed not far away.Has it been easy bloody hell no is it worth while pursuing bloody hell YES.
    Cheers Lukey

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