Taking a giant leap with your golf game

The following comment comes from Frank, a PGA Member, who is starting to make some significant strides with his game (and those of his pupils). But he has hit a bump in the road.

When I started just chipping away at home without a ball for 5 minutes a day I noticed some amazing things in my technique. Just by swinging away without any thought and just focusing on it feeling right I completely changed the way I chipped and set up to the ball. The problem is I couldn’t take this onto the course as that means I have to think about what I am doing again and that brings me back to where I started. Completely lacking in confidence and not able to let go…

My comments:

“The problem is I couldn’t take this onto the course as that means I have to think about what I am doing again”.

This is a false belief. If you can chip in the backyard you absolutely can do it on the golf course. Our stupid adult brain (Pesky) likes to take over and tries to control the situation. Once you do this you’ll unlikely achieve the results you wanted. It has absolutely nothing to do with poor technique or your technique not being good enough to hold up under pressure.

It has everything to do with fear and self-doubt.

Why does this happen?

Because you’re too focused on the results. You’re scared of stuffing up, looking bad and embarrassing yourself. So you play safe and miss out on learning something or doing something remarkable. And this is a shame because you’re really close to doing something special.

The answer lies in taking a leap of faith. It’s not easy and it’ll feel uncomfortable. And yes, you may duff a shot or two or embarrass yourself. But you’ll learn an important lesson and this will hopefully help you for the rest of your golfing life.

And that is when you do leap into the unknown you’ll quickly realise it’s never as bad as you thought it would be. In fact, you may start to relish the chance to push and challenge yourself each time you play. And I truly hope you do because this is when the good stuff happens,

  • You learn something each time you play
  • You keep getting better and better (shoot lower scores, lower handicap etc)
  • You find more meaning with the game
  • You start to understand why some people can honestly say, “score is not important”
  • You genuinely have more fun and enthusiasm for the game

But you can’t experience any of this consistently if you’re not prepared to jump. It’s a giant step for some but it will have a profound impact on your game.

Further. You can sneak up on the process by starting in the backyard, then you can move to the practice fairway. From here you can experiment on the golf course (non competition) and then finally do it when you’ve got a scorecard in your back pocket.

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