New Self-Published Book

"Have Golf Swing, Will Travel"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


To accept things in life, seems to be a difficult thing for many of us. To confront things as they really are, and not avoid or sugar coat them, is easier said than done. We all have a way of hiding ourselves from the often difficult truth of things, seemingly to help protect ourselves against unwanted pain. However, this does us no favors, as we are just delaying and ignoring the real issues at hand, those that need to be addressed.

In my 30 years immersed in golf, I see many golfers employing this behavior as well. They will stop at no length to avoid the reality of their golf games. They will beat ball after ball in a frenzy, getting more angry and upset with each bad shot, as they stress out in their need to hit a good shot quickly. They are looking for immediate gratification, caught up in results, and the need to feel better right that moment. We all know intellectually, that this is not a good approach to golf, or to life. Looking for a quick, feel-good fix, to cover your lack of consistent effort and discipline, only leads to a temporary distraction from the actual problem at hand.

On the other hand, we’ve all experienced the opposite, ever-elusive, effective state of living. It is that state when we maintain our focus on the path, pay attention to the details, stick to a plan, and tediously complete the mundane tasks. When we are behaving in this manner, we remain realistic in our goals and expectations, and aren’t constantly looking for results. The reward is in the doing, in this way, rather than what the doing is going to bring us. Ironically, it is during these times, when we least expect it and aren’t looking, when we happen to have good results come our way.

As golfers we need to employ this type attitude, that of being involved and focused on the process, rather than searching for a feel-good outcome. Let the outcome come when it will, but do your part by sticking to the nuts and bolts of the process. Maintain a consistent plan, and complete the small tasks thoroughly and impeccably.

So as opposed to employing a different swing thought each time we’re at the driving range, looking for our panacea of great golf shots, we can instead focus on building a solid base consisting of fundamentals.  In remaining calm and concerned with swing rather than shot, we can proceed in a step by step manner as we work on the basics, are aware of our balance, sense the interconnectedness of body and club, and notice our movements.

It takes time to build a repeating and effective golf swing, before the parts work together as a whole. In the meantime create a whole picture view out of what you have and use it advantageously.  The more patient we are, and the more consistently disciplined our behaviors on the driving range and golf course, the better we will do. When we put unrealistic demands on ourselves, which 95% of amateurs do, we set ourselves up for failure. If it is success we want, then we need to accept where we’re at, react objectively, and be willing to trust the process.   

It is the journey in golf and in life that matter, so put your attention where it really matters. Enjoy and immerse yourself in the small do-able goals, and get creative with your proficiency in them.  Don't get ahead of yourself, working on all the minutae and fancy stuff, but rather find joy in rehearsing the foundational skills you can attain through consistent on-task focus.  Paint a beautiful artwork with your life, and with your golf skills at play on the golf course.  Take charge of your happiness and well-being, they are your responsibility!

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