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Sunday, September 18, 2011

March 2011 Newsletter


With all the rain we've had lately and may have again in the next few weeks, let's use this time indoors to focus on the oh so important Mental Game.  Most don't think this is important, and are doing themselves a disservice in their skepticism and unawareness.     

How we practice is actually more important than the amount of time we put into practice.  You could be practicing 6 hours a week, pounding golf balls from an emotionally charged state, and getting nothing out of it.  Or you could be practicing half that amount of time, in a calm and purposeful way, building up a good foundational base for a consistent swing over time.  If any of you watched the Haney project with Rush Limbaugh lately, you saw Rush celebrate what he thought was a good shot, only to have Hank tell him it was garbage.  Everyone can make decent contact with the ball here and there on the comfortable driving range, another ball waiting to be scooped over to replace the one you just hit.  However, if you want to build consistency and a game that you can take to the golf course, then you need to strive to ingrain solid fundamentals.  For as you see on the course, when those aren't there, and you're under the gun on the tee box or are approaching the green, you can kiss those wayward shots good bye and add strokes to your score.

When we talk about mental game, we mean being in control of our reactions and not involuntarily reacting to the results.  It's the difference between subjectively reacting to what the ball does, rather than thoughtfully and objectively understanding what you have done or not done in the swing.  You have to hit many bad shots on the driving range on the way to building up the fundamentals of the golf swing, there is no other way it has ever been done.  If you can keep your eye on the prize - the positions, postures, and dynamics of the swing and short game - regardless of the immediate outcome, then you can actually progress. 

It is when we aren't looking for results, but are week after week and month after month absorbed by the present moment of attention to whatever swing mechanic we're working on, that results unexpectedly reveal themselves.  For just as in life, when we search for happiness or pleasure, they are more elusive than when we strive to live a purposeful and responsible life.  Happiness usually comes upon us surreptitiously when involved with life in a patient, appreciative, and understanding way, not when we are looking for gratification from the things we do.

So the question comes to you:  Are you going to allow yourself to hack away on the driving range and golf course, looking like a clueless cave man?  Or are you going to use your modern, evolved brain to tackle the golf swing step by step, one or two mechanics at a time, in a useful, wise, and productive way?  The decision is always yours, in golf and in life.

Happy March to you all!

Your Golf Mentor,

Christy Erb    


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