3 reasons why automatic playing is not working for you
So you’ve given automatic playing a go but you’re not getting the results you were looking for. Below I’ve listed the three most common mistakes that will likely be holding you back.
Not giving automatic a fair go. My strong recommendation is to attempt to play automatically and naturally for at least three rounds. My belief is that you’ll experience something “remarkable” in this time. Hopefully this will be enough to convince you that you possess enough talent to play golf your way, rather than relying on golf industry methods and standards.
The big but is that you’ve got to step up to the plate and give it a go. If you’re going to quit after one bad shot or not prepared to stick it out for three rounds you’re unlikely to see “remarkable”. The three round challenge takes discipline, courage and a level of trust. Ultimately it takes a serious commitment so your system can adjust and then revel in the freedom that automation allows.
Expecting miracles. Automatic playing is not a miracle cure. It will maximise your chances of playing your best golf but it cannot give you a game that you don’t already own. For example, if you’ve always played with a big slice and you’ve never hit a draw shot (even in practice) you will not start hitting the ball with a draw. It’s just not going to happen.
If you can hit the ball well on the practice tee but you choke and stuff up under pressure, then automation is your salvation. It will give you a strategy for dealing with the nerves, pressure and fear. It’s this strategy that can make the game fun again. After all, learning to play well when it really matters is what separates winners from everyone else.
But you’ll need a healthy dose of self-honesty to see the full benefits of automatic learning. If you keep attempting shots that Tiger wouldn’t try or ignore your physical limitations then you’ll always be disappointed. Trying to fool your subconscious is a long road to nowhere. It can’t be done, no matter how long you persist.
Holding on to what’s comfortable. Automatic playing can feel uncomfortable. To make significant improvement you need to change your attitude and your belief of what’s possible. This can feel weired and the temptation is to stay safe. But you can’t keep playing the same way over and over and expect a different result. To do so is madness. The ultimate goal of natural and automatic learning is to get golfers to remove the straight jacket and explore what lies beyond conscious control.
The common place I see golfers “play safe” is on the first tee. They swing carefully and steer the ball down the fairway. They repeat this process for the entire eighteen holes and wonder why the game is so difficult. To me this is not playing golf. A real golfer, a golfer that is prepared for remarkable, will pull out all stops and swing without fear from the first attempt. Thoughts of missing fairways or losing golf balls is replaced with an enthusiasm for what’s possible.
The possible lies outside of conscious thought. You also won’t find it in golf magazines or on the practice tee. Your real potential can only be discovered when you decide to stop thinking and play golf from the first tee shot.
Playing your best golf doesn’t happen because of long drives, holes-in-one and sinking long putts. You’ll discover your best golf when you can get the ball in play from the tee, hit your iron shots somewhere near the green and learning not to three putt. Your own “remarkable” level of golf is a lot easier than you’d ever expect. The remarkable part of it happens when you can do it repeatedly. You don’t need a skill transplant, new clubs or a different swing. Your best bet is to give automatic a go for a minimum of three rounds, understand your limitations and open your mind to a different possibility.