Is Golfgooroo dead?

In my previous post I hinted that I had an announcement to make. Here it is.

This will be my last blog post on Golfgooroo.com. Why? There are a few reasons.

The big thing is I never really liked the name. I have tried hard to like it but it has never sat they well with me, I just don’t like it. People struggle to spell it properly and it’s time for a change.

The more I write and philosophise about the game, the more I realise I’m the branding of the business. So I’m moving my main site back to www.CameronStrachan.com. Without me nothing happens, so it makes sense to use my name as the domain and main branding. “Strachan” isn’t that easy to spell either, but it feels right.

I’m going to keep the site alive. I’ve put in thousands of hours of work into it so it won’t be shut down. You’ll be able to access all of the free content that’s here. Golfgooroo is probably one of the best resources for golf learning on the web – there’s lots of words, video and audio to keep any golfer out of trouble.

But CS.com will be different. It’s a simple site, no bells and whistles, that will focus on two areas.

1. Coaching
2. Writing

I’ve built my dream property this year. It’s almost perfect and I want to focus more on private coaching. I’ve spent the last few months (been thinking about this for years) reworking BioSwing so it all ties in with my learning objectives. I’ve gotten away from technique the last few years but have realised I’m uniquely qualified to help. With a thorough understanding of the biomechanics of the swing and natural learning principles, I feel I can help any golfer improve their play.

Another point: The re-release of the BioSwing has created a stir. It has gotten people talking and converted way better than anything I’ve done before. So I know golfers are interested in it. The video takes you to first base, with my guidance I can help you fill in the gaps and get you playing your best golf more of the time.

I’ve even had two golf professionals contact me who want to be trained in the BioSwing way. Things are happening and it feels good. In a matter on months we’ll have trained golf coaches in Victoria, NSW and QLD. I’m now busy creating the first coaching certifications, a huge job but I’m loving every second of it.

And I’m still going to write but it will no longer be available as a blog. I’m starting the Cameron Strachan Letter which will be a paid monthly subscription that will be physically posted to you. This is something I’ve always wanted to do but never got around to doing it. The CSL will be ideal for those who like to think deeply about their game and like reading. Video has its place (as does audio) but I share my views much better with the written word. Video and audio will come after my newsletter, not before.

The CSL will become my premium publication. With my coaching clients, subscribers will be getting ALL of my attention. Instead of trying to help all golfers ALL of the time, my focus will be on the few who put their hand up and say, “hey, I’m interested”. I’m just too busy to be answering emails and taking phone calls from everyone – it has taken its toll and I’ve finally seen the light (thanks to Scott Barrow for his constant coaching on this point).

There is a bit of groundhog day about all of this I know. But there is no blueprint and I’m continually learning and making improvements. There will be more stuff and details that come up, but if you’re interested, I hope to see you over at Cameron Strachan.

[My brain hurts] Golf Technique Conundrum

I have had a break from Golfgooroo for the last month. And I’ve enjoyed it. A chance to refresh the batteries and focus on some other important projects. In fact, over the last month I don’t think I’ve ever written and worked as much (work is certainly a four letter word).

It seems every year I also have a good think about the direction of my golfing business and plan for the future. It’s a good idea (I think) because it keeps me moving and on the edge. It’s not always comfortable but I now try and embrace this as a sign I’m doing something good. Pesky hates change and I hate him for it – but I always have the last say and he rarely dominates my life like he used to.

One thing I’ve been battling with is my thoughts and ideas on golf technique. Most know me as the “natural learning” guy and probably think I’m against all sorts of technical coaching. I’m not. And if I’ve made any sort of mistake with my writing over the years it’s that I’ve over emphasised natural learning and given the impression that technique is not important. This is not the case. I’m not against golf technique or trying to build a better swing. I’m just against this line of thinking all of the time.

At some point, no matter your technique, you’ve gotta get outside and play the game. You’ve got to swing the sticks and leave thoughts of your swing alone. In my mind this is truly the only way you’ll unlock your subconscious and the magic that goes with that. If you’re consciously trying to swing the club, you inhibit your ability to experience better golf. Golfgooroo has primarily been about encouraging and helping golfers be brave enough to think less and play more.

And I feel I’ve done a good job at that.

But golfers want more. And I feel I’m uniquely qualified to help golfers learn a better golf swing technique because of the research and biomechanical anaylsis that I’ve done. The swing model is called BioSwing and you may have seen it floating around. Here’s the thing.

Golfers love the swing stuff. Tips and tricks sell magazines and get people talking. And BioSwing has certainly gotten it’s fair share of comments and interest. This is another battle that I’ve had because mental/automatic/learning stuff is interesting to me, but a vast majority of golfers couldn’t give a stuff about it. I attract some diehards (maybe “passionate” is a better word), but the mass golf market is lost to me. Not a great business decision let me tell you.

So I’ve been battling a decision to jump back on the technique bandwagon or keep doing what I’ve been doing with natural learning and automatic golf. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

I’ve reworked BioSwing to include the natural learning principles I’m more well known for. BioSwing has gone from a major biomechanical study of the swing, into an optimised swing model and now it’s more of a complete learning system. In fact, I’ve been busting my nut to develop a way of coaching swing technique so it’s as simple and stress free as possible. I’ve got a lot more to say about this and my next post will shed more light.

BioSwing has also received some significant investment. The investors loved the concept and have thrown enough money at it to produce some high quality videos and generally professionalise the set-up. If you’re interested you can check out the BioSwing video for only $1. Considering the entire video production cost close to $40K, this is a very generous price.

You can watch a sample over here.

This is just the first step. As mentioned, I’ve got another announcement in the next few days. Keep your eyes peeled.

Stop trying so hard – here's an alternative for better golf

When we get over the golf ball there’s all sorts of stuff going on in our mind. There shouldn’t be but that’s just how it is.

Don’t stuff this shot up
Please get over the water
Don’t hit it out of bounds
Please make good contact
Oh please God, let me NOT embarrass myself

A golf shot can often have that “final” feel about it. It can seem like it’s now or never. You either hit a good shot or you don’t.

This all adds to the pressure. And the more pressure you feel the more likely you are to lose concentration and start playing poorly.

There is a way around this. Instead of seeing each shot as a do or die situation, look at it as an experiment. The experiment mentality takes the pressure off and gives you permission to relax and witness what is. And this is what you should be doing.

– There’s less stress about making a mistake
– You’re free to try something new
– You’re more aware and in tune with what’s happening because you’re noticing not panicking
– Poor shots are simply “tests” and you can move onto the next shot

Golfers are a strange lot. We can get so worked up over all sorts of shots that we really do forget while we’re out there in the first place. We can get so anxious about our golf that we make poor decisions and never really learn anything.

The experimentation attitude is a game changer. We all understand that experiments aren’t final. That sometimes mistakes happen and we learn and move on. And this is just what I have in mind for you. Here are some examples.

Don’t know how to hit a lob over a bunker? Grab a few balls, a club and head over to the practice green. Open the clubface and see how high you can hit the ball.
Nervous about your opening tee shot? Experiment with trying less and swinging with more freedom. This sounds easy, but only the really brave will try it.
Not sure about laying up short of the bunker? Try it. You may surprise yourself and realise that other golfers don’t care.
Not sure about leaving half your clubs behind? Do it and see how many new shots you learn.
Nervous about leaving your driver behind? Do it. And notice your length of tee shots and how many fairways you hit with your 3 wood.
Worried about the hole with Out Of Bounds? Take a different approach, try something radical (like aiming down the other fairway) but experiment with something new.

This Automatic Golf stuff is also strange. It’s strange because once you figure out what works for you there’s nothing really more to do then to keep repeating. Do the same thing over and over again. But to get to this point you need to experiment. To work out what works and what doesn’t.

Humans don’t like change. We want a different result but typically we’re too scared to break the mould. So we keep doing the same stuff but wanting something different. It’s madness and I suppose this is why the game can drive us nuts. When you can see every little shot as an experiment, the opportunity to learn something valuable, you’ll never be the same player again.

Koda hungry

Koda isn’t happy about the golf podcast coming to an end. Found this golf ball sitting on the putting green this morning.

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The builder's mentality and why it's wrong for your golf game

First off a confession. I’m absolutely terrible when it comes to building anything and working with my hands. One of my first jobs out of school was working in a metal foundry, and while I did have to use some tools and machinery, I hated it and decided then and there that it wasn’t for me. Have no interest whatsoever.

When I decided to add a new office to my shed, the only solution was to call in my dad and brother to help out. The Old Man has been retired for a few years now and loves building stuff – spent 30+ years cooped up in an office and hasn’t put on a tie since. Construction is now his thing and the brother wanted a free trip to the Sunshine Coast. So it worked out pretty well for me.

With the help of a local carpenter the three boys had all the skill and knowledge necessary. I was a waste of space but I did drop in on them every now and then to make sure they weren’t slacking off. After 5 days they had finished the construction and the office is a beauty. It’s great to get out of the house and have my own space where I can work – the peace and quiet is a godsend!

I noticed how different the building mentality is to the one needed to play golf. Time and time again they boys would measure twice (sometimes thrice) and then cut once. They were careful. And this is a good thing I suppose. A dodgy wall or roof structure isn’t an option – they can’t have walls falling down. Plus, the carpenter dude was bordering on pedantic – he was anal about every inch of the construction process.

At one point he had out a tape measure and string line and proudly chimed in, “this room is perfectly square!”. To the ignorant (me) it seemed overkill but who am I to argue? Wasn’t about to tell them to hurry up and stop wasting time.

You really shouldn’t play golf this way.

I used to be concerned with each millimetre of my swing. I would stop to measure and analyse and there was always the thought in the back of my mind of something going wrong. But golf isn’t a construction site. There’s no damage to be done and you can’t break anything.

And I’m sure this is how too many of us play. We’re thinking like builders and less like golfers. The building mentality is required in lots of situations, but our golf game is simply not that important.

We need to be free. We need to explore. And we certainly can’t let the odd mistake hold us back. The best way I can describe it is: building is a science and golf is art.

Art is more about creating, learning and enjoyment. It’s just not as precise. Precision seems like the right thing to do, but when we’re trying to strike a little object it just holds us back.

This is really strange…

This is weird. I’m playing better, way better, but things don’t seem how they should.

For starters, there’s not a lot of magic involved. I thought playing the golf of my dreams would be different. It’s not.

Sure, there’s the odd really good shot, but I’ve always done that. There’s more consistency and less really bad stuff, but for the most part I’m still the same player.

I get nervous. On the 16th yesterday I was quite nervous. But it was different. I didn’t panic and make a mess of the situation. I took a deep breath, welcomed the nerves, focused on where I wanted the ball to go and watched the ball sail to the target. It wasn’t a spectacular shot – the ball went to the fat part of the green and I two-putted for par. But normally when I get nervous like that the ball finds the water. It’s good to know I can play under pressure now.

I’m freaking out a little.

Why?

Because I’m no longer practicing as much. I’d normally spend a few hours hitting balls after work. But not this week. Hardly picked up a club, except for swinging in the backyard and a few “looseners” in the nets before play.

I’ve spent my entire adult life worrying about;

– my golf swing
– if I’m good enough
– my golf swing
– every bad shot
– what am I doing wrong?
– what am I doing right?
– my technique
– my bloody golf swing!

Shit. I’ve spent years worrying and thinking about all this stuff and it feels strange to let it all go. I’ve lost my security blanket, but I’ve just realised I don’t need it anymore.

I’m free. No longer am I trapped worrying about all these stupid things golfers like worrying about. I don’t care about the crap written in golf magazines (stopped reading them a while ago) and I couldn’t care less what Justin Rose does to hit the ball a further 24 yards. Most of this stuff is marketing hype anyway and it no longer is for me.

I’m relaxed. It’s true – golf really is only a game and the world doesn’t come to an end after a bad shot. But I learned something really important – the world doesn’t change after an excellent score. I’m still the same person, no matter what my score says or what number I have to write in the “handicap” box. I wish I had realised this sooner…

My mind is calm. No longer am I driving to the course nervous about;

– my playing partners
– the set-up of the golf course
– embarrassing myself
– hitting the opening tee shot
– playing half-decently

No sir. I don’t care about that stuff either. I’ve simplified my approach. A lot. There’s really only a few things I do each time I take a swing.

1. I work out how far away the target is.
2. I choose the right club for the shot.
3. I walk up and hit that stupid white ball.
4. Repeat.

I know all that sounds too easy but what else can we do anyway? All the other stuff is garbage and an unwanted distraction.

So I’ve been freaking out a little because golf has just gotten a whole lot easier. I’m playing way better and there’s less energy, fear and mental anguish to do so. But I’ll get used to it that’s for sure. I’m no longer a victim to the game and the hype that surrounds it.

I’m now a golfer. I swing the sticks and play the game. Frustration is a distant colleague and I’ve got something more worthwhile.

Satisfaction. Meaning. Enjoyment.

I can’t lose at golf anymore. Yep, shooting a good score is nice but there really is more to the game. I’ve figured that the four and five hours outside in the fresh air should mount to more than just frustration and anger. So I’ve left that all behind and made the craziest realisation of all…

That the less I worry, stress and panic about golf the better I play anyway.

Strange, isn’t it?

I’m no record breaker. I’m just me, but for my talent and application I’m doing just fine. I can drive home happy because I got to play golf and it sure beats work. I can’t say the same for the guys I play with, but I see the old me in them. They’re missing out but they’re too busy trying to fix their golf swing to listen.

It really is a strange game that’s for sure.

References: If you’re keen to explore this simpler mindset further, check out this page.

Photo gallery of the Golf Farm

Check out a series of photos from the construction of the Golf Farm. It has been a bit of a mission, but we got there in the end. The most annoying thing was all the rain – it rained almost non stop for the best part of 4 months. We had the entire yearly rainfall before the end of March. Anyway, things are looking up now. It’s still winter and we’re enjoying 24 deg and sunny weather (suffer to all my mates in Melbourne!)

If you’d like to get more info about getting your own putting green/practice facility, please let me know.

Check out all the photos over on the Supreme Green website.

The 100th Walking With Koda Golf Podcast

#100

This will be the last Walking With Koda Golf Podcast I’ll be doing. I’ve learned a lot over the last 100 days and will be focussing on a slightly different direction. I’ll also put all the best 100 into a Super Blog Post as a nice reference for you.

I’m still going to be around, but will be doing more lurking in the background as I focus on some new things. Keep your eyes peeled on your inbox for some updates soon.

Thanks to everyone for listening. Good golfing,

Cameron

Swing Your Swing

Sam sent this through overnight. He says that it reminds him of me. Nice. I love the way the old-timers swing the club and especially Arnie. What a legend.

It’s a pity we don’t see too many young guys swing it like this anymore – this is really playing the game. Watch the video to see some great advice about playing golf.

I’ve added some extra thoughts with the audio below.

Swing your swing

Rickie Fowler takes aim at a different practice technique

My thoughts: Interesting and probably a lot of fun. It’s certainly a different way to hit targets and it’s a genuine objective based way to practice. It would work and maybe this is how we get kids to play golf.

I notice that Red Bull are involved – maybe they’re trying to make a splash in the lucrative golf market?

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