Even Nerds Can Play Great Golf
I’ve been talking to the Artful Golfer via email. He is a self confessed nerd – a computer guru. It seems this nerd 😉 is a little different. He decided not to get too technical with his golf game – something that separated him from many other technically minded people. He plays golf more with his heart – not with his head. This has allowed him to reduce his handicap to three in under 3 years. Inspired by Fred Shoemaker, The Artful Golfer has played some extraordinary golf. This includes holes in one and sub par rounds.
Below is the Artful Golfer’s thoughts on my golf book. Enjoy.
From The Artful Golfer:
I did a quick read of your ebook yesterday… you’re definitely a kindred spirit 😉 . I found your “instructional” chapters very insightful… good reasoning behind the basics of the grip, importance of alignment (but allowing for imperfection since the body can automatically make slight adjustments), etc. I totally agree with your thoughts on playing automatic, but instead of using the Gallwey “que”, I prefer to lock into and make a tangible “connection” with the target before my swing. I don’t “think”, but I do visualize my intended target and flight path and keep that image present before and during my swing (some form of it anyway). Once I “know” where my target is when I’m looking down at the ball, I draw an imaginary line from the back of the ball towards the target that I want the club head to follow, then I’m ready to swing.
My favorite part was about allowing for and expecting imperfection and to appreciate and work with your unique abilities (or limitations).
“This does not mean that every shot is perfect. The bad shots remind us that we are human, the game is an art and even good shots can get a bad bounce…. The beauty of golf is that it can be played and played well by many different types of people. There are short hitters, long hitters, fast and slow swingers just to mention a few. All of these people can play the game to their own high standard if they allow it.”
Regarding my story, much of it is available under topics labeled “About”, available under the About menu item. However, I just realized this week (and haven’t shared this online) that my technical background actually provided me with some unique skills that have helped me approach golf more independently.
In software development, although you can learn the basics in school, in books, or online, the only way to keep up with the latest and ever-changing programming tools and interfaces is to research and apply this ongoing new technology on your own. It requires a ton of initiative, self-discipline, and attention to detail. I think this background is what influenced me to approach golf independently and figure it all out for myself. I bought a book to get the basics on grip, stance, and swing dynamics then went out and hit balls and played. I’d continually make adjustments in my stance, ball position, swing, etc. until I found something that kept the ball in play more consistently. I spent a lot of time practicing on and around the green so I could recover from my imperfections from the tee and fairway. Mostly, as you shared in your ebook, I accepted my imperfections and worked with what I had. I learned to score with whatever swing I had that day. I learned to accept the occasional bad shot and bad hole and moved on. Fred Shoemaker’s book taught me not only to move on, but to remain open to the possibility that the next shot, next hole, or the rest of the round could be extraordinary. I practiced enough to gain the skills necessary to realistically expect those extraordinary shots to occur every time.
The other aspect of software development that helped me in golf was concentration and focus. Programming requires intense concentration for long periods of time while maintaining a high degree of attention to detail. Focusing for a few seconds during a golf swing is easy by comparison. The problem solving aspects of software development lend themselves to golf as well. Golf and programming are both about finding and fixing flaws, managing mistakes, and making tradeoffs based on risk/reward.
Without ever realizing it, I guess being a nerd is perfect preparation for taking up golf 😉 .
Yes! Even nerds can play great, artistic and joyful golf. Get out there and do it!