Golf Instruction – Golf's vital skill. You must learn how to find your natural game – week one
This is the most important skill you will ever own in the game of golf. YES, the most important.
You must learn how to find and then own your own golf game. Why is this important? Because without it you will never know how to improve constantly and become a consistent golfer week after week..
Let me explain more.
What do you think about when you drive a car? Most people don’t really know. After some prompting they will admit to listening to the radio (singing?), talking on the phone or staring aimlessly out the window. Most are driving the car perfectly well, but they are doing so without thinking about how to do so.
Does this make sense? They are driving the car without thinking about how to do it. This is what owning a skill is and is VITAL to playing better golf.
It’s not just driving cars when we learn to be more automatic. Nearly every skill we perform daily is done automatically;
- brushing teeth
Automatic learning works for us because it requires less energy and is performed by the subconscious. Automatic learning nearly always ensures the skill is performed perfectly every time. We hardly ever make mistakes with everyday tasks, and when we do, they are quickly forgotten about.
Why you must find your natural golf game
You must be able to find your natural golf swing. Without doing so will cause your game to be inconsistent and weak. Most golfers think to much about their technique when they play. This is not a new problem – but one I think is getting worse.
Thinking about your game when you play requires manual control. This is the opposite to natural learning. Manual control gives you a ‘mixed bag’ of results. With the removal of the subconscious, manual control usually ensures the skill is performed well below your full potential.
Further, manual control is not your golf swing. It is manufactured and contrived. It is not consistent and reliable like your walking style. This means that it will come and go. You may hit a good shot, then a poor one. You’ll experience the full gamut of shots possible. I bet this sounds familiar?
When you know what your natural swing is you have a solid base to work from. Manual control does not allow this. How can you fix something when you don’t know what it is you’re trying to fix? You can’t. This is the reason that golf instruction has let you down in the past. With no starting point (your natural swing) you have to guess what it is you are doing. I have not found this approach to be that reliable!
How to find your natural swing
The first step is to stop tinkering and thinking about your swing while you play. Just hit the ball! Sounds easy (it is) but many can’t help but fight for manual control.
I like to say that playing more naturally is like removing the straight jacket. There is no comparison…one method is restrictive, difficult and even painful. The other is free, easy and so much more fun.
Take some balls to a quiet place on the practice fairway. You don’t want to get interrupted. You now need a change in mind set. Stop thinking about how to hit the ball, what you are doing wrong or some part of your swing. Leave it alone. Just play and hit the ball.
Get comfortable, relax and clear your head. Make some easy swings with a short iron. Don’t concern yourself with where the ball is going…keep swinging.
See how long you can go before you start thinking about technique. Let these thoughts and desires pass you by. Keep hitting and swinging away. Resist any temptation to analyse or control the swing. Remember the goal is to find your inner golf game. If you stick with it you’ll be rewarded with something that will have a profound impact on your golfing life.
Your job this week is to do this with all parts of your game. Putting, chipping and long game. Spend some time with all areas, but still strive to let go and have some fun. This should not be a chore. This should be exhilarating and an enjoyable process.
I recommend a minimum of three sessions on each part of your game. This should give you enough time and experience to adjust to the ‘non-thinking’ approach. I will cover this approach in more detail in later chapters…but it is important that you complete this task…it sets the foundation for the others.