I really enjoy playing great golf. Especially when I fully experience the joy of the automatic process. The game seems easy and anything is possible when I get into the right frame of mind. On Saturday I had my worst game in a long time. I struggled to a 79, lost a golf ball and three putted too many times. Not sure what happened and I’m not going to waste too much time analysing – I know the next time I play it’s likely my A-game will return.
I also get a thrill when I help others improve their play. This is why that I’ve dedicated myself to being the best coach that I can be. I get a buzz that is hard to describe when I help golfers realise their full potential and help them experience the magic of natural learning.
Rick has been a mate of mine for a long time. He is a good player (handicap 2) and has built a fine game around a terrific putting game. When he is on it seems he can make putts from all corners of the green. Rick’s major problem has been with his long game. He struggles with the driver and wastes many shots with stray balls and chipping out from the trees. As a result he lacks confidence with his swing, and is always searching for the right feel or swing thought to get himself back on track. I feel this is an awful merry-go-round and something that never offers real improvement for any length of time.
I have believed for many years that Rick would benefit greatly from learning to automate his game. Until recently he seemed reluctant to make any change, preferring to rely on technical instruction and swing theory. When he booked in for a lesson I was excited about the possibilities that would open up for him when he could learn to play more and think less. I had no doubt that he would be able to make significant process and do it sooner rather than later.
The lesson went well. Once I broke through the early hesitation (humans hate change) he was able to experience (feel) his natural swing. He was free flowing and his swing appeared more natural, rhythmical and powerful. When a golfer realises that his internal and instinctive swing is better that what they have been doing in the past, real progress can be made. Once the golfer can let go and stop analysing, the magic of the human learning system can be found.
I spent some time with Rick to teach him a strategy for taking this natural game to the golf course. Learning a new swing or method of playing is one thing, being able to use it effectively out on the golf course is another – the removal of this step in conventional instruction circles is the reason so many golfers can never live up to their full potential under the pressure of playing on the course.
Rick’s game on Saturday proved to me that he had learned well. He followed the automatic process throughout the day and he made significant progress. His bad drives still ended up in play (something that not always happens 🙂 ) and he played solid shots when he really needed them. For me the best part was that he removed the ‘straight jacket’. His game flowed from start to finish – he started dancing instead of searching for a contrived and unnatural golf swing.
Rick stumbled slightly on the 18th hole. He made an unlucky double bogey but his score was good enough to win the Monthly Medal. Something that is not easy when competing against the higher handicappers. I feel that he has just started scratching the surface. When he becomes more comfortable with the automatic process he can only continue to learn more and improve his game with each outing. I’m sure Rick will go from being inconsistent and erratic to a golfer that will reach the heights that he has always dreamed of.
I’m sure he can go from a good golfer to a remarkable one.
Something worth striving for …