The Challenge

Hi Tribers,

There’s been a bit of banter back and forth of late. This is great and what the whole Golf Tribe is all about. I’m sure those involved have been learning and getting something from it. It’s perfect win-win. You learn, we all learn. Fantastic.

Thought I’d write a quick post on what it takes to succeed with the automatic process. Here’s my take;

It takes commitment. The easiest thing in the world to do is to quit and try something new when it doesn’t work. Adults are like that – we’re impatient and think we can override our own natural learning abilities with conscious thought and control.

But that doesn’t work either! We end up jumping from tip to tip and idea to idea each and every time something goes awry. The end result is a golf game that is all over the place – and leaves us frustrated and confused.

Automatic golf requires a different challenge. You have to put your trust in your natural learning abilities – to have faith that your subconscious can do better than your conscious mind. Yes this can be scary and nervy at first but if you stick with it something magic might come your way.

Let me give you an example.

I played twice over the weekend. The first game was nothing special. I didn’t play that well and missed playing to my handicap by a few shots. No biggie – just an average round.

On Sunday I started poorly. I missed a few shots and felt tempted to analyse and make some changes. I resisted the urge to make a change or start playing safe. I relaxed and kept the automatic process going.

Before I knew it I was playing well. It’s a hard feeling to describe but by the 10th hole I knew I was going to shoot a good score. My game felt in sync and the ball kept finding the target – on the 16th (a par 5) I hit two of the best shots I’ve hit in a long time, a powerful draw shot from the tee (something that I struggle to do) and a laser like three iron a few metres from the pin.

This is like magic! It feels unbelievable and for me makes the game of golf something special.

The point here is that I know if I let the poor round or a few bad shots get to me I wouldn’t have experienced the magic. The remarkable golf makes the poor golf worthwhile.

My core belief is that we all have the potential to experience our own level of magic – we have to learn to keep trusting and swinging freely – the rest will take care of itself.

That’s the challenge – but it’s one worth winning.

I’d like to hear your comments.

Cameron

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Barry McQuay - March 22, 2009

G’day Cameron

Yesterday was a Stableford, and I have been working on the poor parts of my game, Driving and Putting, so I was hoping to see the improvement. After 7 holes, I had 7 points. I had not missed a fairway from the tee, but the rest of the game was very ordinary.

I was trying so hard to clear my mind, not think about my swing, count while I played etc. That I had cluttered my mind with it.

I decided to forget about the round, as it was shot anyway. Just relax and try and hit a few good shots and get the feeling back.

I scored 31 points in the next 11 holes. I never hit one extrodinary shot, no 300 meter drives, no towering 4 irons that finished 6 inches from the hole. I didn’t need them. Simple good solid shot were good enough to get me to the greens or close enough. My chipping was back, and it felt that the greens staff had replaces the cups with 44 gallon drums when I putted.

I played 11 holes without thinking about anything while I stood over the ball, except for hitting it.

In the past I have parred ever hole on the course, and birdied quite a few, so I knew there was better golf in me than I have been playing, but I have not been able to get it out. Yesterday it happened, and it was beautiful. I might not be able to get this feeling every week, but now I know what it feels like, I certainly am going to try.

Barry

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