Why I do this

The idea of this blog is to help educate golfers bit by bit about the learning process. Like playing golf, this website is a process not an event. There’s no quick fix and I try hard not to promise miracle cures – perhaps this is a golf blog for realistic golfers. Each week I offer little bits of information – some of it may help you and others may not. The important thing is that you open your mind, learn new things and experience better golf.

I get excited when I come up with new ways of explaining the golf learning process. I write my ideas down, think about them for a few days (even weeks and months) and then eventually put them into words. It’s a lot of fun and I am never short of things to write about. Sometimes you guys say stuff that explains what I do better than I could ever do. Grayden left a message on the previous post. I’ve included it below because it’s important.

I’m a tad excited. Just a tad mind you. It doesn’t pay to get too excited in this game but I think a penny may have dropped……

I’ve been listening to Cam’s Remarkable Golf CD in the car at work today. He mentions the Fred Shoemaker “throw the club” exercise as the simplest way to get the feel of how we should be swinging a club. I’ve heard Cameron talk about this before but never taken it too seriously because it sounded a bit simplistic or “childish” to me. I could see the logic of it mind you, but didn’t think I actually needed to do it.

Anyway, because I”m now laid up with an achilles heel problem and can’t play I’m keen to do ANYTHING that involves actually getting my hands on a club aso when I got home after work I thought, “hey, what the heck” and went out the back yard and tried it.

Sure enough, first go and I flung the club to the left (I’m a right hander). No real surprise there seeing as I hit a fade (which can easily progress to a slice like most of us). I went and picked up the club (I was only throwing it about 10m….bit worried about the neighbour’s windows!) and thought “no probs, I’ll take it seriously now, I’ll just throw the NEXT one straight”. Threw again……..Hmmm……still going left. No worries. I’ll REALLY make sure I throw straight this time. No more mucking about. Throw…..Hmmm…..STILL going left!

By now I was curious and decided I was going to keep going with this “dumb” exercise until I could get the darn thing to go straight. Lets just say it took me quite a few “throws” (they’re really “swings” of course) to learn how to make the thing go straight. When I finally figured it out, here’s how I noticed I was swinging:

(a) with a much quieter body action
(b) with MUCH better balance
(c) with a shorter backswing
(c) with slightly more active hands
(d) with a greater sensation of “lag” (Yay! I’ve always wanted to get that feeling back!)

It was a very controlled, compact feeling. I also noticed that the club head was grazing the grass much more consistently than usual AND that the divots were much straighter than they are with my usual “body” swing.

“Only trouble is I must LOOK ridiculous” I thought. It felt “all arms” to me because I’m so used to the “body swing” feel. I moved over to a window to watch myself. I assumed I was going to see something akin to a tripod fixed to the ground with arms flapping. Thats what it FELT like. Gee whizz, guess what? It didn’t look ridiculous at all! It actually looked like a simple, compact, controlled golf swing. “Hey GP” I thought, ” maybe this is how you’re SUPPOSED to swing a golf club!!! Interestingly I also noticed it put much less pressure on my heel (!)

Anyway, as I say, this is just a tad exciting. Can’t wait to get out there and try it “live” now. So folks, my advice: DON’T do what I did and just MENTALLY do the club throwing exercise. Actually GO AND DO IT. And KEEP doing it until you actually throw straight. Then, when thats finally happening, take note of how it FEELS and start swinging that way. You might be as surprised (delighted!) as I am.

Thanks Cameron. I never doubted you for a minute (:-)) That CD might just be the best $37 I’ve spent for a while!

His kind words made my day. There’s also an important message. You’ve got to DO the stuff. You can’t read about it. You can’t think about it. You’ve got to get out there and DO it. Yesterday, during a Pennant match, I hit a hurdle (or three). I lost three holes in a row. I was getting frustrated. My thumb was sure. I started making up stories and excuses – I didn’t feel like playing. Then I remembered Grayden’s post. It reminded me to stop thinking so much and get back to playing. That little moment, a moment that nobody else would ever pick up on, was enough to get me to swing freely, stop playing scared and to play golf my way.

If your golf is not going well maybe you’ve got to do a reality check. Are you playing with too many swing thoughts? Are you worried about your score, handicap or the rough? If the answer is yes then the solution is to get out there and DO the things I write about. It’s really easy to think about them – but are you actually doing them?

For the record I played well on the last seven holes to win my match. It was pleasing – to play well is always fun but to overcome self-doubt and worry is something different altogether.

And this is why I do this blog. It helps me more than it probably helps you guys. It really does. I learn from all the comments, emails and questions I receive. And along the way if you learn to break free and play golf to your full potential then that’s great. If you share your experiences then we all win. And that’s something special.

Where to from here?

I’ve spilled the beans on everything I’ve learned about playing better golf. This blog contains over 320 golf lessons that are all free. I’ve also compiled some premium content. There’s video, case studies and personal attention from me. If you’d like to view the premium content then here’s the link for that. Then there’s my golf audio. This is my first golf audio product and it contains some great advice, it’s especially useful for those that are struggling with their game and looking to dig their way from the golfing rut.

And there’s something else I don’t talk about very often. And that’s spreading the word. If you find this golf instruction useful, insightful or even different please feel free to share it with other golfers. I’d really appreciate it.

I’ll be back in a few days with a golf lesson I’ve been working on for quite some time. It’s a beauty.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Ray Crick - May 18, 2010

Hello Cam and Tribers,
As I mentioned in an early post I’ve really been stuggling with nervous tension at the start of my recent rounds. I had a hit on Sunday and I made a commitment with myself that I would walk on the first tee and swing the club the same as if I was walking onto the last hole! Ended up with a par for the first hole and I was away. Ende up walking off the eighteenth hole with 40 stableford points and some reward for the patience and perserverance with auto golf!!
Spot on Grayden with the club exercise, I’ve been doing this exercise and I feel its having some effect, I’m a leftie with a nasty pull and when I do this exercise I have a tendency to throw it to the right!
I’m continuing to do this exercise because I firmly believe its helping my swing.
Cheers
RayC

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Tony Lucas - May 18, 2010

Tribers

First up to Grayden and Ray excellent stuff and congratulations on your commitment.I am going to report on my golf on the Saturday just gone and unlike yourself Ray I had an absolute stinker especially the first nine but my back nine was a slight improvement.The good thing to come out of this was I realised I fell back to the old Lukey (thinking too much swing etc) but managed to rectify that problem and get back to auto although with mixed results.I then went with my mate on the Sunday to one of the premier courses down here (Royal Hobart GC) and made it clear to him that I did not want to talk about swing issues or anything of the like that I was out there to play golf and nothing else and there was a marked improvement.True I did not score that well (tough course)but I generally hit the ball well and putted ok (bloody fast greens).So I am back on track but still a work in progress but am getting there.
Cheers Lukey

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Bernie Folkes - May 18, 2010

Hi Cam, Grayden, Ray, Lukey and all
Another great post. Like Cam and Ray, I also stand on the “RIGHT” side of the ball. I have tried the “club tossing/throwing” a few times and guess what the bl..dy club goes to the right. Must start doing it again. Agree it is a great drill. I just get very strange looks when I do it at the golf club.
I really shouldn’t take any notice of the uninformed – just go for it.
Ray glad to see your results – well done. Lukey, I can understand your situation, hang in there like I am trying to do.
Am looking forward to “Cam’s beauty lesson”.
Bernie

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Grayden Provis - May 18, 2010

Great work Ray. 40 points is always impressive but I reckon the mind control (read “guts”) you showed is the REALLY impressive thing regardless of how many points you scored. Very inspiring.

Tony: Steady showed me a practice routine he’s developed (can be done at home without a ball) simply to ingrain the auto routine so that when you step out live you’ve already “got the habit”. I think its a great idea (unless Cameron has other thoughts). From what you describe in your post above it sounds to me like it would help.

Bernie: I have found that tossing the club even a small distance is enough to give me the feel of how I should be swinging. Thats good because it means you don’t have to do it in public!…. assuming you’ve got any sort of backyard that is. And when its in your own yard you can do it over and over until it is really ingrained. If there’s others watching I think you tend to quit on it out of self-consciousness. DON’T! Resolve to yourself that you’re not going to settle until you can throw STRAIGHT. If you can’t achieve it in the one session, come back to it.

When I first discovered Cameron’s way of playing I was immediately struck by how much more I ENJOYED playing. I must admit, since then I’ve allowed myself to get a little too focussed on score again because I’ve seen the potential for my scores to get lower playing this way. However, I ‘m now realizing thats a mistake. As Cameron says, SCORES LOOK AFTER THEMSELVES. I’m going back to just enjoying the FREEDOM and PEACE that auto golf gives me. Thats what grabbed me about it in the first place. I’m going to trust that the lower scores will “sneak up on me” when the time is right as Cameron says. Even if they don’t, it doesn’t REALLY matter because I’m at peace. Sounds like a good plan to me. Its what Steady has been saying all along too. Its like trying to catch a stray dog. You can chase it all you like and you’ll never get your hands on it. Go sit down and forget about it and its likely to sidle up alongside you!

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Gregor McCulloch - May 18, 2010

I tried the club throwing. My first throw went well left of where I was aiming. I had to stop before I worked out how to get it going straight but I can see this as a useful ‘ DO it’ as Cameron suggests. I think this will be incorporated into future practice sessions.
Like Grayden I am still concentrating too much on score and worrying about not improving. I get the odd glimpse of potential and then I need to re-think things but looking back I do see how my game has changed and to be fair I do play well for most of my rounds now. There are very few real bad rounds which must be progress.
I see Steady has devised a practice plan which does not involve hitting a ball. I would be intersted to know what this is and if Cameron has any other useful practice without a ball ideas

Gregor

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Tony Lucas - May 22, 2010

Tribers
Just an update on how things are going.Played today and unfortunately fell into the old trap of thinking about the game (ie slow down your swing concentrate on throwing club at ball)and what followed was not pretty scoring only twelve points (wiped out on two).Then after a stern talk to myself (not going nutty)I recommitted big time to auto golf and really put my head down and the result was much better (19 points)so at the end of the day it proved if you stay committed to auto golf the results will take care of themselves.
Cheers Lukey

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Grayden Provis - May 23, 2010

Just been to the range to finally try the club-throw swing “live”. Wow, wow and wow. As soon as I hit the very first nine iron I KNEW this was how to hit a golf ball. After hitting a few I switched to a six iron. Same result. But the real test for me was always going to be the 3 wood off the deck. SAME RESULT. Consistent, straight shots from a very controlled, shorter and more balanced swing. And how’s this for a joke: the coach next to me tells her student to watch me to see a “simple, rhythmic swing”. ME for Pete’s sake!! Yep. I think the penny certainly dropped the other day Cameron. Thanks again.

[PS I finally got in to the sports physio this week. The good news was he said there was no rupturing of the achilles just inflammation where it joins the bone. He looked closely at my heel while I swung the old way and the new “club-throwing” way. He agreed the old swing was putting a huge strain on the heel and said provided I continued with the new approach he could see now reason why I couldn’t resume full playing in a couple of weeks. Can’t wait]

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John Stead - May 26, 2010

Hi Tribers,
haven’t got my laptop back yet however I needed to desperately post my recent witnessing of auto golf.
I was down in melbourne recently for Uni as I finished early I went and watch Cameron play in his final for matchplay at Kew golf club on Sunday.
I hope he doesn’t think I’m blowing smoke up his preverbial, but what I witnessed first hand, let me say that Cameron practices what he preaches.
I took a critical eye to his routine,attitude and demenour while playing. At NO stage did Cameron panic, throw clubs( no pun there) or get upset at a bad result. In fact what I witnessed was auto golf to the purest point.
Case in point after being 2 up he lost one hole and was 1 up. His opponent pumped his 3 wood down the middle. Cameron put his drive into the creek, Cam’s opposition put his second shot to the front of the green, while Cameron decided after finding his ball in the drink to take a drop from 120 from the hole pull out his sandwedge and knocked it to 10 feet, sunk the putt and took 4. The other guy pushed his putt past the hole for a sneaky 6 footer downhill, he also walked off with par to square the hole.
After squaring the next hole. They both played the 385 par 4 16 hole dogleg right. Cam’s opponent smashed a 300 meter drive to the left hand side of the fairway were Cam’s was sitting pretty 60m from the hole. This guy Cam was playing knocked it to 5 foot. Any other player may have felt intimated by this guy’s shot. Not Cameron. He presetted, took a couple of practice swings, stepped back, walked to his ball and lipped out a 60m pitch which sat next to the hole. The other sunk his 5 foor putt. It was excellent to watch. In fact I was starting to count while Cameron was going through his routine.
My point being is Cameron never let ego get involved, he was calm and calculating in his shot selection and play. Most of all he trusted what he was doing.
Ultimately if we are in search of that missing x factor for want if a better word in playing consistent and tension free golf we must
1) trust our swing to get the job done.( no fixing while playing)
2) distract our conscious mind in order to let the subconscious play the shot.( sing/count)
3) enjoy the process. ( Lose yourself in your routine)
4) Stop and smell the roses.( realise golf is a game)
I hope this helps those who are struggling. When it does happen to you and it will if you are prepared to let go auto golf is the only way to play. I know Cam well enough that he won’t get a big head over this. Congrats Strachs on your sportsmanship, conduct and play.
Cheers Steady
A witnesses testomony is only as good as his word followed by his actions.

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Cameron - May 26, 2010

@Steady: Thanks John for the nice words.

This is something that I’ve been going on about for a while now. Yes, the system is simple but it works. You’ve got to get out there and play without fear time after time. You got to see me in a big match do my thing and I hit some good shots at the right time.

But here’s the thing. I’ve been playing the same way for well over 5 years now. I wouldn’t change it for anything and it doesn’t matter what situation I’m in I pretty much go on autopilot. I try not to panic and over think. I play golf and it’s fun.

On another issue: Got a great lesson coming up. Will try and publish it tonight. Keep your eyes peeled.

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Tim Hardham - May 26, 2010

Simply fantastic information. When a person feels down and out with golf, the words of Cameron and fellow tribers is always a welcome reminder to keep fighting. Auto is the way and DOING is the the most important thing. I realise know that I have been reading a lot but not doing enough. TIme to get cracking and play proper AUTO GOLF

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