“There’s an enormous gap between KNOWING and DOING.” -Some wise dude
Most of us simply LOVE the game. The goal should be to enjoy every moment. Every shot!
I’m constantly amazed at the shots golfer try to pull off…. I’m not talking about Bubba Watson or Phil Mickelson. They are two of the most talented golfers in the world, and I’m in awe of their talent and imagination….
GOLFER – SHOULD HAVE TAKEN A DROP This happened on a desert golf course in the upper Scottsdale area, Arizona near Cave Creek. He fell backwards into the cactus whilst attempting to play his ball.
My thoughts today go to how quickly many golfers go into ‘confused’, ‘panicked’, or downright ‘depressed’ mode……
I understand it- trust me. I just know that it is not the best reaction to allow to come to the surface. Golf is DIFFICULT. Golf is extremely precise in it’s demands….
Some days will just be lousy- That’s close to universally true. Some days the body just won’t comply with the commands of the mind. Some days, the minds commands won’t be as confident, precise, correct as they need to be…..
The key is not to overly stress. The key is to trust that YOU HAVE THE KEY to the most efficient golf swing. You KNOW you have the recipe to build PATH INTEGRITY into your swing.
Most important- Know that you know (I mean, you are reading this blog, right?). Go to the range and let GRAVITY MEET ROTATION. Work first on your FULLY ROTATED RELAXED BALANCED FINISH….. BE AWARE as you hang out in your finish……. Stop judging…. Just be aware.
Let yourself learn by continuing to just HEAVE and FINISH IN BALANCE….. It may take a while before you LET YOURSELF COMPLY with GRAVITY AND ROTATION….. But trust that it will happen.
We very often turn to ‘FIX MODE’ way too fast….. Stop thinking…. HEAVE and FINISH IN BALANCE….. Let physics work it’s magic…… Trust and KNOW, and your body will comply over time……
Might as well turn this little ego kick I’m embarking on into a lesson…. So here we go!
The Power of Positive Visualization.
So my time here at Carolina Colours has come to an end. It’s been a fantastic time.
I love this golf course!
When I first began playing the course I remember commenting to Ken that I really think I’ll make a hole in one here…. Because the design of the course fits my eye so well, I was confident that I would make a good run at holing out on one of the par threes.
We’ve talked about it a lot. I’ve agonized over it after several close calls…. But most importantly, I had a visual of holing out most every time I stepped on a par 3! (most of the par 3’s anyway….)
Over the last month, it became a bit of a comical obsession of mine to ace #16. It’s the shortest hole on the course, and the only one that has NOT had a hole-in-one recorded. I’ve talked about it with staff and members and tried calling it pretty much to anyone I’ve played with over the last couple of weeks. When Joe, Paul and Mike came up for a visit, I darn near holed it (or at least made the shot worth watching) each time we played!
So yesterday was probably my last round here (as head professional) at Carolina Colours Golf Club. Ken and I talked about how I might leave here without making my hole-in-one….. What a shame. While driving from 15 to 16, we discussed the possibility of taking a shag bag out the next day and just teeing away for the afternoon!!!! (yes, that desperate!)
Now I know that a hole-in-one is a bit like winning the lottery…. It takes a lot of luck. And I honestly made that lottery connection in my mind before teeing off. I thought about how cool it would be if this was the time. How incredible would that be if I could ace this hole the very last time I play it as the Head Professional of the course…..
108 yards. Perfect 3/4 gap wedge. When I hit it, we started talking it up (like many other times)… As it approached the green, I think we began shouting at the ball…. it hit about 4 feet from the hole, bounced past and then spun back into the hole…….
silence…. Total disbelief? The best we could both do is say ‘I think that might have gone in?!?’
Holy #%%$#@ (mom, pardon the language), we were giddy, but still not quite believers…. I was afraid to believe too much!
And then we drove around so that we could see the entire green complex. NO BALL.
I DID IT!!!! I now had that dumb glazy look on my face like Phil Mickelson gets when he’s just won another major (yeah, I’m equating this ace with a Major victory! It’s my blog after all.)
Ken walked over to look first and confirmed that my ball was in the bottom of the cup. It’s official.
First hole in one- 15yrs old. Hole #4 at Pinecrest GC. 140yd par 3 6:15am- A maintenance guy moving the sprinkler heads on the 3rd green saw it. Yup, my last hole in one was back in the day when most greens were watered by the rotating sprinkler heads you hooked up to a hose!!!!
Second hole in one- 43yrs, 13 days old. Hole #16 at Carolina Colours Golf Club. 108yd par 3. Ken Gerhardt was the witness (and fortunately I managed to hole out on a hole short enough for him to actually see it go in!!!).
How about them apples? Pretty proud of myself right now…..
Oh yeah. VISUALIZE. See the shot, Trust the shot! Let’s celebrate!
While driving around the golf course yesterday, I noticed in 2 groups something interesting in some pre shot routines…..
The D player in an event would set up to the ball, then spend 10-20 seconds gauging where the ball was. You could see in their waggle, they were attempting to find the ball in the downswing…. Their practice swing was their backswing down to the ball… NO FOLLOW THROUGH! Watching 2 groups in a row hit a fairway shot to the green, the D player in both groups never looked at the green once they placed their feet into their stance. The major part of the check list was preparing to strike the ball…..
The A players in both groups did something very different. Their pre shot ritual was much more focused on the flagstick and green. The practice swing of one A player had almost no backswing, and you could tell he was just focusing on ‘throwing’ the club out towards the target…. Their practice swing was basically the follow through…. The other A player just kept looking up and adjusting to what was out in front of them….
It’s an important lesson. THE BALL IS UNIMPORTANT in the golf swing. Prepare to throw the club and let the ball get in the way.
*If you are having a hard time reading this on your email browser; simply go to blog.athleticgolf.net today and read. I messed with the font colors a bit and, well….
*Please send along some comments, questions, etc!!!! How can I make this blog more meaningful to you?
Since I did a Moe Norman presentation last nite, it seems fitting to use one of his quotes today. When asked about if he visualizes every shot he hits, he replies,
“See it? I don’t just see it. I taste it. I taste it. Purity of technique is choking me. Ooohhhh…. Like this, like this. I’m tasting this shot.” He then proceeds to swing and finishes with, “See, perfect every time!”
Make a decision to see and feel great shots, both on the range and on the course. Golf, because of its difficulty, tends to drag us down into negative thoughts and images…. I understand that all too well. Fortunately thoughts are a choice. You can choose to visualize what you want. You can choose to think as you please. Really see great impact and perfect outcomes, and your body will begin to comply with those thoughts and images. BELIEVE!
Congrats to Phil, what a spectacular win yesterday at Pebble Beach.
Here are 2 things you can learn from his victory:
1. He has been practicing great over the last 6 weeks and yet until this week, his results have been less than desirable……
Phil knew that his training was top level. He had tremendous confidence in what he was working on and just kept plugging away…..
We can all trust that results will follow! Sometimes it seems that the drills will never kick in on the golf course. Sometimes we have a bad stretch of golf, or the proverbial ‘worst round of our lives….’, even while practicing consistently…. Phil showed us again that the past does not equal the future. If your training is solid, YOU WILL SEE RESULTS!
Stick with the drills. And BELIEVE!
2. Phil stopped thinking about mechanics with his putter. It’s hard to believe that a golfer as gifted as Phil continually falls into the bad habit of THINKING MECHANICS while on the course, and even worse in competition…. He made the decision a few weeks back to simply look at the putts and trust. Commit to that mind set and the strokes will become more fluid and reliable!!!! Practice, but more importantly, LOOK AND REACT! Don’t think about your putting stroke!
*Especially in the winter, when every mistake is magnified, it’s easy to think you need to change or fix your swing too much…. What you need is CONSISTENT AND SYSTEMATIC TRAINING!!!! And then you need to TRUST YOUR SWING.