Archive Monthly Archives: June 2010

From Practice to Playing Golf

How to get your golf practice game from the range to the course

How did I swing so fluidly on the range 10 minutes ago, but now, on the first hole, I chop at the ball like a lumberjack?

This is one of the greatest frustrations most golfers face. We’ve proved to ourselves that we can swing well on the practice range, but transferring these feelings, the rhythm and confidence onto the course is quite a different challenge.

The ability to transfer your golf game from the range onto the course is one of the essential mental skills to be mastered. This mental skill can be learned and improved. Just like any teaching professional worth his or her salt better be able to cure a slice, any golf psychologist better be able to help golfers take their games from the range to the course.

To effectively transfer your golf game over, there are essential mental perspectives to apply. First, the 7-iron you hit on the range is entirely different from the 7-iron you might hit on the first hole. They are two separate situations that involve quite different mental processes.

Most often, we feel good about our swings on the range after we have repeated the same shot. We feel our swings are “grooved.”

But during a round you only get one chance at each shot. Second, When warming up prior to a round there are myriad swing factors to which you may be paying attention – posture, alignment, takeaway, hand positions, rotation, swing plane, tempo, plus any swing cue that has been working for you. Trying to do all of those things over a shot during the round will probably lead to a mental meltdown. Forget about all these isolated mechanical issues and perform integrated swings. This is where mind and body come together.

Third, on the range you’re in a ball orientation, but during a round you need be in target and process orientations. During warm–up, you are focusing on striking the ball and maybe seeing how it flies through the air. There, the golf ball is the end.

But during a round the ball is a means to other ends. Once you step onto the golf course, you have to focus on a target, whether it be the hole or a spot in the fairway. These three mental perspectives are critical to performing at your best during a round.

During your warm-up on the range, you must gradually and consciously shift your thinking from a practice mentality to a playing mentality~ The best way to do this is to follow what Ed Grant advised back in 1981:

“If you want to play more like you practice, you must star to practice like you play.”

From your practice sessions to you warm-up sessions, everything you do should be done in the way you would like to do them on the course. Pick out a precise target, follow your preshot routine and commit yourself to the shot. If you’re hitting more than two balls per minute, you’re going too fast.

Granted, there are times to do drills or work on specific mechanics, but the last half of every practice session should be used to replicate the kinds of on-course performances you seek.

Here are some techniques to employ during your golf warm-up:

1. GO THROUGH YOUR RELAXATION sequence and settle into
yourself as you stretch. Good players do this before theyhit balls and even just before theywalkto the first tee.

2. ALTERNATE YOUR SHOTS on the
range. Hit a 9-iron and then a 6-iron. -Yes, you might not feel cdmfoi~table doing this,but it is more akin to what you will be facing on the course.

3. PICK OUT VERY SPECIFIC
TARGETS. Aim for dead grass or a drain. Get used to focusing on a target.

4. HIT THREE-QUARTER SHOTS
and work the ball. Let’s face it, perhaps only half of the shots you hit during a round will be your standard full swing on a flat stance with the ball sitting up. Get a feeling and confidence on the range for your creative shots.

5. REHEARSE KEY SHOTS you’ll be
hitting in the first three holes. For example, I believe the first hole at Graeagle Meadows is the most demanding opening hole in Northern California. It’s a 440-yard dogleg left around trees with water on the right. On the range, Iwill practice drawing a three-wood. I imagine myself on the first tee with each of these shots I take.

6. FEEL ThE RHYTHM. The last
3rd of the balls you hit should be rhythmical swings at 80 percent full power. Think and feel rhythm. You can carry this to the course.

7. MAKE TIME FOR SHORT-GAME
PRACTICE – putting, pitching and chipping. I believe that if you only have time for either full swings or chipping, you should choose chipping.

8. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
before you walk to the first tee. Complete your mental transitions, yawn, shrug your shoulders and say hello to the course.

If you’re aware of these mental orientations, warm up properly and employ some of the above techniques, you’ll become more effective in transferring your golf game onto the course. You’ll truly be ready to play.

I hope I have been worth my salt.

Cheers!

Tom

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“It’s a fact that a person can acquire a complete mastery of the skills needed to succeed in golf. Yet, this same person may not be able to perform in a consistenly winning manner. As a highly regarded sports psychologist, Dr. Tom Kubistant has made a difference when it comes to unlocking the mental barriers that may keep us from success in golf.”

Jan Usher – PGA, Lakeridge Golf Course

Dr. Tom Kubistant has been called “The Master of the Intrinsic.” He maintains the entire bibliography on the mental game of golf…and has read it all! Nobody is more experienced than Tom. He continues to work with professional and average golfers every day.

If you want to get your game to the next level, click here to get Mind Links now!

golf psychologist

Author of “Performing Your Best, Links Golf, Mind Pump: The Psychology of Body Building, business and sales training audios, over 280 articles for magazines and now………Mind Links – The Psychology of Golf.

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Copyright © 2006 Tom Kubistant

Pressure in golf

Stay Out of Your Own Way

Let your preparation take over your swing

Over the last couple of years, this title phrase has become a:cliche. Even golfers who haven’t the foggiest idea of the components of good performance know enough to at least say that they have to stay out of their own way. And they’re correct – staying out of your own way is one of the top preventive strategies for solid efforts.

But what exactly does this phrase mean?

Most of us want to perform so well that we try too hard, become too intense and complicate things too much. The importance of the occasion, plus our good intentions add up to too many thoughts at once.

We think about specific swing mechanics, remembering the latest swing cue, course management, the stance and the lie, the 17 steps of our preshot routines, visualizing the shot, coping with the pressure, targeting, and-oh yes- concentrating. With all of that going on, it’s no wonder our brains become overloaded and shut down.

The path to discouraging golfing performances is paved with these good intentions. Reflecting on his stellar year of 1998, Mark O’Meara stated, “As soon as I got out of my own way, didn’t put as much pressure on myself, I was able to perform better.” One of the cornerstones of human performance is – as Lily Tomlin’s character “Edith Ann” said – to “try softer.”

There is a time to think and plan, but there is also time to let go and do. The first step to getting out of your own way is to analyze exactly what this concept means to you. The problem with such cliches is that we mistakenly believe they mean the same thing to everybody. As you reflect on how specifically you get in your way, some answers become obvious in just doing the opposite. For example, if you discover that you are too deadly serious about the game, the answer is clear – have more fun. Or if you become aware that you are thinking about too many possibilities for a shot, the answer is easy – commit yourself to one choice and go with it.

This whole issue essentially is composed of two separate phases -how to prevent you from getting in your way and, if you do, how to recover from it. When I was preparing this article, I went through notes on my golfers over the last couple of years to see how we got past them staying out of their own way .I came up with no less than 37 techniques! I chuckled and said to myself, “Great, Tom, you’re going to give golfers 37 suggestions to simplify their games!”

Actually, I’ll boil them down to three strategies:

PERSPECTIVE.
No single shot you ever take will ever make or break a round, a tournament or even a career. It is just one shot. Even with the disasters of Doug Sanders at the 1970 British Open and Tony Jacklin 1972,it is still just one shot … unless you make something more of it. Remember, there will always be other shots, other holes and other rounds. Sure, commit yourself to the shot in front of you, but it is just one shot. Failure with this shot is not the end of the world. If you have read my articles in these pages over the years, you know one of my cornerstones of golf performance is this a round of golf is a series of individual performances, separate unto themselves. This is a perspective to accept before a round. It is also a perspective to remember during a round, particularly coming down the stretch when you are starting to feel pressure.

CONTROL There are so many specific elements to the golf swing and game itself that it’s hard to try to control all of them, much less be aware of them. Good golf (as well as mental health!) is grounded in being aware of -what we can controL Over a putt, the only thing we have control of is putting a good stroke on the ball. We do not have 100 percent direct control whether or not the ball goes into the hole -grain, wind, footprints, ball marks and worms sneezing can all influence the outcome.

A consistent preshot routine can be an aid to putting yourself in a good position to better control your swing. However, don’t complicate your preshot routine by trying to micromanage everything. The greatest value of a preshot routine is that it allows you to make the transition from thinking to doing. Have, at the most, one swing cue. It almost seems mystical, but the more you give up trying to control everything, the more pure control you attain. Play, mentally rehearse and commit, but let all of this go when you are over the ball.

BE WITH THE SHOT: The best way to stay out of your own way is to throw yourself into the process of executing the shot, immersing yourself into the here-and-now where the ball, target and your performance all merge together. Don’t worry about outcomes or consequences. Even in pressurized tournaments, the real fun resides in executing the shot. All your thoughts, plans and routines merely put you in a position to perform. The goal is to immerse yourself in the shot situation, let go of conscious control and let your best effort emerge.

Cheers!

Tom

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“I am on of those unfortunate souls who has the ‘full swing yips.’ After playing for over twenty years, I was close to abandoning the game I loved. Playing partners and pros alike were dumbfounded; nothing I tried or they offered could fix it. Tom did not offer quick miracle cures. Rather, he helped me establish a ‘toolbox’ of techniques that I have been able to adopt as my own–how to relax, trust myself, commit to targets, and allow my swings to emerge. Moreover, his can-do attitude and eternal optimism are contagious. I have found my confidence returning and with a renewed spirit and love of the game.”

Joan Promwell, senior golfer

Dr. Tom Kubistant, sports psychologist has worked with world-class athletes since 1971. He is one of the most prolific writers and speakers on the mental game of golf on the planet. To take advantage of his decades of golf wizardry, Get Mind Links now!

golf psychologist

Author of “Performing Your Best, Links Golf, Mind Pump: The Psychology of Body Building, business and sales training audios, over 280 articles for magazines and now………Mind Links – The Psychology of Golf.

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Copyright © 2006 Tom Kubistant

Playing Golf Around Your Pain

I DO WHAT MY BODY ALLOWS me to do. None of us have perfect bodies. From basic structure, to genetics, to pain, to illnesses and injuries, all the way to aging, each of us has to learn how to swing based on the bodies we have. Shotmaking and even scoring tactics should also take into account the body used to perform them.

Let me use myself as an example. I am a 54-year-old geezer who has chronically damaged knees, the webbing between my fingers is so tight it prohibits me from using overlapping or interlocking grips, my left leg is slightly longer than my right one, and I have relatively long limbs and a short torso. Add

There are many, many ways to hit the ball well and play
the game solidly.

Add to this that I am a bodybuilder who is perpetually stiff, sore, and in pain. When the players with whom I work discover all of my “limitations,” they are amazed I can hit the ball at all .much less take money off of them! Perhaps – precisely because of these physical liabilities is why I learned how to maximize my mental and scoring games.

I see many whiny golfers use their physical limitations as excuses. These become their crutches. “If only.” is their standard phrase. “If only I didn’t have this bum back pain,” “If only I wasn’t so stiff from yard work,” “If only I didn’t have these allergies,” “If only I didn’t have this gut,” or even “If only I was taller,”… “then I could practice more and play better.” Rubbish! The only person they are fooling is themselves. Golf is a pure and honest game which allows no excuses. Cowboy up.

Dennis Oliver is the head teaching pro at my home course. He is regionally renowned for having the best eyes arid communication skills in working with golfers of all abilities. Dennis is one of those teaching pros golfers go to when they experience roadblocks or slumps. He is magical how he helps players. Beyond his teaching prowess, Dennis has a special passion for helping golfers in The Special Olympics.

He reports that some of the most remarkable progress he has ever seen in any golfer are from players who should not have the minds and bodies to do it. These golfers courageously and passionately play with what they have. Dennis views himself as a kind of guide to put them on the right track. And, boy, do they respond.

Great teaching pros like Dennis Oliver work with the individual golfer’s uniqueness. Sure, he teaches the fundamentals, but he then adapts to what the student’s body will allow them to do. Whether it is more of a long arc swing or a compact rotation swing, Dennis helps golfers discover their own “natural” swings. There are many, many ways to hit the ball well and play the game solidly. You see, there is really no such thing as a classic swing. If you ask players who have always been recognized at possessing pure

“It is what it is” and
“I’ll do what I can do.”

swings, they would report they had to do a lot of compensating for their bodies throughout their careers. Steve Elkington, Patty Sheehan, and Tom Purtzer all have made adjustments to their “classic” swings to accommodate their bodies.

You may not have the challenges of a Special Olympian or a person coping with chemotherapy to have to adapt with your body. Your body is your performance vehicle. All of us have to learn how to play around our bodies. The body never stays the same; it is always changing. So not only does the course change everyday, so do our bodies we use to play.

Seen in these lights, golf is a game of continuous adaptations. Here is the key: acceptance. Accept the body you have. Accept the reality that there will be some things you will not be able to do. And accept that there are some things you can learn to do. The mantras of the sell-accepting golfer are, “It is what it is” and “I’ll do what I can do.” Now, acceptance does not mean resignation. Nor is it a rationale for making excuses. Acceptance focuses on maximizing what one possesses instead of lamenting over what one no longer has. You see, until you accept your body you will not be able to fully change things nor maximize other things. Sure, you may not be able to swing the way you used to, but you can learn to swing in new ways. In fact, most dedicated golfers report to me that they have received deeper self-satisfaction with the game through learning how to play around their bodies.

From a base of honest acceptance, golfers can learn how to maximize what they have. For example, we have all learned about the benefits of developing a system of stretching, both daily and prior to a round. And some of us have reaped the benefits of weight training. Regular practice and intelligent playing can more than make up for some physical disabilities. And your heart, mind, and playing savvy can get around swing limitations.

There are things you can do if only you accept yourself and give yourself permission to strive for them. Establish more appropriate and attainable goals . . .and then go out and do it. You will never know how far you can go with your body until you find out for yourself. I have always used the metaphor that golf is a human performance laboratory. The game can be played and enjoyed at so many levels. In the face of aging, illness, or physical disabilities, golf can still be enjoyed and even mastered at new levels. Most importantly, the processes of striving can become as meaningful as the new outcomes.

You have some essential choices to make. No matter your age, illnesses, or injuries, only you can decide how to approach the game. Are you going to be a victim or are you going to become a warrior? Are you going to stay in the past lamenting how you used to play? Or are you going to accept your current body, accommodate it, and learn how to play in

Establish … attainable goals
and then go out and do it.

new ways? The choices are ultimately yours.

Some of you real students of the game are familiar with the writing of Bob Labbance. Based in New England, Bob has always had a passion about golf literature, classic course architecture, and the history of the American game. What few of you know is that while golfing in September he slipped on a slick bridge, fell head first into the creek bed, and suffered a severe spinal injury. He was immediately completely paralyzed. After three operations Bob is still partially paralyzed.

However, his friends say Bob is still talking about coming back to Ms beloved golf. He is striving daily to make progress with his new body. Sure, he a never swing the way he used to. But my money is on Bob coming back to the game and learning how to play it. and enjoy it .. in new ways. Bob, we’re all waiting for you on the tee.

Cheers!

Tom

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“Do you really want to listen to someone who actually makes sense about this crazy game? Tom Kubistant is almost a reclusive man, but golfers who find him are always rewarded by his complete system of the mental game, his practical applications, and his everyday wisdom. Tom has been a regular contributor to my radio show since 1997. I am continually surprised at how much he knows for every playing situation. He just makes so much sense. Doc is also one of the few in his profession who strictly maintains his professional ethics regarding confidentiality with his golfers. So he cannot say who he works with. But I can! I have seen him work with his golfers at tournaments and have even interviewed a couple of them for my show. He is their secret weapon”

Vince Mastracco – Host of the nationally syndicated radio program: “Golf Talk”

Dr. Tom Kubistant, sports psychologist has worked with world-class athletes since 1971. He is one of the most prolific writers and speakers on the mental game of golf on the planet. To take advantage of his decades of golf wizardry, visit Mind Links

golf psychologist

Author of “Performing Your Best, Links Golf, Mind Pump: The Psychology of Body Building, business and sales training audios, over 280 articles for magazines and now………Mind Links – The Psychology of Golf.

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Copyright © 2006 Tom Kubistant

Golf Concentration

Concentration is at the heart of your golf game. It brings all the elements of your physical and mental games into focus. With all the things you cannot control in links golf, having a deep and sustained concentration is the only way to play your best. Now, specifically what does “concentration” mean to you? Even when I ask the players with whom I am working, they have few clear conceptions of what concentration really means to them.

Concentration is not being intense, resistant to distractions nor is it trying hard. Neither is concentration trying to force, produce or manufacture a good performance.

Then what is it? A good way to get a handle on concentration is to break down the word itself. Literally, concentration (con-cen-tra-tion) means “a coming together to a mutual center.” It is where mind and body come together to perform. You are both engaged and immersed into yourself, your swing and the situation. In this mental state the result is what the great English golfer Tony Jacklin refers to his “cocoon of concentration,” where you are insulated from everything other than what you need to do.

There is no such thing as “turning on your concentration.” Rather, the best way to access your concentration is through a lowering down deeply into yourself where you can integrate mind and body. I like to use the image of taking an elevator ride down into your center. Instead of a gearing up, deep concentration is really a gearing down. It is a matter of letting go rather than adding on. And it is a matter of lowering rather than heightening.

These views of concentration are not really mysterious nor mystical. Concentration is really quite natural. You concentrate everyday in activities ranging from reading a report, driving a car, and listening to your significant other. Golf concentration is just a more directed, focused, and sustained way of doing these everyday activities.

So, just how do you begin to concentrate in this manner? Purely and simply, relaxation. Following your personal and programmed style of relaxation is the conduit to concentration. In our analogy, relaxation is the elevator. As you lower down deeply into yourself you can think more clearly, feel more intuitively and commit more purposefully.

Once you are concentrating you then have to choose between two mental emphases: being aware and paying attention. These two emphases are like poles of a continuum. Each has its applications during a round of golf. There are times when you need to be aware of the big picture (the wind, your initial options and your overall comfort) and there are other times you want to pay attention to specific things (the ball, the stance, the line, etc.). Like a lens on a camera, effective concentration is a blend between zooming out (being aware) and zooming in (paying attention).

From this level you can then focus your concentration to the mental tasks at hand. Either when you have zoomed out or zoomed in, you need to focus your mental movie. This is where a clear and committed mind come into play. Now is when the true uses of “intensity” are applied. When you were a kid, did you ever try to light a fire with the sun and a magnifying glass? True intensity is using the existing energy to focus in a concentrated way. On the other hand,those who try too hard to force efforts try to find six more suns to light the fire!

All of this may seem complicated, but it is really not. Concentration is a skill and, as such, it can be learned and improved. Start by apply these skills in little steps. Concentrate on your pre-shot routine on just one shot on the range. Then deeply concentrate on just one hole during a round; then three holes.

Learn to concentrate during adversity. Then when you feel pressure. Each little success in concentrating empowers you to improve and expand upon it. If you follow this sequence you will be amazed at how intense and effective your concentration becomes.

When all of these elements are functioning your concentration is clicking on all cylinders. When everything is in place, all your efforts seem natural and even easy. As you come to this mutual center your mind and body can naturally work in concert with each other and good performances are allowed to emerge. Concentration is the conductor to lovely symphonies on the golf course.

Cheers! Tom

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“Dr. Kubistant does a tremendous job in helping people reach their goals not only in golf, but in all aspects of their lives. It is remarkable watching him work with players from the junior level all the way through the college and professional ranks helping them reach as high as they can go.”

Pamela A. Whalen – Executive Director, Northern Nevada Golf Association

Dr. Tom Kubistant, sports psychologist has worked with world-class athletes since 1971. He is one of the most prolific writers and speakers on the mental game of golf on the planet. To take advantage of his decades of golf wizardry, visit Mind Links

golf psychologist

Author of “Performing Your Best, Links Golf, Mind Pump: The Psychology of Body Building, business and sales training audios, over 280 articles for magazines and now………Mind Links – The Psychology of Golf.

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Copyright © 2006 Tom Kubistant

Golf COMMITMENT

One of my favorite stories I give during my speeches goes like this:

A chicken and a pig were walking down the road and they see a sign at a diner that says, “Ham & Eggs Special–$1 .99.” Upon seeing that, the chicken said in a haughty manner, “Do they know what kind of sacrifice I make for my eggs?”

To which the pig responded, “For you it is a sacrifice.

For me it is total commitment!”

This silly story, dating back to Vaudeville days, highlights the point that there is

no such thing as semi-commitment or kind of committed. Commitment is total–pure and simple.

So many golfers have good intentions about improving their games, but they often don’t follow through on these intentions. The road to

consistently disappointing rounds is filled with good intentions. Wishing and hoping does not make good golf swings. Commitment does.

The great speaker and writ, Tony Robbins says that there is something empowering about the process of making conscious decisions.

The same applies to commitments. If you take the time and energy to identify something you wish to improve and consciously commit yourself to achieving it, you have already set the mental wheels in motion down the path to realizing it.

What many people do not know is that making a commitment and implementing it are two separate and distinct processes. Just because you have committed yourself to, say, eliminating your slice, does not mean that it will immediately disappear. You have to live with your commitment and this means prioritizing it into the rest of your life.

Like many of you, I spend most of my week on the road. Typically, whenever I have the opportunity for golf I usually play instead of practice. The effects of these decisions eventually catches up with me. I know I need to practice, but it seems a better use of my limited time to play.

My major golfing goal for the last couple of years was to practice as much as I played. I committed myself to it, but living with this commitment was challenging. There always seemed to be present the temptation to play. It took me relatively long into my life to understand that saying “no” to an opportunity that was not in my priorities was really saying “yes” to living with my priorities.

Part of prioritizing is fitting them into one’s plans. So I put practice into my calendar. Beyond that, I put practice into my thinking.

I learned to love practice and looked forward to those sessions. Since I made these priorities I have stuck with my commitment and have seen some very positive results.

Great golfers are not born, but self-made. This is a constant evolutionary process based on a spiraling series of commitments. So have your dreams and establish your goals, but remember they will only be realized when they are coupled with a commitment that is implemented.

As with our friend the pig, you should never say or think the word “commitment” without the word “total” preceding it. Total commitment is an active process that involves making the goals a priority in your life.

Remember, it is one thing to make a commitment; it is quite another thing to live with it. Just as your golf ball goes awry without a full follow through, so do your commitments. Make active decisions, prioritize your commitments, and follow through. These are the routines to stay on the fairways of life.

Cheers!

Tom

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Dr. Tom Kubistant, sports psychologist has worked with world-class athletes since 1971. He is one of the most prolific writers and speakers on the mental game of golf on the planet. To take advantage of his decades of golf wizardry, visit Mind Links

golf psychologist

Author of “Performing Your Best, Links Golf, Mind Pump: The Psychology of Body Building, business and sales training audios, over 280 articles for magazines and now………Mind Links – The Psychology of Golf.

Way before the current crop of golf psychologists, 2 decades before anyone ever heard of the term “sports psychology,” Dr. Kubistant was working with Olympic Athletes, World-Class Tennis players, Baseball pitchers, Football Quarterbacks, Bowlers, Drag Racers, Body builders, Poker Players , Ballerinas, Gymnasts, Skaters, Rodeo Barrel Racers, Business Sales and Corporate Professionals and of course, Golfers.

In 1971, after working in private psychotherapy practice he dove headfirst into Human Performance and Achievement and became one of the pioneers of modern sports psychology. His own athletic prowess as a tennis pro and accomplished golfer spurred him on. If that isn’t enough, he maintains the complete “Bibliography On The Psychology Of Golf;” everything ever written on the mental game of golf. And HE HAS READ EVERYTHING IN IT!

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Copyright © 2006 Tom Kubistant

How to get patience in golf…part 3

Dr. Tom Kubistant, CSP

PRACTICING PATIENCE
From this base of perspectives, you can improve your tactical patience during each round.  Especially during this time during the year when you may not be practicing diligently or peaking for performances, it is the perfect time to develop your playing patience.  Remember, you can learn how to become more patience on the course.  And this begins with practicing it in low-stress situations.  Here are some techniques to practice on the course.  Apply, at the most, two of these emphases in each of your upcoming rounds.

Approach each round like you are going to play 36 holes that day.  I want you to learn how to pace yourself so that you “leave something in the tank. ”
Play an entire round NOT trying to make anything happen. For those regular readers of my articles, you know that my primary principle of golf performance is to allow your best performances to emerge from deep within you.
Become in tune with the flow of the round and see what happens.  Do not worry about your score or even the outcome of a shot.  You very well may be amazed at what happens.
As such, do not force any shots.  Sure, select a precise target, but then just throw yourself into your swing/stroke and release the shot (much like an archer releases an arrow).  You might become pleasantly surprised at how accurate you become when you step out of your own way.
Swing very easy.  One of the best patience drills is to play an entire round swinging at only three-quarters of your usual power.  Granted, you might have to play one or two clubs more into a green, but swing these relatively easy as well.  You will undoubtedly become frustrated or greedy, but see if you can have the discipline to play an entire round swinging fully at three-quarters power.
If you are the type of player who likes to work shots, hit them straight.  Just emphasize hitting each ball squarely.  Too often, we try to become too precise and cute.  There is a time of the year to come back to the basics of solid ballstriking.
As such, aim just for centers of fairways and greens.  You might become perplexed with how hard this is; not so much mechanically, but psychologically.  As you do this you will be actually making the mental transition from a target orientation to a process orientation.
If you have an established Risk-Reward Formula, play a couple of rounds not taking any risks.  Even if you can pull off a shot eight times out of ten, opt for the more conservative option  I know, this will be frustrating, but remember you are developing the patience to know how to “take your medicine.”
On the greens, do not attempt to make any putt outside of six feet.  On such putts, merely emphasize making solid strokes with proper speed control.  You will probably be amused with how many of these putts fall in.  Stupid game!
With all of the above practices you will probably feel tempted to regress to your usual approaches.  Here is the final practice:  whenever you feel tempted to do anything, DO JUST THE OPPOSITE.  Even if you cannot analyze the temptation, immediately do just the opposite.  For example, if you feel tempted to bust a drive, immediately calibrate your swing to be “70% Full.” Or if you feel tempted to fit an approach shot into a tight pin, immediately take out one more club and hit the ball to the back center.  Or if you feel tempted to jam in a nine-footer, immediately smoothly stroke it the proper distance.  With such playing situations, few of us are aware of how much temptation influences us nor what to do about it.  Temptation is the bane of patience.  And patience is the cure to temptation.
Finally, blame it all on me!  It is one thing to attempt these tactics when playing by yourself.  It is quite another thing to practice these patience techniques when you are playing with your regular partners.  So if they question your decisions say, “I am implementing Doc Kubistant’s patience drills.  It’s HIS fault!”
There are some core elements to good golf performances.  Concentration, positive attitude, decisiveness, relaxation, persistence, creativity, routines, commitment, and determination are all essential.  And patience solidifies them all.
Now, if you read this comprehensive article all the way through, you are well on your way to becoming more patient!  You may want to reread this article in the spring when you are gearing up for your more serious golf.
Patience is a broad perspective.  It is also a specific playing tactic.  Patience is natural.  It can also be refined and expanded.  Patience is the pathway to mastery in golf.

Dr. Tom Kubistant, Master of the Intrinsic, is one of the leading speakers, researches, and coaches of the mental and scoring games.  He is one of the pioneers in sports psychology working with Olympic, Professional and Amateur athletes since 1973. Since 1984, he has worked exclusively with golfers ranging from tour pros to average weekend golfers. Over the last fifteen years, Tom has been THE most prolific writer on the psychology of golf with three books and over 275 articles and he maintains (and has read) the entire “Bibliography On The Psychology Of Golf;” everything ever written and recorded on the mental game. He trains other sports psychologists and mental coaches and is widely known as the leading authority on all forms of THE YIPS.

You can get more of his wisdom  and sign up for his free newsletter at:

http://www.golfmindlinks.com/

How to get patience for your golf game…part 2

Dr. Tom Kubistant, CSP Golf psychologist

PERSPECTIVES ON PATIENCE
Now, please answer this question for yourself:  what does patience involve during a round?  As each player has a unique formula for performing, this includes unique perspectives on patience.  Go ahead, answer the question!  The more specific you can become in defining the components of your patience the better you will be able in tapping into them.

Understand that golfing patience has two dimensions to it:  big-picture PERSPECTIVES and specific playing TACTICS.  Let’s first look at the perspectives. Wise golfers approach each round accepting there will be ebbs and flows to it.  No round is ever completely performed at a smooth high level.  Accept ahead of time the fact that you will hit some bad shots.  There will always be challenges, low points, and even crises.  The best performers prepare themselves to be patient.
One of the top teaching pros in my area, Jim Kepler, encapsulated one of the best playing approaches I ever heard.  Jim said, “In every round there is a twenty minute period when your game leaves you.  The key is to anticipate it so when it happens you can remain patient.” Just as every round is unique, this low period usually emerges at different times.  Accept this fact so when it comes you can immediately retain your perspectives of being patient.  As Mark O’Meara advised, “Patience…and more patience.”
Even though Michael Murphy’s Golf In The Kingdom has been out since 1972, I think he summarized this perspective best when he wrote, “Wait ’em oot’  They will pass.”  When you are in the midst of one of these natural ebbs, wait them out.  Believe they will pass, trust yourself, and focus on what you can control right here and right now.

Next, you should be eager to play each round, but keep your emotions in check.  No matter your personality, a part of your preparation is to remain calm.  No Tiger fist pumping!  Learn to employ your own form of relaxing, both before and during the round.  I have been studying the psychology of golf for almost thirty years and one thing is increasingly clear to me:  deep and consistent golf performances emanate from remaining calm.
You see, it is almost as if The Game tempts us to release emotions.  We catch glimpses of how utterly simple it can be so that we expect everything to be easy, pure, natural, and wonderful.  And then…whamo!  As soon as we open up our emotions of being giddy or greedy, The Game dumps on us.  These good feelings are quickly transformed into frustration, anger, or even despair.
The perspective of patience is the way to stay calm  No, you need not be an unemotional robot, just keep your emotions in check.  When you think about it, there is absolutely nothing to be gained for future shot performances by being emotional–either positively or negatively.  Staying calm is intrinsically linked to staying within yourself and staying focused.
Here is the payoff.  As you develop the power of patience in remaining calm you will immerse into the magical state of serenity.  Even in the midst of pressure and challenges, you can remain comfortable and in control.  Few remember that back in the early 1970s Johnny Miller experienced a streak of high level performances few have ever matched.  Reflecting on that period he stated, “Serenity is knowing that even your worst shot will turn out all right.”
Here is an interesting perspective on patience.  Most of us need patience when things are not going well or to keep things in check.  What few golfers realize is that they also need patience when the round is going well.  When you are on top of the round you still need to maintain the reigns on your efforts.  Remind yourself to keep on doing the things that brought you to this point.  Don’t play defensively, but don’t become greedy.
Patience is especially needed when finishing off a round.  When we are scoring well there is a temptation to eagerly rush through the last couple of holes.  Take your time finishing off a round.  Learn to actually enjoy the sublime tension of playing well while concluding the round.
Developing these perspectives of patience away from the course will provide you with the structure of what to emphasize during actual rounds…..continued

Dr. Tom Kubistant, Master of the Intrinsic, is one of the leading speakers, researches, and coaches of the mental and scoring games.  He is one of the pioneers in sports psychology working with Olympic, Professional and Amateur athletes since 1973. Since 1984, he has worked exclusively with golfers ranging from tour pros to average weekend golfers. Over the last fifteen years, Tom has been THE most prolific writer on the psychology of golf with three books and over 275 articles and he maintains (and has read) the entire “Bibliography On The Psychology Of Golf;” everything ever written and recorded on the mental game. He trains other sports psychologists and mental coaches and is widely known as the leading authority on all forms of THE YIPS

You can get more of his wisdom and sign up for his free newsletter at:

http://www.golfmindlinks.com/

How to Have More Patience In Golf…Part 1

Dr. Tom Kubistant, CSP Golf Psychologist

Patience is power        — Chinese Proverb

How to Have More Patience In Golf...Part 1One of the few things I can still clearly remember from the turbulent 1960’s was a popular poster depicting two vultures sitting in a tree.

As you know, vultures wait to feed on already dead carrion.  In that poster, one vulture said to the other, “Patience, hell, I want to kill something!”

Most of us want to “kill” something during a round of golf.  We become tired of waiting.  We feel we don’t have any other options but to kill it.

And besides, it seems like more fun just to mindlessly bust a shot.  So we force things…usually with disappointing and disastrous results.

Both high level and consistent golf are grounded in patience.  Those who play “all-or-nothing” golf usually end up with nothing.  Beyond that, impatient people rarely improve–certainly not at the rate they expect.  Patience is not only a critical key for maximizing your rounds, but also in guiding your long term progress.

How to Have More Patience In Golf...Part 1Most of us sabotage our rounds by impatience.  To fully understand this, please answer these questions:  how many shots per round do you fritter away by impatience?  How many shots are you not clear and committed in  its decision making?

How often do you not include in your planning where to miss the shot?  Do you rush your preshot routine when discouraged?  How often do you try to force a shot into a target?

How often do you become mentally dulled during the last six holes?  How often do you let your emotions (both greed and frustration) control you?  How many shots, holes, and even rounds do you give up on?  All of your answers to these questions can be summarized by a lack of patience.

In competitive golf, most tournaments at all levels–even the pros at majors–are lost, not outright won.  The player who endures makes the least number of mistakes at the critical times.  Said more positively, the winners tend to be the most patient.

Most players do not have the courage, self-discipline, and belief to be patient.  In evaluating Jack Nicklaus’ game, Tom Weiskoph said, “To play the way Jack did required and enormous amount of patience.

How to Have More Patience In Golf...Part 1Most players just couldn’t do it–they’d get too antsy and feel as if they must force the issue.  Nicklaus had more patience than anyone I ever saw. Sure, it is much easier to be impatient under the guises of being natural or fluid.

However, one of the great challenges of golf–both recreational and competitive–is that it challenges golfers to be patient. 

The Game rewards patience.  As the great Byron Nelson advised, “If you don’t have patience playing golf, the game will teach it to you.”

Here is the encouraging thing:  patience can be improved.  Sure, patience is expanded with overall maturity as well as experience from various playing situations.

However, it can also be improved upon by consciously working on it.  Patience is an ability and, as such, it can be refined and deepened.  Here is how….continued

How to Have More Patience In Golf...Part 1Dr. Tom Kubistant, Master of the Intrinsic, is one of the leading speakers, researches, and coaches of the mental and scoring games.  He is one of the pioneers in sports psychology working with Olympic, Professional and Amateur athletes since 1973. Since 1984, he has worked exclusively with golfers ranging from tour pros to average weekend golfers. Over the last fifteen years, Tom has been THE most prolific writer on the psychology of golf with three books and over 275 articles and he maintains (and has read) the entire “Bibliography On The Psychology Of Golf;” everything ever written and recorded on the mental game. He trains other sports psychologists and mental coaches and is widely known as the leading authority on all forms of THE YIPS.

You can get more of his wisdom and sign up for his free newsletter at:
http://www.golfmindlinks.com/

Golf book reviews

On this page are some golf book reviews for some of the all-time great golf books.

Here is the list of some of the golf books I’ve read and my golf instruction review of them. At the end of each, I give my rating based on the value to the average golfer from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best

I would love it if you would send in your own review for posting on this site. Try to name the valuable golf instruction that we take from the book you review and the rating from 1 to 10. Use the contact form at the bottom of the page. Let me know if you want your name or just initials as a credit for your review on this site. Also, include the city, state or country you’re from and let’s watch this page grow…. Craig. Kjell Enhager. Quantum Golf. Warner Books (1992)

If you’ve never heard of quantum physics before, it’s the study of subatomic particles. This author brings this science into the realm of golf. Kind of hard to follow at times unless you’re really into quantum physics like I am. It’s about a wise older golf instructor who takes a typical high-strung business type and turns him into a golfer who trusts his swing. Some may find this book a little too deep but I loved it! Golf instruction review rating: 6

Gallwey, W. Timothy . The Inner Game of Golf-Rev. Random House (1998) So far, this is my favorite golf mental book by far. Gallwey was originally a tennis pro and instructor. He wrote Inner Tennis first based on his studies and experiments in teaching the mental game of tennis. He then challenged himself to become a 70’s shooting golfer using the Inner Game principles he developed from tennis. He gave himself a year with no more than 1 hour of practice a week and didn’t take any lessons. There are some serious techniques in this book that you can put into practice on your next round that can have dramatic effects as I have experienced myself. The main golf instruction here is that our head can accomplish amazing things if we take control of it. Golf instruction review rating: 10.

Larry Miller. Holographic Golf. Pelican Publishing Co. (2000)
My golf instruction review: This is my favorite “physical game” book. Until I read this, I was so confused by the avalanche of books, articles in magazines, videos, etc. on how to get the perfect swing. It seems that the whole world of golf is focused on this aspect of the game and there is so much contradictory opinion on it that I just didn’t know what to use for my game. Then I read this book and it gives you a solid foundation for building your own swing that is so simple that you just won’t believe it until you try it. I talk about this in “without practice”. Larry Miller is my golf swing hero!Golf instruction review rating: 8.

Dave Pelz. Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible. Doubleday (1999)
Are you of the same opinion that I was about what is the most important part of the golf game for scoring low. You think it’s putting right? Think again. Pelz is a golf researcher of the scientific sort. His previous career was as a physicist and NASA researcher prior to creating his golf company from scratch by following around pros for years recording statistics of their various shots. His conclusions from years of these studies are in this book with detailed instructions on how you can capitalize it. Prior to reading this book, I used to “feel” for distance on those dreaded half-swing pitches. Hah, not any more. Golf instruction review: eye opening stats and facts about the short game that should change the way you build your game. Golf instruction review rating: 8.

Nicklaus, Jack . My most memorable shots in the majors.Times Books; (1988) Historically accurate accounting of golf plays/shots in major tournaments that Jack Nicklaus has accomplished and failed at during his long career. It is broken down, hole by hole with a section for each on the lessons he learned from that shot. This book can give you an inside line to what a champion is doing and thinking during top competitions and can give you their perspective to make your watching the pros on TV a little more interesting. Each chapter is a golf lesson in itself. Get inside the head of the best golfer of all time. Golf instruction review rating: 5. For the scratch golfer:9

Anthony, Michael . The Mental Keys to Improve Your Golf TMK press (2001) This book is a complete “system” for mental management. Review: What I liked about it most is that it is heavy on the science and light on the fluff. Step by step process that is spelled out and even diagrammed pictorally for clarification and understanding. Anthony borrows from the classic “Golf in the Kingdom” for support of many of his science-based conclusions. I also like the golf instruction on controlling our emotions and why we do what we do. It’s written in very understandable terms. This is a “must-have” book for any golfer. You can also request your copy be signed by the author himself as I did when you order direct from his site. Golf instruction review rating: 10.

Dave Pelz. Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible. Doubleday (2000)If you are a really analytical person, then this book is for you. Pelz dissects everything that can be looked at in the putting game. Only problem is that it could hurt some players that are pretty decent putters by taking them away from what makes them successful on the greens. Good for tinkerers. Golf instruction review rating: 6.

Crenshaw, Ben . A feel for the game. Broadway (2002) Crenshaw is know to be a “feel” player as opposed to a mechanics player, thus the title. Review: If Ben Crenshaw is your favorite golfer and you are interested in stories from one of the good guys on the tour, then this is a good book for you. I can’t really say I learned a whole lot but I take something from every book I read. I think each person will take something different from this book as it appeals more to the person than the golfer. The golf instruction here is how to be and trust yourself. Golf instruction review rating: 5.

Parent, Dr. Joseph . Zen Golf. Doubleday (2002) This is one of my latest golf book readings. I read it after I read some of the other more detailed books on the mental golf game. It is a good summary of most of the mental things that the pros and other successful golfers do these days. According to the book jacket, Dr. Parent has taught Buddhist philosophy and this comes through in the book as analogies and stories about Zen masters, warriors and Shambhala. Instruction review: If you think a little mystical, magical theme in your golf lessons can help you, then this book provides. This philosophy isn’t really my cup of tea as I lean toward science and so I skimmed through these parts to get to the meat of the mental game techniques he teaches. I will say that he covers more items than the average golfer will realistically put into practice. I didn’t really hit on anything I could grab onto or excited me so if you are only going to buy one book on basics of the mental game, this wouldn’t be it.Golf instruction review rating: 4.

Al Geiberger. Tempo. Golf Digest (1992)

Geiberger was the first to shoot a 59 in PGA tournament. His nickname was “skippy” on tour as he was always eating peanut butter sandwiches. He was known for having awesome tempo and rhythm. If you have trouble with that area and just can’t find a smooth swing, then yes, you can benefit from soaking up his words into your unconscious. Basic principle of NLP is to model those who are good at what you want to be good at. Golf instruction review rating: 6.

Couples, Fred . Total Shot making. HarperCollins (1995) I was most interested in this book to learn about Fred Couples and how he has become to be known as a laid back, easygoing golfer and how that translated to his successes. I got what I wanted for that purpose but had to consciously ignore a lot of the “shotmaking”. There is just no way that I was going to play around with what I call “trick shots”. My M.O. from all other teachings has been to play conservatively at all times and this has served me well. Learn from this book how to “let go” of things that only hurt your game.Golf instruction review rating: 5. For scratch players: 7

Rotella, Dr. Bob . Golf is not a game of perfect. Simon & Schuster (1995) Rotella, Dr. Bob . Golf is a game of confidence. . Simon & Schuster (1996)

If you’re going to read one, you should read them both. Rotella is the guru of gurus of the mental game of golf on tour. He has so much experience to transfer to your brain from his years of working with pros and some average joes. He accomplishes this in these books with actual stories with actual names and situations and how he and the golfer worked together to conquer their problem or goals. That got a little tedious at times. Rotella constantly refers to his “Rotella’s rules” which I liked as they can all fit on a 3×5 index card if you want to boil the basics of the mental game down to a cheat sheet that you can bring with you to the course as a reminder. Load of mental golf lessons here. Golf instruction review rating: 8.

Woods, Tiger . How I play golf. Warner Books (2001) I think the most surprising thing about this book for me was that Tiger spends a lot of ink and paper on his physical regimen including details about his exercise/workout program and how he eats and drinks. There’s more about what kinds of things he puts in his bag. There are so many unheard of lessons in this book. I now think that one of the big reasons Tiger is head and shoulders above the crowd is because he pays so much attention to detail, without fail. I was fully expecting a book like Jack Nicklaus puts out with loads of golf situations and how he mentally and physically tackled them. Tiger has some of that but it isn’t the thrust of the book. I also came away from this book with a better understanding of Tiger as a person which is nice to have when watching him on TV in a major. He seems to be quite humble at times but with a determination that never quits. You’ll learn a few of his trademark shots from this book as well. If he wasn’t one of the greatest golfers, it wouldn’t have been so interesting, however. Because he is, it is. Golf instruction review rating: 7.

Col. Edward L. Hubbard. Escape from the box. The wonder of human potential Praxis Intl (1994) To describe this book in one word: WOW! No specific golf instruction to review here but this book will make your head spin and give you confidence for anything you want to do. I happened upon a seminar given by Col. Hubbard in 2003. He gave a one-hour speech on human potential. His speech and his book are told in a manner that is really down-to-earth and matter-of-fact. No rah-rah or hype. He’s different than other motivational types that way but that style gives him incredible believability. You won’t believe some of the things he tells about in this book that happened to him during his imprisonment in Vietnam. If you believe him, you’ll also believe you too can accomplish extraordinary things. I do now. The golf lesson to get from this book is: Ordinary people have extraordinary potential. Golf instruction review rating: 7.

Irwin, Hale. Smart Golf. Harper Resource (2001) If you didn’t know, Hale Irwin is famous for winning tournaments without being blessed with unusual skill or talent like say Tiger Woods. He has always been an average or shorter driver and never been at the top of many statistic lists except for the MONEY lists! This book basically tells you all of things you need to do that you currently have a difficult time of doing when you’re out on the course. Golf instruction review: for this book is: play conservatively and you will lower your score. He shows you how in all sorts of situations. If you are a hard-charging, high-flying golfer who likes to “go for it”, this is a must read book. You’ll be surprised how much strategy he packs in this book. Golf instruction review rating: 8.

Player, Gary. Golf begins at 50. Simon & Schuster (1988) Don’t be fooled by the title. Yes, it has a lot of tips for the senior golfer. But it also has a lot of basics that Gary says all golfers need to pay more attention to. The most interesting part of this book that I haven’t read anywhere else is his instructions for changing your swing from the square-to-square or “young man’s swing.” He says that that swing will destroy your back. He has an alternative that is based on many of the golfers of the first half of the century. He also has sections on fitness and nutrition, no surprise there. Golf instruction review: If you are worried about or have back trouble and want to continue to play for a long time, read this book. Golf instruction review rating: 6.

Jim Mclean. Golf Digest’s book of drills. Pocket Books (1990) This one has been out for awhile but the content is still as good as ever. I really like drills for the busy person because you can do them at home or anywhere. Mclean is widely known as one of the top teachers in the country so you gotta give him his credentialed due. Very useful swing drills to work on specific areas where the golfer is weak. Golf instruction review rating: 8.

Raymond Floyd. The Elements of Scoring. Simon & Schuster (2000) Floyd says that if you compete against a golfer with the exact skill as you, you will win EVERY TIME if you know the concepts of SCORING. Too many golfers, he says are too wound up in how to swing, how to look pretty, etc. The book is similar to Irwin’s “Smart Golf” but a little more valuable to the average golfer. This should be in every golfer’s library and it’s very cheap to buy. Golf instruction review rating: 8 (for the cost/value it’s a 10!
More books and tapes I’ve read,listened to and used for my program Break 80 without practice look for review soon:

Greg Norman. Shark Attack! Simon & Schuster (1988)
Sam Snead. The lessons I’ve learned. McGraw Hill – NTC (1996)
Campbell/Landau. Presidential lies. Hungry Minds, Inc. (1998)
Dr. Richard Coop. Mind over golf. How to use your head to lower your score. John Wiley & Sons (1997)
Nancy Lopez. The education of a woman golfer. . Simon & Schuster (1979) You know, there’s some very useful information in Nancy’s book but I’m afraid that the golf world is all caught up in what the men do. She is very down to earth and shows you what you can do with your potential. I liked this book and pulled some things out of it that I still use to this day. The biggest one is her use of music to establish a tempo and rhythm for the day of a tournament.
John Daly. Grip it and Rip it! Harperperennial library (1993)
Arnold Palmer. Play great golf. Doubleday (1987)
Kathy Whitworth. Golf for women. St. Martin’s Press (1990)
Anthony Robbins. Unlimited Power. Free Press (1997)
Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Frogs into princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming Real People Press (1981)
Joseph Murphy. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. Bantam (2001)
David Leadbetter. Practice makes perfect (video). United American Video (2001)
Sheila Ostrander/Lynn Schroeder. Superlearning. Delta (1980)
Ostrander/Schroeder. Superlearning 2000. Island Books (1997) I talk a lot about Accelerated Learning techniques in my products. Some folks call it another form of hypnosis and that’s fine. It’s very good and gives you convincing evidence to work your golf issues without practice.
Robert A. Baker. They call it Hypnosis. Prometheus Books (1990) I read this before I became a hypnotist myself. It’s ok but I would definitely not call it a textbook for serious hypnotists. Modern hypnosis has come a long way and is generally more powerful than back when this book was written.
Janet Fricker/John Butler. Secrets of Hypnosis. DK Publishing (2000)
Sam Snead. The Game I Love. Ballantine Books (1997)
Dr. Karl Morris ph.d. (audio) Train your golf brain
Patrick Cohn ph.d./Robert Winters ph.d. The Mental Art of Putting Taylor Trade Publishing (1995) There’s some pretty good information in this book and I do recommend it. Yes, most of it is timeless.  Nothing earthshaking in this book but full of good strategies to train your mind to putt better.
Jack Heise. How you can play better golf using self-hypnosis Wilshire Book Co. (1961)
Steven Pressfield. The Legend of Bagger Vance. William Morrow (1995)
Alex J. Morrison. Better Golf Without Practice. Simon & Schuster (1940)
Roy Pace. Target Golf. Lower scores by “visualizing” your game. Body Press (1986)
Malcolm Gladwell. Blink, the power of thinking without thinking.

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June 28, 2010 in Misc

The best golf swing problems solver

I got your attention with that subject line didn’t I?

Listen, I get it. You swing beautifully on the practice range and then when you get to the course, it all goes away like it’s another person out there. I know the feelng and I’ve been there.

Because if you can swing the club, like you know how, for excellent shots… and you’re not doing it on the course, then it only makes sense that you have to make an adjustment with your swing right?

Wrong!

You see, this is the trap us golfers get ourselves in. And that is, coming up with the wrong solution to the problem.  We do this because there is mass hypnosis in the golf world. The pros iron out their swing problems by hitting a zillion balls a week and so that’s what we should do too right?

Well, that works, but do you have the time to do that?

As a former manager at Fedex Express, I’m all about being as efficient as I can be at everything I do. I don’t just blindly accept what somebody says is the answer. I take that in, test it out, check it with others, and always keep looking for a better way…that’s called continuous improvement and I know you do that in many areas of your life, especially at your work or vocation.

I’ve found one of those ways to quickly deal with the REAL cause of swing problems.
You might have even heard about this in the past but just shrugged it off as another “tip” like all the rest.  You want to really give this one a go and I promise you, it will pay off big.

Before I give you the hot tip, let me set you up just a bit more for success in using it.

When you miss a shot and say that your swing needs a tweak, most of the time, the real cause is due to one or more of the following:
1. Lack of focus
2. Failure to line up properly
3. A fear, tension, or anxiety that interferes with your coordination

If you are at ease, or deep in the zone about your game, and have already hit a good shot with each of your clubs, then your body
will respond just like it does on the range with those beautiful shots.

The hot tip that will solve so many problems, including your swing problems is to…are you ready?

Play 2-pars on the practice green or on your carpet in your house against another player.

This means to go to the practice green at the course or practice facility and you play 18 holes. You start off the green and pick a spot to chip from and a hole to play to. Make sure there is something at stake as this is the real kicker in benefit to you. Play skins or play medal and count each stroke but make sure there is a problem for you if you lose.

I do this with my son before a round. If I win, he has to wash my car for me. If he wins, he gets a ride to the skate park.  Injecting that kind of pressure into your practice is EVERYTHING!

I watch golfers at the practice green putting with 3 balls from the same spot to the cup. What are you teaching yourself? That you don’t have to read a green and that you have a second chance after missing the first one. Ridiculous because you never get a second chance while playing….why do golfers do this?  Mass hypnosis plus laziness.

We all know that more strokes are lost around the greens. This tip is the 80/20 of all time I tell ya’.
Oh yes, how does it improve your swing you might be asking about now.  Well what happens is that when you walk up to the tee or the approach shot knowing you can get up and down in 2, it totally takes the pressure OFF of your swing. It makes your swing 10 times more relaxed, fluid, and rhythmic.

I did this recently with my son as we stayed at the Running Y in Klamath Oregon and played that course. My drives were pretty good both rounds but for some reason (and you know this can happen to any part of your game at any time), my 100 yd approach shots were off. This is usually the best part of my game.  I can’t tell you how many times my 2-par practice saved me on the course and I ended up with a 79 from the blues.

By the way, I REALLY had a 78 but on the first hole, I had a 4-incher for a par and I nonchalantly tried to poke it in with the end of my putter. Of course my son made me count it!! Good lesson for me…

If you ever have time to practice anything…practice going up and down on a real green with something at stake. It is the most powerful thing you can do to fix your swing.

Greens and fairways,
Craig

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