Golf breakthrough – another variable affecting your game that nobody talks about

I played a casual golf round this past weekend with my brother and had a big breakthrough. It was spur of the moment and we were risking getting rained on since the weatherman was predicting 50% chance of rain. Pretty typical for us here in Seattle.  I throw the umbrella in the bag, shrug my shoulders and say “let’s do it!”

We show up at the course at 2pm for a twilight 2:50 tee time and it’s pretty quiet so the starter asks us if we are ready to go and we say “sure!”

No warmup, no range balls, not even rolling a few balls on the practice green. Get this… both of our first thoughts for going out there on the course were to be able to surprise our women by getting home early after golf. Hah! We figured we could earn some points to be stashed for later cashing in or when we do something stupid that we need to apologize for.

Hilarious I know but a lot of people make their golf decisions this way!  That decision did cost me 2 strokes though…

🙂

Ok, getting back on track for something useful for you…

I walk up to the first tee, take a few practice swings, step up to the ball, and then proceed to top it and send the ball a whopping 100 yards.  My second shot goes into the trees, I chip up short, 3 to get in and I card a double bogey.  Boom, I’m 2 over after 1 hole….nice.

To make the story short, I make par on the next 8 holes in a row.  It’s an easy course but still, even on an easy course, you still have to putt and chip to make your pars and I was doing it!

I tell my brother at the turn that I’m going to par out the back nine and finish 2 over…AND I DID! Couple of bogeys and a couple of birdies and yep, I finish 2 over and it’s a darn good day for me! I’m ecstatic!

“So what’s the problem Craig?” you might be asking.

Being Mr. Analyzer, (for yours and my benefit), I keep asking myself “Why is it that I could go out there today and shoot a 2 over today and yet, a couple months ago on my last round, I shoot a 12 over?

I did no practice or any kind of work on my game between rounds.

Other than writing to you in my email letter and blog posts, I’ve done no mental work on my game the whole time either.

“What the hey? How is this possible?”

There is one big difference that finally hit me after I got home and here it is….

Energy…my overall energy level is up from a month ago!

Yep, that’s it. Energy.

You’ve got to remember something here in order to buy into this:  There is a next-to-nothing difference in muscle movement between a great shot and a horrible one. The slightest bit of improved focus (the brain is a muscle), and the golf shot or putt comes out better.

The weird thing about all of this is that IT IS VERY SUBTLE but I am totally convinced that this was the difference.  The way it showed up was that when I stepped up to the ball, EVERYTHING WAS EASY.  My swing was easy. My thoughts were easy. My body moved easily.

I was never tired! I wasn’t mister “on fire” or anything…I just had an optimistic attitude that comes from my body working well. A couple months ago, it wasn’t. I’m totally convinced that this was the biggest part of a 10-stroke difference.  Many of us who are getting up there in years have noticed a significant drop-off in energy levels. I’m almost 49 and I can definitely tell the difference from 10 years ago.

How did I improve my energy levels from a couple months ago?

I went and saw a naturopath! This is a doctor who primarily uses natural remedies as much as possible. A couple months ago, I was struggling with pollen allergies and just woke up many days with low energy. Get this, my body was also struggling with toxins as my blood tests showed.  We narrowed it down to formaldehyde concentration and guess where that came from?  My new car I had bought late last year. True story.  Anyway, she put me on a program to deal with it in a totally natural way and 2 months later, I’m back to feeling energetic again!

This is a big area of study I want to learn more about and will keep you apprised. I also have learned of the new science called “energy psychology” and I am very curious.

I’m always exercising with my girlfriend nutritionist cooking for me so there’s been no change there. Here’s her website if you are interested in her services:

FitFoodCoach.com

She works with people worldwide via Skype as well as in person.

I’d love to hear your ideas below about how we can increase our energy,  besides the obvious of more exercise and eating better.

Greens and fairways,

Craig

 

 

  • Thank a ton for this information!
    During day time, especially in morning in experienced great gold playing environment.

  • Joe says:

    Hi Craig,

    I play every Saturday morning @ 7:30am with three other guys. No warming on the range, putting green etc. Head for the first tee and go. I play my best golf on the those mornings. Energy level is high and everything just seems to flow. Usually my score is 3 to 5 over par. When I play in the evenings after work my score is 8 to 10 over par and it does not seem to flow the same.

    Thanks

    • Craig says:

      Glad to hear it’s just not me! Good to hear that we can nail down and
      identify some of these controllable variables. Thanks for comment!
      Greens and fairways,
      Craig

  • Ralph says:

    Yes she’s is a hottie. Think that may have pumped up your energy level? And her nutrition program is dead on!

    • Craig says:

      Hey Ralph, thank you. Yes she is…and very smart. Definitely keeps me on the edge of things!

  • Tom says:

    Craig – Your story is very similar to something I’ve experienced from the other side. I play in a once a week golf league. Two of the guys haven’t played much in years, don’t practice between golf outings, don’t take lessons. Me, I practice a lot, take weekly lessons, live and breathe golf. Guess who has the highest scores? Yep, it’s me. Even my wife who plays with us, who doesn’t practice much (although she does have a weekly lesson) is scoring lower than me! I’m putting in the most work in an attempt to get better and everyone around me scores lower! I’ve seriously considered simply stopping any between-golf practice sessions.

    -Tom

    • Craig says:

      Hi Tom,
      Well, maybe you should join me and just do mental practice! Just do a short-term experiment and see what happens…
      Greens and fairways,
      Craig

  • Joe says:

    Craig:

    Conincidentally, I had a similar experience Sunday before last. The only times I have swung my clubs were back in April – 2 outings for a round and a half – no trips to the range or even swinging in my yard. Work has just been too hectic – going in early and working late. I finally had a chance to sneak out and play, but had a 3 pm hard stop so I could go to my grandson’s T-ball game (I promised). Well, I’m a 24 handicap and I proceded to shoot a 41 on the front 9 and played the next two holes, going birdie bogey. Everything was working – drives straight, irons straight and on the green, chips getting close, and putting close and dropping the ones you’e supposed to. I can’t figure it out. In fact, I was feeling tired that day. The only thing I can maybe guess is that I was “thinking about” golf a lot during he time I was not able to play. You would say visualizing – at odd times duting the day or while lying in bed at night – specifically about the feel of the swing. What would you say about, or how would explain, this phenomenon?

    • Craig says:

      I would say visualization is very important. I have heard, and believe, that your body has a hard time telling when something is real or if it is just in your mind. Your muscle memory remembers the feel that you felt in your head when you visualized the swing and the results.

      Your body might not have been practicing but your mind sure did!

      • Craig says:

        Hi Craig,
        I totally agree with you but I didn’t do any visualizing between rounds…at least not for golf. I just went out there to play a fun round like I always do and my body responded. Need that every round!
        G & F

        Craig

    • Craig says:

      Hi Joe,

      Your explanation could be correct. I like it! Also, sometimes, being tired can have a beneficial effect for golfers that think too much or are too excited out on the course. I’ve heard many a golfer say that they play better when they have a couple beers which calms them down. Just goes to show there is no cookie cutter approach to this game. Everyone is different. I just try to present information as I learn it!
      Greens and fairways,
      Craig

  • Theo says:

    Have you tried Golf Fuel yet? Supposed to aid your brain while playing golf – as you say the brain is a muscle or anyway requires energy

    • Craig says:

      Hey Theo, Maybe I will give that a try before my next outing and report back on that and some other trials!
      Craig

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