Play your best golf game
Playing Your Own Golf Game
My sister, who is a very fine golfer in Chicago, gave me a call the other day and said, “Guess who showed up on the course today? Me’ This may seem like an odd thing to say, but ask yourself this How many times does your best and most natural self show up on the golf course?
Playing your own golf game and staying within yourself during a round are a couple of the classic maxims of properly playing the game, but relatively few of us honor these precepts. Only after making critical mistakes during a round do we reflect on what we should of done by saying such phrases as, “I tried way too hard out there:’ “I pressed too much’ “1 tried to force things to happen:’ and “I wasn’t myself out there.
Of course, hindsight is 20-20, but just how can we apply our best selves into a round? One of the fascinating aspects about golf is that it constantly tempts us away from ourselves. The pressurized situation, worrying about the score, fears about the consequences of the outcomes, competing with others, greed and even ego and pride all pull us away from being ourselves.
In order to play our own golf games, we first have to become aware and then prevent those personal tendencies that can take us away. For example, -whenever I feel the temptation to swing hard and force a shot, a little alarm bell rings in my head. I know when I have these feelings I need to do Just the opposite; that is, swing easy and release the club.
Being aware of and reversing my own greedy tendencies has saved me many strokes .and good sleep that night! In order to play your own game, you must start with what not to do. The next step is to become aware of just exactly what to do. A good way to accomplish this is to do this little exercise of mine. It’s called “Play (your name here)’s Game? Especially when I want to _ play really well, I say to myself beforehand, “I m just going to play Tom’s game
I have become aware of all those key qualities and elements necessary to play my own best game. I constantly remind myself and expand on them. Currently for me ,this list is more than 20 elements. So when I say “Play Tom’s Game,” this represents all of these elements. Spend some time now and list all of these elements, processes and qualifies essential for you “Playing (your name here)’s Game?
You might be surprised at all the ones you discover. I am a great believer that the best human performances are based on building on your strengths. Both consistency and improvement are grounded upon emphasizing what you do well. I have found that the more you emphasize your strengths, the more your weaknesses take care of themselves.
Or at least, you are then in a much better position to address your weaknesses. For example, the more my full swing rhythm is easy and fluid, the more all of my improper mechanical positions improve on their own.
This is the foundation for “Playing Tom’s Game.” I emphasize the strong elements of my game, not trying to do things I don’t do well. So I will emphasize consistent ball striking, great putting and, most importantly, my deep concentration. I do not care if my playing partners bomb their drives past mine, hit three clubs less into a green or flop lob wedges. Good for them. I will continue to play Tom’s Game. In the end, I will do just fine.
Play your own game. It is then familiar territory to do the strong things you are used to doing. Playing your own game is particularly important when you are under pressure. This is precisely the time to stick to your guns and play to your strengths.
Multiple PGA Tour winner Jerry Kelly says, ‘If you change your persona coming down the stretch, you change your game.”
A big part of playing maturity is to be true to the good things that got you to this point Beyond any specific swing techniques, fancy shots or hot putting, consistently good golf is being true to your essential self “To thine own self be true” is as valid today as it was five centuries ago.
Avoid the temptations presented during a round and tap into your strengths. By playing your own game, you just might show up on the course.
So how’s your game been? Are you happy with it? Still taking lessons and thinking it’s all about the swing huh? How’s that been working for you?
When you are ready to actually start going where your low scores are and getting them, you’ll be ready for Dr. Kubistant. Nobody on the planet knows more about how the human mind operates in this game of golf….nobody.
Craig Sigl – The Golf Anti-practice expert
Hypnotist and Master Practitioner of NLP
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
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.