Are You Playing Golf or Golf Swing

golf swing thoughts
Image Courtesy of Charlie King

Let me tell you a story about “Bob.”

Bob was a struggling, wannabe, amateur tournament player and had tried all of the “fixes” to help his game.

As he went from one thing to another, a new found swing “fix” or the latest fad in golf, his tournament scores got worse!

Not better…WORSE!

Desperate to find the “secret,” to get him to his goal of winning tournaments, he spent time with every teaching pro he could find.

He tried numerous training aids, mental game gurus, different golf clubs but nothing he tried seemed to help.

You see, Bob, hit it absolutely pure on the driving range but once he got on the course his game went to heck!

Sounds like a lot of us doesn’t it.

Great on the range, not so much on the course.

One day he happened upon this teaching pro that most would call “old school.”

Bob asked the old pro if he would take a look and give him some thoughts.

As Bob hit balls the old pro stood by and watched.  After a few shots Bob asked, “What do you see, can you help me?”

The old pro said, “Let’s take a look at your short game.”

As they walked over the short game area Bob was thinking to himself, “This guy doesn’t know beans, I’m wasting my time here.”

When they got to the short game area the old pro threw some balls on the ground, in different types of lies, and asked Bob to hit the balls toward various targets on the green.

As Bob hit each shot they all finished close to the hole, a couple of them actually went in.  The old pro never said a word.

They then moved to the putting green and balls were placed all over the green and Bob was asked to putt them out, again at various holes.

Some were downhill, some uphill, some left to right, and some right to left.

Bob holed just about everything he looked at.  After he finished putting the old pro looked at him and said, “There is nothing I can do for you Bob.  You can hit every shot in the book, the swing is beautiful and flowing, and the sound of the golf ball being struck is purely magical. Your short game is excellent and every technique you have is solid.”

Bob replied, “If I hit it so pure why aren’t I having any success!”

The old pro looked at Bob and said, “Your technique isn’t the problem Bob.  If it was, you would not have been able to hit all of the different shots I just put you through.  Your problem is PLAYING golf.”

“You are like a lot of other players Bob, you are playing golf SWING and NOT golf!”

“You have spent countless hours practicing and honing the different types of shots into virtual perfection.  But you have not practiced playing golf under pressure situations, different conditions, or competition.  You don’t need to play in tournaments to experience those situations or conditions.  You can do that just playing with your friends and casual rounds.”

“The skills you need to learn are course management and controlling your emotions.  Once you have those, along with the skills you already have, you will reach your goals.”

Bob thought about what the old pro had just said and realized, he was right!

Bob, always got nervous when playing in tournaments.

He always tried shots that had small success ratios, he virtually never played to his strengths.  He rarely thought about managing his game on the course, he took things for granted, he was thinking about his playing partners game, or thinking about this swing instead of focusing on the outcome…getting the ball in the hole!

Other players in the field who always beat him with what he thought was inferior ball striking, but yet they always got it in the hole and he did not.

Bob took a month off from tournaments after hearing the “old sage” advice and decided to try and get “out of his own way.”  He played a lot of golf and only hit balls to warm up before he played.  Once on the course he didn’t think swing mechanics but instead focused on getting the ball in the hole.

His scores started to drop and now he wanted to test his new focus on the “field of battle.”

As he was on the range loosening up before the round he felt something he had never felt before, his mind was calm.  No thoughts of swing mechanics, a peaceful, uncluttered mind, and for the first time ever…no sense of defeat!

Bob didn’t win this tournament, a couple of loose shots cost him a few strokes, but he learned something even more valuable than the win.  He hung in there, didn’t lose his composure, played golf instead of playing golf swing and found that he had more fun playing golf then he had in a very long time while being competitive under tournament conditions.

It was by far the best showing he had ever had in a tournament and this was just the start.  He knew that if kept reminding himself, of what the old pro had said, that he would eventually reach his golf…win a tournament!

If you would like to learn how to get out of your own way, schedule your time with us.

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