We all struggle for perfection with our game of golf. That’s exactly why we love this game. Yes it’s a love hate relationship but you know that if you can par one hole you should be able to par all 18 holes on any given day. At least you hope to do that. I’ve been reading The Inner Game of Golf by Timothy Gallwey. He really has an amazing solution.
Self Doubt Is our Primary Stumbling Block
CONFIDENCE and TRUST for a consistent swing with every club is all we need to create SUCCESSFUL GOLF SWINGS. Unfortunately we live with 2 alter egos: Self 1 that controls how we TRY for success and Self 2 that OPENS OUR MIND for success. You can’t be thinking about your past swing failures. You need to get rid of mental stress by replacing it with a simple thought that’s easy to accomplish.
Of course you need to know the basics of the proper club selection, grip and setup for your irons, hybrids, woods and driver. You also need the skill to read a green and choose a target line. All of that can be learned with lessons and practice. Where we all fall down is during our swing when nervous tension destroys our rhythm and execution with any club or putter.
If you focus on the top 10 (or 100) moves that you need to execute and then try to join the dots in your mind, you build up panic and emotion that destroys any swing. That’s exactly why Brooks Koepka says that he has “NO thought in his mind when he swings”. He knows his target and the shape of his shot. That wonderful feeling is all he needs to execute his shot.
Professional golfers spend years taking lessons and practicing every type of shot with every club in their bag. Competitive matches just add an extra level of stress that recreational players will never experience. But the moment of truth happens for every shot we take. How do you calm down your brain for every swing?
Take Your Brain out of the Equation
Take the pressure for success off your shoulders. On the tee or fairway after you choose your target line and setup for your shot, just think about an easy task like tossing a ball at your target or on the green think about stooping to pick your ball out of the hole. I like the idea that Jack Nicklaus only visualized the ball fight for his next shot. Give yourself a simple mental task to relax and calm your mind as you execute your shot.
I have learned that my best shots always happen when I know that I can layup to an easy location. It take all of the pressure off so that I just use 1 extra club so that I can easily reach my target with an 80% swing. To let your inner self (Self 2) execute your swing, Gallwey suggests that we just say “Dah, Dah, Dah” for your takeaway, impact and follow-through. That removes any time to think about specific motions for the swing. Your unconscious mind will taking over.
I will report back to you as I transition from my current method to the Gallwey Method. My mental triggers are: “1,2,3” or “out, lag, in” to force me to take more time for my (1) wide takeaway and (2) flat wrist lag before my (3) shallow downswing and impact up my target line. I developed the “1,2,3” method to block my mind from external thoughts. I’d love to hear back from our followers on your thoughts and successes.
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Golf Truism #36: The ball always lands where the pin was yesterday.