Breaking through your Magic Number can be one of the hardest, most nerve raking events a Golfer experiences on the golf course. What’s a Magic Number? Your Magic Number is a score that you want to beat for the first time. And many times it drives Golfers crazy when they can’t get past it. Which often times leads to purchases of what are advertised as game changing training aides seen on late night infomercials.
Regardless of whether your Magic Number is 100 or 90 or 80 or 70 – it’s often times a memorable accomplishment for the Golfer. And to show how relative the Magic Number is for all levels of golf, one Golfer that scores in the 80’s might say – ‘Breaking 100 isn’t such a big deal – I’ve been breaking 100 for 5 years.’ While the funny thing is that the Golfer that’s scoring in the 70’s might feel the same way about you breaking 80.
We should all be cheering for each other to break our Magic Numbers regardless of the Magic Number you’re trying to break.
Though some Golfers often forget the thrill, joy, tension and agony that they experienced a long, long time ago trying to break 100 for the first time themselves. Breaking 100 is the Magic Number that everybody experiences first. Everyone must go through 100 before they can ever think of breaking 90 or 80 or 70. And if you’re still trying to break 100 while your mind is on breaking 90 – that might be one reason why you’re struggling with breaking 100. You need to break 100 first!
Every Golfer that’s trying to break their own personal Magic Number, but is stuck – should remember back to their previous experience of trying to break 100. For 7 out of every 8 Golfers that have broken 100, breaking 100 didn’t come easy. You experienced many setbacks, you probably experienced a few chances where you needed just a Bogey on 17 and a Bogey on 18 to shoot 99 – but ended up with two disappointing Double Bogeys for a 101. We’ve all lived these stories.
So that brings me to the story of Ray from Canada. Ray, like many Golfers, has been trying to break his personal Magic Number – 100 – for awhile. He just couldn’t get past that number. So because a friend of his who had been to GMS earlier this summer had seen great success in breaking his Magic Number – 80; Ray decided in July to give GMS a chance in helping him break his Magic Number. Well, this past week he did – he broke through. And he did it in dramatic fashion – he birdied 18 to shoot 99! Think of it – when you need a Birdie on 18 to break your Magic Number – you’re so close to that number, but in reality, you’re often far away because a Birdie on 18 to break your Magic Number is a fairy tale like scenario.
Bogey would be 101 (disappointing), Par would be 100 (agonizing) – but ‘If I Birdie 18 I break 100!’
When we heard about this accomplishment, we wrote Ray – ‘I just got the great news from Alex that you just broke 100. Congratulations! What in particular has helped you improve the most?’
His answer – ‘I kept telling myself to remember that Hayden said “thinkers are stinkers”.
Because, if you can imagine yourself standing on the tee of the 18th hole needing Birdie to break your Magic Number – what would be going through your mind? ‘I need to make Birdie here to break (Your Magic Number). So I need to make sure that on this drive I keep my left arm straight, eye on the ball and make a one plane swing. I need to really hit a good drive so that I’ll have a short iron into this green so that I can get it close and one putt.’
And unfortunately, because you start thinking – you start stinking. That’s why so many attempts at breaking a Magic Number fail. We often times get into more of a thinking mode as opposed to sticking with the PLAN that we used on the previous 17 holes. Because for you to be in position to break your Magic Number on the 18th hole – you must’ve been playing your best golf ever the previous 17 holes or you wouldn’t find yourself in this situation.
So why not stick with what was working as opposed to going into a thinking mode?
The reason that you’re in the position to break your Magic Number is that you probably weren’t thinking on the previous 17 holes. You we’re probably in the zone or as we say – you were most likely too focused on your PLAN.
So when I read that all Ray had on his mind was the infamous GMS motto of ‘Thinkers are Stinkers’ – I wanted to acknowledge him for this great accomplishment. As well as remind all Golfers that are in a similar situation to break their Magic Number – stick with your PLAN. You don’t have to think anymore on the 18th hole when you need to make Bogey than you did on the 5th hole where you went on to also make a Bogey.
Because the more you start thinking about how perfect you need to make your swing and how important it is to be in the middle of the fairway on this particular drive and how you need to really hit this driver far so that you have a short iron into the green – the more you stink.
‘Thinkers are Stinkers’
Congratulations Ray on your lack of thinking!
The Monkey often fails on the 18th tee in spectacular fashion because they’re thinking about breaking their Magic Number
The Player just continues utilizing the PLAN they had for the previous 17 holes
Go ahead, be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life