Practice? Are We Talking About Practice?
Who is thinking more during each golf swing – the Golfer that’s hitting good shots or the Golfer not hitting the ball well?
There’s no doubt that the Golfer that’s struggling starts to think a little more about their golf swing than the Golfer that’s hitting it well. And as the struggling Golfer starts to think more about their swing … they begin to stink a little more.
“Thinkers are Stinkers”
It’s like a scale where one side is labeled “Thinking” and the other side labeled “Success”. The more weight you put on the “Thinking” side … the less “Success” you have. The less weight on “Thinking” … the more “Success” you achieve.
Now this might be counterintuitive to most people that play golf. As a good portion of Golfers are intelligent people that have achieved the discretionary income/time to play golf as they are able to think of ideas to overcome problems that arise during the day.
Though, intelligent people that have been successful based on their thinking often have a difficult time turning off their “thinking mind” while on the golf course.
Whereas, when a problem arises at work … what’s the first thing you do? You think about finding a solution to the problem so it doesn’t happen again. That is why you’re successful and the other person that ignores the problem may be less successful.
However, on the golf course, it’s different. As golf can be called a game of opposites: swing down to make the ball go up; swing to the right to make the ball go left – it’s also counterintuitive when it comes to thinking about your swing. The more you think … the more you stink.
So if we’re saying that you shouldn’t be thinking about your swing on the golf course … what are you supposed to do?
Success on the golf course (as it does with every other sport) really comes down to effective practice. Not just the time or amount of golf balls you hit. But it comes down to the quality of your practice. “Practice? Are we talking about Practice?”
I encourage you to watch the classic rant by former NBA Player, Allen Iverson as he talks about not needing practice – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29VsG35DQM
It’s funny, because in this classic rant … it almost sounds similar to many Golfers that we speak with. As Iverson says “I know I’m supposed to be there. I’m not shoving it aside like it don’t mean anything. I know it’s important. I do, I honestly do. But we’re talking about practice?”
Yes, the superior athlete can get by with less practice than mere mortals like you and I. But, if they want to be great … they know they need to practice. However, regular people like you and I … we need to practice just to be good. If not, if we don’t practice – we’ll be relegated to being frustrated with our performance.
Rory McIlroy would be a good Golfer without practicing as he’s a fantastic athlete. But if he put in the same amount of practice (or practiced with the same style) as the Golfers we often see … he would not be great enough to play on Tour. Talent can only take you so far – correct practice can get you over the hump towards playing to a satisfying level.
The successful Golfer spends more time practicing their golf swing than the more erratic Golfer. However, that practice isn’t defined by the Golfer just going to the range and hitting golf balls. Because the Golfer that is out there hitting golf ball after golf ball … is usually the Golfer that is jumping from swing tip to swing tip.
Thus, when they do go to the golf course to play – as soon as they hit a bad shot – what do they do? They revert to what they practiced on the range … thinking and jumping from tip to tip in search of a solution.
When the successful Player starts to struggle on the golf course – they also refer back to what they practice on the range. However, since their practice was devoted to understanding the feel of their golf swing (as opposed to just hitting golf balls) … they more times than not, find the correct solution after only one or two bad shots.
Whereas the regular Golfer that starts to struggle reverts back to their practice session of jumping from tip to tip.
To play more consistent on the golf course – it comes down to not having to think too much about your golf swing. But in order to do that, to Allen Iverson’s dismay, it really does come down to an effective Practice PLAN that you can refer back to in your times of struggle.
The Monkey thinks “Practice? Are we talking about Practice?”
The Player understands that practice is about learning to feel your golf swing so that you can make the proper correction on the golf course
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life