What’s the most difficult task to accomplish in golf? And please don’t say winning the Masters. So to rephrase this – What’s the most difficult task to accomplish for the mortal golfer?
Well, this is just my opinion, but until proven otherwise I’m sticking with it – Shooting Your Age! What’s Shooting Your Age? It’s when you play a round of golf and your score is the same or less than your age. For example: You’re 72 years old and you scored 72 strokes or less.
No, you can’t say “Well Marc, I’m 52 years old and I shot 48 for 9-holes. I shot my age.” Nice try, but we’re talking about 18-holes here.
Why is this an amazing accomplishment? Think about it – Is it easier to shoot 68 when you’re 68-years old or is it easier to shoot 89 when you’re 89 years old. Well, the 68 when you’re 68 or the 71 when you’re 71 is just not going to happen for many golfers! And I say this with you understanding that most people reading this will never score under par for 18-holes because only about 1 in every 7,000 golfers will break par in their lifetime! And the 89 when you’re 89. Are you kidding me?
I hope I can play 9-holes when I’m 89!
So this brings us to the main reason for this topic – his name Lewis Songer. His accomplishment: He turned 70-years old late last year and on Friday, September 23rd 2005 he shot 70! Lewis came to see us in March 2004 for 3-days. His goal was simple – “I’m turning 70 later this year and I want to shoot my age. And the way I figure it, the older I get, the more difficult it might be to accomplish this goal. I’m in good shape for my age and I want to accomplish this goal as soon as I can.”
Over the last 17-months, I’ve received some near miss emails from Lewis like this one in September 2004 – “I’m healthy and have many who tell me I’ve got the best swing they’ve ever seen. But to me it’s no good if it doesn’t get the job done. I’m still trying to shoot my age and in two weeks it will be one stroke easier. Best so far this year is 73 – 1 over.”
So the question I ask you – What are you playing for? What’s the goal that you want to accomplish? And then – What are you doing about it? Are you playing golf just to play golf? Or are you trying to accomplish something? This might be the question you need to ask yourself before your next round of golf or your next practice session.
Most likely the greatest moment by Lewis in the round that he accomplished his goal was that he sank a birdie putt on the last hole to shoot 34 on the back 9-holes. I know golfers that have had to make a 3-foot putt on the last hole to win a $2 Nassau who were so nervous about missing the putt that their hands looked like they were shaking like they were attached to a paint mixer. Now these 3-foot putts are putts you could just usually hold the putter with one hand and knock it in the hole while you were still walking towards the ball and these golfers would completely miss the hole because they were scared about the thought of losing what was literally a couple of bucks. How do you think Lewis was feeling when he had to make a putt that was longer than 3-feet to be able to achieve something that only 1 in a million golfers will ever do – Shoot Your Age.
So how did Lewis accomplish his goal? The same way that you’re going to accomplish yours – By having a PLAN!
Earlier this summer, Lewis wrote me – “I now have my PLAN, which I use for every shot from the Tee to the last putt. It has helped to eliminate unwanted thoughts during the swing process. No ‘what if’s’ or ‘be careful of the water’ can creep in if I’m doing my PLAN.”
So is it coincedence that Lewis accomplished his goal soon after he really settled into his PLAN? He says that he uses his PLAN from not just the Tee shots, but all the way through to the last Putt. How many times have you just used your PLAN on your Tee shots or shots to the green, forgetting about having a PLAN from around the green or on the green? Or maybe you don’t even have a PLAN? Or worse – maybe you have a PLAN, but you don’t use it!
There are so many questions that you need to ask before you accomplish your goals. And Lewis Songer spent some time asking himself what his goals were and apparently found the answers to accomplish them.
Congratulations Lewis – A bottle of Santa Barbara County – Pinot Noir will be used to celebrate your accomplishment in the Golf Made Simple offices tonight!
Marc Solomon- Your Instructor for Life
Golf Made Simple!