Golf is a hard game, so why do you play? Do you play because you have a love of the game, do you love the challenge, do you play because it brings you close to ones you love? Do you play for health benefits, the walk, the outdoor fresh air? Do you play for the competition with yourself and others? Understanding why you play may help you enjoy the journey. How do you enjoy the unrelenting challenges of the game? What mindset do you bring to learning or improving your game, is it in the mechanical or artist mindset? Understanding yourself will help you play your best golf. For many this is difficult, understanding yourself that is! As a golfer, it is easy to get persuaded into thinking that golf is only mechanical and that you have to have a perfect swing mentality – thanks golf channel, golf digest and the now greatest golf instructor in the world, Instagram! There are so many opinions about what the golf swing is vs. what is golf to you. My or our (GPC) suggestion is to understand yourself, your uniqueness, your goals with the game and set the right plan allowing you to play your best golf for your why.
With this being said, there are certain principles of the game that you do need understand. #1 In order to score your best you need to control the golf ball. #2 In order to control the golf ball you will want to have your best function to do so with as little compensatory movement with your body in order to replicate the action, plus to reduce overuse injury. #3 Being able to propel the golf ball there needs to be good ground forces to supply energy. #4 Better functionality allows for better body control which leads to better path control and delivery of speed into the golf ball. These principles are only part of the equation of playing your best golf. Again, with this being said, you will need to know how this fits into your golfing journey because you may not care about scoring better.
The art of playing your best golf comes in the way of visualizing or seeing the canvas. How do you see yourself playing the game, the shots, feeling, allowing them to flow as your mind sees them? As a great artist said, I paint with my heart not my head. I see in my mind what the scene will be, then I do it; I paint with a full heart. In golf terms you can interpret that as, once your mind can see the shot, you then react to that with all your abilities. Playing good golf requires a lot of improvising, feeling a shot, creating masterpieces, but a byproduct of a masterpiece is creating a lot of garbage! A great artist may only sell a handful of pieces out of thousands of paintings. They will work tirelessly on creating but will only have 1 or 2 masterpieces in their lifetime. When you are playing golf, it may be helpful to know that not every shot will be a masterpiece, but it may serve its purpose in the moment and propel more improvement, learning for the next shot or next rounds in order to create a masterpiece or two!
What the best golfers do is get the ball in the hole faster with the least number of strokes than everyone else more often. What you need to know is why YOU play the game and how your journey will match your why. Ask your coach about completing a 5 Elements of Success Evaluation or a Player Development Assessment to gain your Index, to appropriately build a plan of improvement to match your why, and so you will know how to get what you want: less stress on the course, better golf and more enjoyment!
Enjoy your Journey!