Simplicity. Subtlety. Sagacity.
What notions and views, eh? But where have they gone...??? Down the road like our easy rider above, in favor of fancy, yet oft-useless concepts and hypotheses? Time to come around the bend in your golfing road and life, and re-explore some powerfully elemental approaches...
CS missive coming to you live from Orlando, FL (and you thought our nation's capitol was a swamp?) post the PGA of America's Teaching & Coaching Summit, and annual Merchandise Show.
The buzz here (and everywhere in the golf world, it seems) is often hard to comprehend and discern - what with the complex (convoluted), and supposedly 'high' tech-oriented (I've already got uber-tech installed, thank you - and so do you - it's called the human brain) lingo being spewed left, right and center-cut.
What gives? Seems our purveyors of multi-syllabic vernacular meant to impress and sell have forgotten the art of simplicity, subtlety and sagacity for the purposes of communication, comprehension and connection.
Nowhere more do you need easily grasped ideas, than in the domain of swinging your crooked sticks, and playing the wondrous & chaotic game of golf.
CS to the rescue! Although, not really... I am not the savior, the 'star,' the guru - the hero. You, the student, "grasshopper," are. That message, however, doesn't seem to be getting across on all the not-so-social media (and other such) channels, regrettably.
'Tis much more about supposed wise men and women making $, spinning theories, and caressing fragile egos.
So how best to proceed? Maybe it's time to sit back, reflect, and have a beer (or soda pop).
Click up top for a mountain fresh blast from the past, circa 1980's, from our friends at Rainier Beer (yes, you can spare 29 seconds out of your precious existence to experience). WTF? How in the name of the Pacific Northwest could this assist with the ball & stick schtick?
- Whaddya notice? More importantly: whaddya miss - and what do you miss when you're playing - 'cause you're so wrapped up in data, stats and 'shoulds' (somebody else talking)?
Do you notice the ever-present slopes, contours and uphill/downhill aspects of the golf park? Or are you obsessed with (and possessed by) optimizing your swing direction, ball speed and launch angle?
Can you feel the breeze on your face, the chill or warmth on your skin, and the damn ground under your feet? Or is your mind preoccupied with optimums, graphs and vertical forces #'s that popped up on a blue-lit screen in a sterile, incredibly non-golf-like environment, on a flat, synthetic surface?
I understand, and a pity it is, indeed. You see the human mind/body system with the five senses we know of (oh, there are more!), takes in over 11,000,000 (there's a number for you!) bits of information per second - yet many of us have opted to shut it off in favor of devices that require small batteries. Time to re-boot you. How do you think the cyclist in our advertisement managed to negotiate the curve in the road - if all he'd ever done previously was get stuck riding on the straights?
Adopting some of my signature Train2Trust tenets in your practice sessions will help..
-Mother Nature in your face. Have you forgotten to notice when you're chasing the nugget in the golf park? Too preoccupied with 'grinding,' focusing (that concentration meter needs to be turned "up" and "down," BTW) and scoring? I understand.
Beer time: did you hear the buzz of the crickets as the piece began? They're talking to you. Did you notice the tall grass silhouetting the road? It's sprouting and framing for your eyes. And majestic Mt. Rainier in the backdrop? A snow-covered dormant volcano making you - and your silly round of golf - seem so... insignificant, in the grand scheme of things.
Time you looked around and realized how fortunate you are to be playing this game at all, in such a sublime setting. Show some gratitude, people; see how that affects your next swing. Not buying it? Prefer to continue to search for the magic swing key/thought/cue?
Gotcha. Now remember: thought precedes action, boys & girls - so how you're thinking and who you are in the moments before pulling the trigger are of utmost importance and relevance.
- The unknown. Aren't we all trying to figure out just where the Rainier commercial is going as it commences? Like pondering that next step in the game called "life?" Ditto for when you put the peg in the ground on the 1st tee: got it all planned out? Great - but get ready for the inevitability of anything, and everything. Think: Alice in Wonderland - for that is what is awaiting you over the next few hours. You game? Ready for the adventure - or easily sidetracked when things don't go as planned?
Visualized the shot you want to play (thank you - it is a vital first step)? Bravo - but how are you going to respond when your golf ball does not behave (like those 'errant shots' in life) accordingly? Hissy fits, pouting or victim chatter? Why not accept the results with a grain (or a beer hop), learn from it, and embrace the next challenge?
Cemented in some swing method, routine or modality that works for someone else, or in yesteryear? Best to un-constipate yourself, adjust, adapt and find something that jibes today, right now - and for the golfer (and person) you are.
Coaching & Guidance
In search of some subtle, simply and sage (close to five decades now as a grasshopper player and student of this game, and three as a guide...) direction for your golf?
I'm here to help. On my home turf at Eugene Country Club, or in a golf park near you.
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak."
― Hans Hofmann
~ CS ~