"Another Time, Another Place"
Re-post from a few moons back, the fab New Yorker cover, above. Wowza: a little over 60 years ago and our penny-loafered chap whacking balls (with focus, attention and intention - one can only hope) into a net, indoors; social distancing in full effect. Look vaguely familiar in springtime, 2020?
Apparently, some things never change - or do they..??
The fundamental essence of people's lives all over the globe has undeniably changed in recent weeks. Question post-50th anniversary of Earth Day, fellow roamers of the links, and planet (I know - you like the CS pop quizzes with prizes for correct answers; this time, you'll have to go within for the response..): have things shifted to the realm of reality in the country of your mind, or remained stuck, reminiscing or fortune-telling in another time, another place...??
Title borrowed from the lyrics of one the incomparable offerings of Dire Straits. Click on our solo striker up top, close your eyes for a few short moments, and simply (is that not how golf swing betterment can be communicated?) listen. Insight for your game upon return.
Oh, sorry - you were more interested in tips, instant gratification-oriented assistance, and the quick fix model? I understand; just head out into the Interwebs and especially SM, that kinda poop is aromatizing every corner.
What I have to offer is nearly as much experience (remember: nothing has been learned until it has been experienced) as that of the magazine cover, as a curious student & player of the game, and three decades as a full-time committed coach, instructor and guide of the endeavor known as 'golf.'
You wanna 'tip' or two? Try Churchill Downs (thank you, Jackie Burke, Jr.) or an iceberg (where the meat, crux and gist of things are hidden, underwater).
"Lady Writer on the TV
Talk about the Virgin Mary
Reminded me of you
Expectations left to come up to yeah"
I trust your expectations are indeed immaculate for your golf, and other life aspirations. However, I'd like to now include them in your list of original sins, since they render you no service, whatsoever...
Click above on the image of yours truly, and friends, colleagues and mentors to my left - Master PGA Professional Eric Alpenfels and distinguished (and frequent golf pards) Dr. Robert Christina, taken in St. Andrews, Scotland, circa 2016 (another time, another place) - to read the research they did on the "Aim Small, Miss Small" hypothesis.
Like a sword through your heart, expectations lead only to frustration, disappointment, and other such energy-zapping emotions. Just as your normal golfing ventures have shifted in recent weeks, let's shift those expectations to:
- Goals. Similar in genre to the devilish "E's," goals are something for the mind/body system to chase (what the brain likes to do). Specific & simple. #/score-oriented. Realistic & flexible.
- Your wants - not someone else's... Expectations frequently stem from the cravings, ambitions & plans of others, not you. The naughty little word should is usually a part of an expectation-laden phrase, hence beware.
- Detach from the outcome. What if, right..?? Why is it so important? What will actually happen if things don't turn out as planned? Who will still love you even if you 'fail?'
"Just the way that her hair fell down around her face
A fall from the tee box on hole #7, Desert Winds Municipal G.C. - from Loyal "Bud" Chapman's otherworldly collection - could prove to be problematic for your golfing future. Best be graceful...
Then I recall my fall from grace
Another time, another place"
But: why in the world are you focusing your precious energy on something you don't want to happen? Would it not behoove you to heighten your awareness and concentration on what you want to do, and where you want your ball to end up? You (not some 'lack of confidence virus'..) are in charge, boys & girls, please don't forget it.
Presence. Attentiveness. Recognition. You in possession of that indispensable trio - or more concerned with 'head down, left arm straight' sort of ponderings? Let us consider the details and conditions of the par 3 just above, and of our self-quarantined New Yorker golfer, farther north on your page:
Par 3: Hmm... do you think elevation and wind might come into club selection? Or, would you just look at the yardage on the scorecard and swing away? Or maybe just laser it, and let 'er rip? Ah.. the ole 'hit & hope' strategy, I understand. Time to evolve to the times my fellow linksters, and pay attention to the current circumstances & situations of the here and now.
The New Yorker practicer: did you take a really good, hard look at that image? Go ahead, you have time. Great athletes and performers have extraordinary attention to detail; did you know? You do now...
A few tidbits you may have missed:
- The fellow has a target, bull's eye style. Cool. Do you, each and every time you hit a shot on the practice grounds? And if so, do you think aiming at the teeny-weeniest thingy is ideal for all of humanity, 'cause that's what you read/saw/understood from the infobahns, or what Johnny Tour Player is doing? Think again...
- NYer dress-shoe hooved golfer is caught in his follow through - of a simulated bunker shot he's splashed out of his training space. Notice (do you notice the minutiae and particulars of each and every situation you're confronted with during a round of golf?) there is a rake + several other clubs against the wall, and a hitting mat directly behind him.
Hmm... perhaps this individual is actually adding randomness, chaos and variety (Train2Trust Tenet #6) into his practice - and heaven forbid - interleaving and the spacing effect (Train2Trust Tenet #7) into his regime. BRA-VO!!! The science and experience based principles of my program are really nothing new, friends; yet again, I only bring them to your attention for your benefit.
Click above on the T2T links for more - especially if you've been practicing more and more - seeing less and less desired results on-course.
DONATING = CARING
Ah - something new, fresh, and curious in the CS missives...
Nearly every week since late in the year of 2014, I’ve devoted a tremendous amount of time, energy, resources, thought and care into the “CS Newsletter” offerings, which remain free. While many in my vocation have chosen other mediums to communicate (and hopefully help golfers, and humans, alike), I continue to opt for the written word, blending pieces of music, pertinent videos and articles – all with the intention of authentically guiding my fellow wanderers of the links, and life’s daily sidewalks, on fruitful paths.
If you find any solace or motivation from my ongoing labor or love - or if on occasion a message has managed to put a smile on your face, a tear in your eye, inspirited you take a step back and reconsider all for a moment - or perhaps even irked you into positive action - please do consider supporting it with a donation. Should you already donate, I THANK YOU.
Click on a soon-to-be reading and writing CS, just above, to take contribute.
"Having been a friend and fellow PGA Professional Faculty Associate of Chris’ for many years, I can tell you that EACH and every time his newsletter comes out it makes me smile, reflect, and think about how I view the game as a teacher and how my students my view it better as a player and get more enjoyment. His newsletter literally reaches every sense of the reader - sight sound and (inner) feel…and if there is a “sixth sense” he reaches that too. Can a simple newsletter have a positive effect on your golf game…undoubtedly."
Contact me for a consultation, click on the logos just above for further specifics.
Are you still living in another time, another place, in regards to your golf? I can help - for you have a tremendous upside - I'm quite certain of it. Proper evaluation, guidance and feedback are your next, and necessary steps; are you ready?
Remote and in-person coaching options. The development of an optimal practice regime for you, your needs, and your schedule. Ideas and referrals in the equipment domain - those sticks in your bag, and your physical body. Science and experienced-based help in achieving higher mental acuity on the course. A competent, comprehensive and on-going loop for learning, regardless of where you are on the planet.
"Yesterday has already vanished among the shadows of the past; to-morrow has not yet emerged from the future. You have found an intermediate space,”
-- Nathaniel Hawthorne