"Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia"
Happy Cinco de Mayo amigos y amigas!!! Fitting title for today's missive, the low budget cult flick made in Mexico in the mid '70's. Trust you are celebrating the day - and every day - when you are able and willing to put the peg in the ground.
Many out there would prefer the head of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, below. The reclusive Islamic State chief appeared in a rare video Monday last - only his second ever. Less, you see once again, is often more.
Perhaps the marketing 'geniuses' counseling the ever-multiplying crowd of on-line golf preachers to post as much as possible (never mind the credibility, usefulness and meaning of the content) while encouraging them to 'swindle a click' from vulnerable viewers, could take a page out of al-Baghdadi's book...
So, you shall ask - just what in the name of this oddball movie - and the man with the grey beard tinted with red henna dye (did you notice - like important conditions, aspects and details that appear in a round of golf?) seated above, does this have to do with you getting the ball in the hole sooner? Quite a bit, actually - read on!
Like rolling a ball into a cup on a nicely-manicured surface...
I condemn vehemently the actions of the man pictured above, don't get me wrong. However, ponder this for one moment, as so much golf instruction dives further & further into the deep end where technology & over-measuring often lead to complication and confusion:
Al-Bagdadi, seated on some pillows with a Russian AK-74U assault rifle at his side, is one of the most wanted men on the planet. Some powerful people are after that head. Believed to be hiding (what are you hiding from re your golf game, and/or life?) in the sparsely populated desert spanning the Iraq/Syria border, multiple attempts to kill him in the past five years by the "big boys" have failed.
We are talking the CIA, the Army's Delta Force, and the Navy's SEAL Team 6. Smarts (but what sort: full of information, knowledge and data - or savvy, intuition and wisdom?). Brawn (a bit more than 1 rifle, I'm guessing...). Tech (one can only imagine the cutting-edge technology available to these groups).
Yet with all this supposedly sophisticated firepower and intelligence - much like being able to click on a button and post anything at anytime in the SM world - Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi remains at large. How so? Counter-terrorism officials say he eschews all electronic devices, which could identify his location, and probably communicates through a series of couriers.
J.M. Berger, author of "ISIS: The State of Terror," speaking to ABC News: "It's impressive, given the amount of pressure he is under geographically, and also pretty interesting that his security apparatus can turn a video around so quickly without exposing him to airstrikes."
No plug and play. No use of the Interwebs. Actual face to face dialogue. Imagine that... Two legendary 'rollers of the rock' can:
BC: "Really good putters are visual. They have a good notion of what's going to happen."
CS: You? Can you 'see'/visualize the path you want your ball to take, on its way into the hole? Or, are you focusing on where you want to miss (why would you put your attention and intention on something you don't want, on a putting green, or in the game of life?) or leave the ball?
BC: "I always thought putting contests were great. Having to putt against someone and go around the clock. There's no better practice, because you're putting something on the line, you're competing. When you're putting at different holes, that's what golf is."
CS: You practicing in manners that will help you on the golf course - or rather make you 'feel good' on the range? Train2Trust.
BC: "My longtime teacher and mentor Harvey Penick always said 'It has to be yours. I can't tell anyone how to get into the ball comfortably, it has to be yours.' He also said: 'Never try to putt like anyone else.' He thought you were looking for danger that way, because you won't own it."
CS: Who are you pretending to be, on the links, and daily sidewalks? Do you 'own' who you are, and your actions - or are you posing and copying others? Remember: "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
BF: When asked what separated him from the pack as a putter: "I was able to dumb it down. I never allowed myself to worry about missing, never putted like I was afraid. Fear is death for putting."
CS: Appears that 'dumbing it down' has worked quite well for peeps hiding in the desert, as well as those wielding flatsticks on plush grass. Oh, and that 'fear' thing? What's really going to happen should you miss? Extradition from your homeland? Wrath of loved ones? Bodily harm (click on a green-reading Faxon above for a man who faced real consequence when things didn't go his way - and keep that in mind next time you face a testy one..)? I think not.
BF: "Ben Crenshaw gave me some great advice in 1989 when I was struggling a bit. He said when when he putted, he tried to allow his head and knees to move, and to make his backswing longer than his follow through."
CS: Did those words just blow up your putting paradigm? I understand. Best be careful who you listen to, praise, and click on.
BF: "I still think the athlete is tremendously talented if you just let him be that way."
CS: Amen, Mr. Faxon. The guru is in you, ladies and gentlemen. And your teacher/coach/guide (he or she is not the hero - you are!) needs to be there to nurture your inner athlete, and help you find your best way.
Processing, The Power of Presence, and Paying Attention
You can't get enough of the quasi-miracle a few weeks back that was Tiger Woods winning the Masters after his fall to the rock-bottom, huh? Likewise.
And perhaps you can't get enough of all the self-anointed 'sports psychologists' out there, and what they are suggesting & espousing. The "mental game:" so crucial, yet so misunderstood, misrepresented.
Rather, why not be open to some thoughts from someone who's won 15 majors - as opposed to the folks with all those initials after their names who have won a combined total of......................................................................................
Click above to listen to TW and Golf TV host Henni Zuel. So many lessons throughout for us all, in so many aspects.
Ah... you don't have a half hour or so to listen and watch? You're busy (but so are the ants. Busy doing what?) Yet you have hours upon hours to troll, post and click on SM. Or practice your golf without purpose, guidance or feedback. Train2Trust (there it is again...)
A few things that stuck in my still-in-tact-on-my-shoulders head below, following the wearer of the green jacket's comments. You lose your head (and your mind, nerve & patience along with it) at times during a round of golf? I understand. So why not take some ideas from an expert, someone who has actually experienced it - a master:
TW: When asked what he's been doing since the win: "I haven't seen much. I haven't done much. I've been basically relaxing and getting away from it."
CS: Lazy, you query? Not at all... Tiger understands the importance of rest, recovery and the need to process. Do you? Or are you stuck in the 'more, more, more' mode, where you feel as if in doing very little, you are wasting time? In fact, you are wasting your vital life energy and force by incessantly doing. The human brain and body need time to process, digest and assimilate learnings, and to recover - so high end performance can follow.
TW: "I had to open up my mind during the practice round session on Sunday"
CS: You? Close-minded? About how best for you to swing a club, or navigate a golf course? Unable, or unwilling to acknowledge, adjust and adapt? Many teachers of this game are - and like a terrorist sitting on some cushions in the middle of nowhere - to be avoided at all cost.
TW: "We had noticed (caddy Joe LaCava)..."
CS: Starts around the 9:30 mark this comment, and so many others that may guide you to lower scores. But do you notice what's going on around you - or have you been told/taught/educated to just stay in your 'own world,' keep the blinders on, and ignore what others are doing? I understand and like you, have heard it all before... Yet the guy with 15 majors (and counting) and 81 PGA Tour wins doesn't play that way.
TW: "I could see some of the water ripples on 11"
CS: You? Are you keenly aware of all the constantly changing conditions around you? The present moment is a precious and powerful goddess; are you paying attention, boys & girls? Or perhaps you've been distracted once again. Or have chosen - yep, it's your choice - to focus on something other?
TW: "When I got down 13, I got a chance to look at the (leader) board"
CS: Fascinating, and so telling, how aware he is of all: competitors, leader-boards, conditions. Sure, Woods then takes care of the business of executing his next shot - yet so much calculation, contemplation and strategy prior. Much the same protocol of another legendary 'golf-specific sports psychologist:" Jack Nicklaus.
TW: "That's how you always try to hit every putt for it to go in"
CS: 'Cup speed.' Let T-Dub explain it to you... you think I'm here to do the learning for you? It's your puzzle to solve in golf and life - the most I can do is to reveal different options, to be a guide without ego, and in so doing, expedite the process.
TW: "No one's perfect. Everyone's dealt cards in their life, obstacles, that we all have to overcome - and some are different than others."
CS: Amen, Eldrick. And for all the 'Tiger haters' out there, I trust you will continue to revel in all your perfection...
TW: Re winning more majors: "You need to have mind, body and soul come together for all four days."
CS: Whatcha doing for those 'big 3,' anyway? Body piece seems more approachable, mind you can maybe get your arms around (with some proper info, concepts and direction), but soul? Ah.... you've been ignoring the importance and relevance of the spirit, have you not? It too must be nurtured for you to reach your potential.
TW: "There was a pretty good period in there where I thought I'd never play golf again. I'm excited to have the opportunity again"
CS: Are you excited & thankful like Tiger for the opportunity to play this game? Next time you hit a loose one on the links, or feel like you are losing your head, please keep in mind so many out there are not nearly so fortunate. A shot of gratitude (as opposed to one of tequila?) on this day where Mexican-American culture is celebrated, for all you have, will help you mightily on that next shot.
Coaching & Guidance
Need some excitement rekindled into your golf game? I can help.
I'm here and available for individual and small group guidance at Eugene Country Club, or a golf park near you.
"We are not punished for our sins, but by them”
-- Elbert Hubbard
~ CS ~