I marvel, every time I play, that I continue to have to learn golf’s same basic lessons time and time again. Here’s just one example.
I started this season working on everything in my game; from full swing to putting and all the stuff in between. One by one they all progressed and I began shooting some pretty good scores. Of course there were ups and downs, but the general direction was good.
I was even able to start working the ball. But nothing ever stays constant in golf. I started to get hungrier for better scores. If I can shoot 76, why not 72.
You see where I’m going with this if you have spent even one season trying to learn this game. If you play a round and make a birdie, you want two birdies the next time out. And why not. The more you play the better you should get – except if the game is golf. It’s just damn tough learning golf.
The more I wanted to score better the more my scores went the other way. Every part of my game began to suffer. I started to lose confidence standing over shots, which only caused worse shots. I got to the point where I really wasn’t excited about playing.
I laid off for a week and then I got an invitation from a from a friend to play a nine hole course. Why not? I’ll play and I won’t give a damn I said to myself. The night before I went out into the yard and just casually swung my club.
It was only then that I realized I was choking the living bejessus out of it. Maybe I just needed to lighten up. Isn’t this the problem that 95% of all amateurs have?
I went out the next day, kept my left arm straight (I’m a righty), pulled with the left arm on the down swing and kept the grip very very light. It’s probably no surprise to anyone that I hit the ball well that day.
What always surprises me, is why did I forget such a basic concept? Over the years I must have told myself to keep the grip light a hundred times. It seems that I forget something basic every other week and then it takes me weeks to figure it out again for the umpteenth time. Is golf destined to be Groundhog Day forever?
I can’t help but think that most everyone else is in the same boat. I’d love to hear from others out there if your own experience is similar. I’ve decided to write down on a card what I think the basics for me are, keep it in my golf bag and read it before I begin a round. I’m not talking the encyclopedia, just 7 or 8 keys. I don’t know if it will work, but I’m going to give it a try. Let me know what works for you.
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