Golf is hard. Not because the technique is hard to learn, though that does take some work.
It’s that even after you have learned the technique and gotten pretty good at it, you still have something left over to deal with.
The ball just sits there, waiting for you to hit it, mocking your technique because technique is one thing, but can you do it when it counts is another.
And the ball makes you think you can’t do it.
Not letting the ball make you lose confidence in your ability is the hardest thing to do golf.
We all have very good air swings. We do. Put that swing on a ball and away it goes. But when there really is a ball in front of you, it gets tricky.
You can relate to the ball that way, and a lot of golfers do.
I read a long time ago about a teaching pro who would glue a piece of string to a golf ball. He would get down on the ground, and ask his student to hit the ball.
Every now and then the pro would pull on the string at just the right moment, when the student’s swing was committed to hitting the ball, to yank the ball away.
This was his way of teaching his students not to get caught up in hitting the ball, but rather to just swing the club, because they never knew when there was going to be ball there or not, and when the ball did get yanked away it didn’t make any difference because the job was to swing the club, not hit the ball.
Great for the range, but that wouldn’t make sense on the course. The solution is to find a way to turn a negative into a positive.
Hitting a golf ball isn’t that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. Life throws you much bigger problems and if you have been around the block a few times you know what I mean.
The way you get through those times is to find a way to live through that negative time without having that negativity affect the way you think and speak and act.
So let’s start small. With a golf ball. Find a way to turn doubt and worry into confidence.
My way is to think of the club and the ball as my partners and the three of us are going to hit the ball where it needs to go this time.
Sound silly? Yes, but it’s easier said than done. It requires changing a mental habit and that takes honest work.
The process you go though to not be intimidated by the ball, and actually welcome the chance to hit it straight and far, is the same process that you need to go through when something really important comes your way and you have to find a way to perform.
I’ll bet when you started reading this post you didn’t think it was going to turn in to a life lesson. But, take ’em where you get ’em.
And along the way you’ll become a better golfer. Can’t say no to that!