Tuesday, January 31, 2006

New Today — A Physics Lesson

Essay #11 was posted today. It discusses laws of physics, what our golf ball tells us about how it was struck, and brings us to the center-point for our discussion of the swing fundamentals. Co-incidentally, we are also at our farthest point from my stated objective of addressing the mental side of golf. But, it is difficult to completely separate the physical from the mental; if your mechanics are screwed up it’s very difficult to keep your head pure.

So, you 'swing-freaks' out there can enjoy today, as we'll be a little more Zen-like in the future.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The 'Yin & Yang' of Winter Golf ...And a New Podcast

We've been having a relatively mild winter, here in Eastern Pennsylvania. Within the past week I had two chances to get out on our par-3 course for nine-hole two-ball workouts.

But yesterday I was treated to my first full-blown round of the year: three good friends, 18 holes, and $2 on 6-hole match-ups with each playing partner. Temperatures were in the mid-50's, so no winter gloves or bulky clothing was required. Yes, I'll admit we rolled them everywhere, including the un-kept traps. But, I had a thouroughly good time, won $2, took only one double, and had an honest score on the high end of what I'd expect in the regular season.

Today, I woke to snow, ice on the roads, and a howling mid-winter wind. A perfect Zen lesson on Yin-Yang, the essential nature of opposites. How would we know the good days if we never had the contrasting day?

New today: Podcast #13. But, be aware that I've changed from the topic promised in the last program.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Podcast Reviews

Upon further review… I think my most recent essays/podcasts have been more than a little skewed toward “golf” and away from “Zen,” my prime purpose

But, as usual, the Universe has sent me what I need, in the form of several other podcasts that touch on “Zen” in a way that is very supportive of what we’ve been discussing these past weeks.

Click on the "Reviews" menu link to see my suggestions.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A New Podcast

There is a new podcast to be found today, and it is almost a mission violation. Even though this is a site devoted to the mental side of golf, the "Zen" of golf (and of life), it is necessary that we do talk about the few true physical fundamentals... the LAWS... and this is that time.

For you swing freaks... enjoy, since we'll climb back into your brain next time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Michelle Makes My Point

It’s always surprising to me how, when I choose to focus, the Universe then sends me experiences that support my focus. This past week I got another good example.

In the essay I posted last week, I suggested that your day-to-day scores can vary about five shots — either way — from your actual skill level. In other words, if your true skill level equates an 85 score on your course, then on any given day you might shoot anywhere from 80 to 90. More over, I took the position that many people accept that they are an 85 shooter, that they always will be an 85, and therefore only compete by lopping their handicap off their random score on that day. My question was, “Why bother? Why not just flip a coin and mail in your result?"

Well, last weekend we saw Michelle Wei do exactly that. In attempting to make the cut in a men’s event, the Sony Open, she shot 79 on Thursday and 68 on Friday and missed the cut by four shots. I think it’s obvious that she was the same person on both days; she didn’t discover some secret on Friday that she didn’t know on Thursday.

Her experience also proves something about both my last Fortune Cookie and Tiger Woods.

The last Fortune Cookie (and, yes, I know I haven’t been good about posting a new fortune each week) said, “Only bad things happen quickly.” The obvious corollary is that good things only happen slowly. In golf, it only takes a few bad mistakes to destroy a round, or an instant for you to lose your composure. Real growth… true improvement in your ingrained skill… that takes dedication and focus over an extended time.

That brings me to Tiger Woods. The entire golfing community doubted Tiger over the year or more in 2003-2004 while he worked on changing his swing. He already was the #1 golfer in the world, we all said. What in heavens name was he doing trying to change his game? Tiger’s answer was that he wasn’t trying to hit it better, but that he was trying to tighten his game so as to take out the variation: not so much to make the good shots better but to eliminate the infrequent bad shots that occasionally took him out of tournaments. Of course, in 2005, we that doubted were proven wrong as he returned to #1.

So, what next for Michelle Wei? Will her excursions on the men’s tour help or hurt? How will she do within her own LPGA tour, given the emergence of great young players like Gulbis, Pressel, and Creamer? Will testing herself against men strengthen her, or is she only learning how to lose? We won’t know for some time, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find many people that would bet with her on this particular gamble.

Good things come slowly, Michelle. Stop experiencing bad things quickly… learn how to win first… then try the bigger pond.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The "Fundamentals" Essay

Today is a relatively BIG day. After sneaking up on the subject for a long time, dragging my heels all the way, I have today posted my view on the "physical" swing fundamentals. (The "mental" fundamentals came last week, and there are two more "fundamental" essays yet to come)

Check the essay, and the companion podcast that will show up on Tuesday, and tell me what you think.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Podcasts: Good News & Bad

First, the good news: the podcast audience is growing. Recent download counts are up ~40%, with a continuing trend.

Now, the bad: In my review of program demand, I discovered that programs which had gone into archieve storage were no longer accessible. After a lot of head-banging, I've revised the link and all is well.

As I continue to say on the programs, there is a logical order to how these programs have been laid down. If you haven't been on-board throughout, you'll miss the full message, and I hope you'll now go back to the archieves (Click the "GolfingZen.Podcast link and scroll down the right-hand column to find the Archieves) and pick up what you've missed. In particular, don't miss #1 through #5 (the flat part of the demand curve).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A New Essay and Podcast

Why bother?

Find out, in print or by audio, with th essay and podcast new this week.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Hole of the Third Eye: A "Review"

I can't resist passing on a comment I received yesterday from a friend to whom I gave a copy of my golf/zen novel (see the menu link). Sure... he's a friend. And, yes, it was a gift. But I'm sure he is sincere. Aren't you?

I have finished your book and I enjoyed it very much! It became for me a modern fable using golf as a metaphor to represent our earthly quest for meaning.

One of my tests for a good book is whether it resonants after the reading is done. It is a rare day that I do not think of something said in "The Hole of the Third Eye."

Thanks for writing it and thanks for giving me a copy.


... Joe Bishop, Greenville SC


Excuse me, dear reader/listener, for being a little non-Zen like... a little prideful.

I couldn't help it!

And... check back tomorrow. There will be a new essay, closely followed by a companion podcast.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New! Fundamentals - An Essay and a Podcast

Yikes!!

I posted an essay on 12/29 that introduces my first fundamentals, but failed to announce it on this home page. Perhaps you've found it already?

If you haven't yet, you get a bonus today as the companion podcast is now up and available for listening.

A double-barrelled day! Enjoy...