Thursday, February 02, 2006

How to Make Golf Hard: A Self-Lesson

Here in the Philadelphia suburbs, we're being blessed with yet another break from winter: mid-day temperatures nudging into the low 50's. Winter gloves and wind-breakers are standard-issue on the first tee, but we're all peeling layers on the back nine.

That's the good news. The not-so-good is that I'm getting this gift at the same time I'm writing/recording my concluding views on swing fundamentals. The physical fundamentals went up last week, I posted the essay on the laws of physics this week, and a new podcast is due any day.

How do you think one's golf mind works in that situation? How do you think I played yesterday and today?

The short answer is... not as well as I'd like. But, in another sense, I proved my own point. I loaded myself up with responsibility, with obligation, and fell into the "try harder" trap. "If you have to nerve to write it, self, you darn well better be able to deliver." In my mind, the many-hundred readers and podcast listeners walked behind me and watched (judged) every shot.

The good news is that I was able to catch myself, to let go of trying, to focus on my playing focus instead of on score, and — on the back nine today — get back into trusting my routine, choosing a longer club (or two!) so that I could slow down, and feeling the rhythm of the swing.

I can see that, by virtue of this project, I've imposed a special kind of Zen test on myself. I'll keep you posted on how it all works out.

(See the "Reviews" page for a short update on what's in my bag today.)

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