GOLF'S 3 NOBLE TRUTHS
CONCEPTS REQUIRED TO MAXIMIZE YOUR
POTENTIAL FOR IMPROVEMENT AND ENJOYMENT
By David Fineg
Golf is an interesting game. It parallels life. It can tune you up, or tear you down. Golf is easy. It gives you exactly what you ask for, every time, without any argument. Did you want anger or joy? Pleasure or pain? High blood pressure or heart health? No problem. You got it. Golf is the hardest sport on the planet to play at the highest level. It is the easiest sport to play at the enjoyment level. You must make every effort to have some fun. When you are having fun, you are getting better. As you get better, you have more fun. Over the years I have been able to compile the information I think it takes to maximize your potential for enjoyment. I would never presume to be able to help you with your swing. What I know is how to help you have more fun.
THE THREE NOBLE TRUTHS
You need a repeatable procedure for locating a reliable swing.
I once heard Jack Nicholas say that one of the primary reasons he went out to the practice area before a round, was so he could see what kind of a swing he was going to have that day. You need to be able to locate YOUR SWING every time you go out to practice or play! There is a way to do that. The basis for this is eliminating all the variables in your warm-up routine.
1. Always start the warmup with a seven iron. It's length is right in the middle of the set. Start with your hands chocked all the way down the club. The less club in your hand, the more control you have over the club.
2. Start your warm-up by trying to find the power of pure impact with the smallest, slowest, softest swing you can make. Try to see how small of a swing you can make, try to see how slowly you can make that swing, try to see how softly you can hit the ball. This will help your mind to focus on the impact zone in the swing. By the way, when I am talking about slow swings, I am not talking about tempo, I am talking about club head speed. Try not to make any club head speed. DO NOT look at the ball flight of any of the first ten to twenty swings (if you can) Concentrate on the swing itself, and not bother with the result of the swing.
Once you are hitting them purely with a three "S" swing, then start growing out the swing slowly, until you reach a point in the size of the swing where you can no longer rely on the outcome. That is the size of your swing for that day. If you endeavor to maintain that swing you will maximize your potential to have fun.
MASTERY of the MAXIMIZE/MINIMIZE MATRIX! The basis of this packet is knowing what you can do and what you can't do. You can maximize your possibilities of success by attempting only those shots you are confident you can make. In fact you should minimize your opinion of your ability, and play the game with that in mind. That way you will be satisfied with your performance more often. Here are some more ideas you can use to increase your enjoyment level... 1. Keep score on only every fifth round. Play all other rounds with the goal being to make as many good swings in a row as you can make. During those four rounds, do not look for any shots hit out into the O'BYSS. Drop the ball in the middle of the fairway, on a perfect lie, where you figure it would have landed, had it been hit well. 2. Add a stroke (or two) to the par of every hole in order to lessen the pressure associated with having to hit any one shot great. 3. Forget about greens in regulation. 4. Take only clubs to the course, that you can hit with extreme confidence at the range. 5. Try to shoot "bogey" golf from the front set of tees, before moving back to the next set of tees. Endeavor to increase the difficulty levels slowly. 6. Take the club that is TWO clubs longer than you think you need so your mind can let you take a swing you can control. Remember, a 600 yard par five is a hole you have to be within putting distance in 4 strokes. You have a 150 yard shot in your bag don't you? Approaching the golf from this angle will allow you to increase your potential for success. 7. Always take your medicine! Forget about the hero shots. Always, strategy with an emphasis on conservatism.
RESPECT FOR THE GAME. RESPECT FOR THE THE GOLFER. RESPECT FOR THE GOLF COURSE.
Packet #3 involves knowing a little about the majesty of golf. It is a game elevated above the "moronic nonsense". It is a game of quiet jubilation. It is a game of tactics, skill, respect, and GOOD behavior. Let's address these in reverse. Starting with respect for the golf course. You are going to do some damage to the golf course. REPAIR YOUR DAMAGE! Consider repairing some other damage as well. When you take a giant divot out of the fairway, replace it. Did you know that a divot left unrepaired will take something like one to three months to repair itself. A divot filled with sand will take a month to get down the road to repair. A divot with the grass returned to the gouge and tamped down begins it repair process within a week. If you find yourself actually hitting the green with your approach shots, (yeah, right) you will notice dents created by the impact of the golf ball. Learn how to properly repair these dents, (some people call these ball marks) repair them, and repair any others you may find while waiting to putt out. Be aware of where you are driving. Scatter carts in different access points. Don't drive up the middle. Don't park on the putting green or the tee box. Carts do more damage than anything else. Except maybe the beginning "excavator". Or the golfer that doesn't care about anything other than himself. (Notice I used the word "himself". That was on purpose)
Although I have only played golf with a very few women, I have never seen one that didn't repair her damage. Not one. NEXT, respect for the golfer. Golf is a game of Quiet Jubilation. BE QUIET! It's not that a golfer couldn't hit a golf ball while people were screaming, it's that golf is a dignified game where everybody SHUTS UP. NEXT, Nobody wants to hear your excuses why you are hacking it. No pre-excusing. No excusing-in-sync. No post-excusing. But, I digress. In addition to being quiet during the game, you need to be aware of the other golfers play in order to play safe "ready" golf, and to allow for the best potential of each player. Stay out of the line of all putts of any player. Stay out of the line of view of all players during any stroke. If you are a beginner, pick up after double bogey on the hole, regardless of where you are on the hole. Be extremely conscious of pace of play. You can get in plenty of shots without holding anyone up. General awareness of good behavior is important. This is just a start. It is up to you to pick up the rest. Lastly, is respect for the game. I know your tired so I will be brief. I've talked about it all during this article. Golf is a game of dignity, respect, and quiet jubilation. Appreciate your opportunity to commune with your buddies or spouse, enjoy the majesty of nature for a few hours, and see how many good swings in a row you can make. Let yourself enjoy the moment.
Forget about the last one, and think about the next one. Encourage yourself and others. Look for the pleasure in golf. Make it easier to find.
ALL TEN CUPS ARTICLES PRINTED ON "SEPTIC SAFE" PAPER