I played golf with one of my golf mentoring clients last week.
It’s something I like to do as soon as possible after we start working together.
It’s OK seeing someone hit golf balls on the driving range or in the studio, but there’s nothing like playing 18 holes to get a complete picture of someone’s game.
Like many golfers, David’s main desire was for more consistency.
He played some great golf but hit several shots which led to big numbers on his card.
It was clear to see that for David to lower his handicap, the main task wasn’t to improve his swing or help him hit the ball further.
It was to reduce, or if possible, eliminate the 4 or 5 really bad shots he hit in most rounds.
Unfortunately, David had been led to believe that he needed to perfect his golf swing for this to happen.
My question to him was this: “If your golf swing is so flawed, how come you made five birdies out there today?”
The prevailing wisdom has it that consistency comes from ‘doing the same thing in the same way on every swing.’
So that’s what we try to do.
Unfortunately, I haven’t met anyone that can stick to this strategy.
Some golfers might manage it for a few holes, or for a round, or at a stretch for a tournament.
But at some point they hit a poor shot.
They try to fix it by doing or trying something on the next shot.
Another mishit follows and before long they are caught in the ‘swing thought trap’. Trying something different on every swing.
No wonder golfers have so much trouble playing their best on a regular basis.
In my experience, there is only one way to resist the temptation of the swing thought sweetie jar.
Stop trying to do anything when you are playing golf on the golf course!
This includes trying to stop thinking or trying to clear your mind.
Thoughts are going to come and go whether you like it or not.
You just don’t need to do anything with them.
Most golfers say they play their best when they feel free and unburdened.
My question to you is this: Are you more or less likely to feel this way when you are trying to do something with your swing? Or when you aren’t trying.
Maybe the key to consistency isn’t ‘doing the same thing on every shot’, but not trying to do anything on any shot?
What could be more consistent than doing nothing?
Give it a try next time you play.
Thoughts will appear and disappear. Just don’t do anything with them.
What happens if you become more curious about the space in which they arise than the thoughts themselves?
Please feel free to get in touch and let me know how you get on.