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The Direct Path to Happier Golf

It’s great when someone tells me that their main reason for playing the game is for enjoyment. After all, that’s why we play games as children. For the simple joy of playing.

If you are enjoying your golf, you can skip through the rest of this article. Over the next few weeks I’ll be in touch with some ideas and insights to help you get the most out of the game

If on the other hand, there have been times recently when you aren’t feeling as inspired by the game as you remember being when you first fell in love with it, please read on.

Different Reasons For Playing

As we become adults or as we get better at golf, different motives sneak into the equation. We start putting conditions on our enjoyment. The game has to be a certain way for us to get the feelings we want. This is usually in terms of shooting a score within a small band of expectations.

We worry about what other people will think of our play, leading to feelings of pressure if our performance doesn’t meet a certain standard.

I hope this article will point you back to the excitement you felt when you fell in love with the game. To remind you of the freedom you played with as a child. These feelings are always available. But they get obscured by the myths and misunderstandings that get in the way of playing the game for its own sake, making enjoyment conditional on an outcome or result.

I am aware that the ideas you read about on this site and in my books might conflict with much of what mainstream golf instruction has to say, so don’t worry if feelings of confusion and uncertainty arise.

This philosophy has been around for thousands of years, a lot longer than the game of golf. It’s just that the game seems to be taking a while to catch on to them.

For The Love of the Game?

For many golfers, the idea that you could enjoy the game regardless of how you play might seem like a miracle. It’s easy to forget that miracles are not contrary to reality. Miracles are contrary to what we believe about reality.

100 years ago the concept of communication by mobile telephone would have seemed miraculous. Today it is normal.

What would golf look and feel like if you knew you could enjoy it regardless of your score or how you played? What would happen to the feelings of anxiety, insecurity or frustration that are constant companions for many of us?

Golfers often say that these are the feelings which prevent them from enjoying the game as much as they hoped they would when they head to the course.

This suggests that there is a real thirst for knowledge in this area among golfers of all levels, ages and abilities.

Are You Working at the Game?

Once you strip away all the conditioned belief and misinformation, you are left with a beautiful simplicity. The experience of playing a game, in the same way we did when we were children.

The joy is in the playing, not in the outcome or result.

Think about it for a moment. When you are playing your best golf, does it feel easy, or complicated?

Hard work, or effortless? Are you doing more, or doing less?

Time and again we are advised by the wisest sages and teachers, ‘look for simplicity’. A good golf swing is a simple golf swing.

The mental side of the game is no different. Finding that simplicity is an act of peeling away layers of unhelpful thinking. Stripping away beliefs which don’t serve us.

This process is sometimes known as ‘reductive psychology’. When you have taken away all that is superfluous, you are left with only that which is essential.

When you are going on a journey, would you rather carry excess baggage, or just the essentials?

A Fork in the Road

As with many journeys, there are a number of paths you can take towards your destination. And it’s OK if you don’t have a clear idea about where that might be

Discovering the best path for you lies in simply continuing the process you have already begun by reading this page.

Using logic and reason to strip away, one by one, the ideas and concepts which don’t make sense. This can be a long and exhaustive process, especially when it comes to trying to make sense of the myriad thoughts and feelings we experience every day.

The mind is infinitely creative.

Capable of imagining an endless variety and complexity of scenarios and outcomes, ideas and theories.

There really is no limit to the ways a human being can distract themselves.

Now you are on the path to understanding how your mind really works, you can choose how quickly you move along it.

If you want to take the scenic route, to cut your own path through the jungle, that’s fine.

Please continue to question and explore your beliefs about the game.

Gradually you will get closer to the truth until eventually, you arrive at a way of thinking and a way of playing which works for you.

The Power of an Insight

There is another way. I’m not going to call it a short cut, but it is quicker, more direct and the outcome is more assured.

If you suddenly learn what is true, in that instant you also see what isn’t true.

This is what happens when you have an insight, when you suddenly understand something.

Rather than continuing to plod along, discarding one belief after another, you suddenly find that dozens of redundant ideas, concepts and superstitions can be safely dumped at the roadside.

Your thinking drops away and a clarity of mind and a fresh sense of purpose remains.

Having stumbled upon this myself a few years ago, I wrote a couple of books to share these ideas with other golfers who might be feeling how I was feeling about the game.

If you’d like to know more, or if you have any questions about the ideas you have read here, please follow this link to schedule a conversation about your golf.

The call is completely free of charge and there is no obligation to take things any further.

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