The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

Having a great  week in San Diego with the grandkids. I thought this would be a good time to give a little  synopsis of the blog. I started this blog in August of 2010 with a two fold purpose. One was to keep me playing. Even though I have a played this game a long time, over 50 years I had 2 brief breaks. One was in 1964 because I was helping my Dad with a major remodeling project. I then quit playing from October of 1994 to May of 1996 for various reasons not the least of which was frustration. The interesting thing I discovered, was that I did not miss the game at all. In retrospect I should have sat out another year but came back that year at the urging of golf buddies. When I told people I was going to quit playing for awhile I got various reactions, including had I joined some religious cult where I had to give up something I really liked. I wonder if anybody got this reaction when they quit bowling.   When I came back, I came back with a vengeance. I played in many golf tournaments, had some intense instruction in 2004 and 2005 but again was getting very frustrated with a lack of progress. I was about ready to quit again for good when I came up with the idea to play all the public golf courses with 90 minutes of my house. I came up with the number 90 for the number of courses because it would be 90 courses within 90 minutes. I thought I would be able to do this in about 1 year. Naturally it has taken a lot longer than that. Then I moved the number up to 100. The other purpose was to try to find a way to make this game easier and less frustrating. I have read golf instruction books and articles and have done pretty intense research on the golf swing. Recently I have found what I consider the key to the golf swing and I have described this in previous blogs. Now it is on to the mental game and the less than full swing game. There are  two things that make golf totally unique.

There is no opponent that can influence the results of your play.

There is no standard of a playing field. Just think if they moved the foul line in basketball, the pitching mound, changed the size of football field or width of the goal posts.

The big question I have right now is do we put too much emphasis on the mental game. Golf instruction has become so technologically advanced that there is not one movement of the swing, the pitch, the chip, or the putt, that has not been dissected to the minutest detail. You would think that if you are having a physical problem with your swing that with a good instructor it would be discovered. If everything looks good then your problem is in your head. I am not too sure that is correct. In the coming weeks I will see if I can prove this premise. Last week I quoted an article about advice to hit the ball with a blank mind. This article was written in a magazine The American Golfer that was published between 1920 and around 1935. This advise was given by Stuart Maiden, “the wee Scotsman” in 1922. Stuart Maiden was Bobby Jones’s only instructor. When I say I have researched the golf swing I am not kidding. I will be in San Diego through Wednesday and I will be back on the links by Thursday and adding new courses the following week.   

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2 Responses to The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

  1. I would be interested in your results of your premise that we focus too much on the mental part of the game. Golf is an interesting sport and I like to talk about the swing, course management and just having fun. I think that expectations have much to do about the ones frustration level. Have fun in San Diego!

    Cheers
    Jim

  2. Brian Penn says:

    The one constant I have found from all the times that I’ve struggled on the golf course is that I am thinking about mechanics. Inevitably, when I return to just hitting shots at targets, it frees me up to play my best. The mind-body connection is weird in the way that works, but it does. Can’t wait to hear your findings on the mental game, thanks!

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