The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

The blog is a day late because of a very busy weekend with dinner on Sunday night. This week I continued to play better despite less than ideal playing conditions. On Wednesday with 40 degree temperatures under a light mist and wind most of the day I shot 75 at Scenic Valley. On Thursday with about the same temps and a brief sleet storm that lasted a half a hole I shot 77 at Village Green. Yesterday at Scenic Valley with a little better conditions I had a real erratic day but managed to shoot 78.  I have a little 70’s streak going right now. Now it’s time to get serious. This has been the year to try and find the key to mental success in this game. While I have not been  successful in this endeavor, and it has caused by handicap to go from 3.1 to about 4.7, I feel that I have come to some important conclusions and have had a very productive learning experience. First lets get to some definitions.

The Physical Game: I define this as the way you grip the club, address the ball, and swing the club. The same thing can be said for putting. Its the way you grip the putter, address the ball, and stroke the putt.

The Mental Game: I define this as the way you plan your shots and what you are thinking when you make a swing or stroke a putt. It also includes the way you react to the results of each shot.

So the first question is, How much is this game physical, and how much is it mental. If you read instruction articles, one of the most common numbers put out there is, it is 90% mental and 10% physical. I do not agree. As far as I am concerned it is a 50-50 split. So lets look at the two sides.

1. Lets say you have a great mental game. Everytime you step on the tee you are focused on the middle of the fairway and are able block out the hazards right and left. You have complete confidence on the read of the green and think you are going to make every putt. But if your grip sucks, your alignment is wrong and you swing like a basball player, your going to put the ball all over the lot.

2. On the other side of the coin, your physical game is textbook. But if everytime you step up to the tee your thinking about trouble or doubting something, you are going to hit it  all over the lot, also.

A golfer in order to play to the best of his ability, must perfect the mind-body connection. The mind can not take over the body and body can not take over the mind. They must work together in unison. Obviously I have not perfected this, or the blog would have a different name. I will discuss in future blogs other reasons I think this is a 50-50 spit. The above 2 examples are extreme but you get the point.

In the coming weeks I am going to write about what I call the A’s of the mental game. The A’s are: Acceptance and  Awareness  Or what I call the good A’s    Anger and Anxiety or the bad A’s.  How you do with the first four A’s will affect the last A of the mental game Adjustment.

I will be heading for San Diego to spend Halloween with the grandkids, so there will be no rounds of golf this week. But there will be plenty to write about in the coming weeks.

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

  1. Vet

    Well you pose some very good questions. I would suggest it is a sliding scale. When you first start playing golf, the physical game is about 90%. Every new player is focusing on, and rightly so, their swing, address, stroke, and/or tempo! As you progress to a single digit handicapper like you and I, the mental game plays about 70% of your game. (also sometimes higher depending on how your game is going) I do enjoy the discussion and look forward to your future posts. Enjoy San Diego….are you dressing up as a golfer this year… 😉

    Cheers
    Jim

  2. Brian Penn says:

    I am with Vet on the split between physical and mental. In my completely unscientific self poll of “ah ha” moments, roughly half are in each camp. Great topic for discussion, thanks!

  3. The next blog will discuss the mental experiments I did this year which led me to believe the game is 50/50. No I am going as an old guy, no costume needed. I will be going through my notes this week because I am trying to forget most of them.

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