Trying Not To Get Too Analytical With My Golf Swing

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Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , , , | Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I just finished watching last week's episode of the Big Break, Dominican Republic. This season features former contestants from prior Big Break competitions. It is a team competition. A battle of the sexes for a chance at $50,000.

The one thing that stuck out in my mind was the mindset of Brian Skatell and how it hurts his game. The other players call him "The Ticking Time Bomb." Brian calls himself "the most intelligent and analytical" of the group and ironically his smarts gets in the way.

Brian is the "analytical" golfer. He analyzes every shot and every situation. On top of that, he is a perfectionist. When things do not work out in his favor, he self implodes. Whenever he hits a bad shot, he gets so down on himself, it ruins any chance of hitting a good one on his next shot.

I find my self doing the same time when I am practicing and during a round. When I hit a bad shot, I get really angry. I do not throw clubs or start offering up a series of expletives, but I can definitely feel the blood starting to boil in my veins.

I guess it is because I know I can hit the shot. I have done it before, so why can't I do it every time? The fact is, even the pros have mishits from time to time. If the pros do it, why should I, an amateur who has only been playing for three and a half years, put so much pressure on himself?

The answer, I am a perfectionist like Brian. I want to be good now and if I am not then I am trying to figure out why. I feel like the guy in the picture above. Way too much thinking going on for only 1.5 seconds. Way too many expectations.

Most pros, when asked what they are thinking about during their swing will say, "nothing." I guess they know and understand that the only one that can get in the way of a good swing is their own negative thoughts.

Sometimes we have to learn from other peoples mistakes. Watching Brian get so frustrated with himself reminded me not explode after a bad shot. Bad shots are going to happen. What matters most is what I do next. I can choose to let my frustrations simmer in my belly, causing another bad shot or I can let it slide and move on.

Ben Hogan said, "the most important shot in golf is the next one." I have to be ready physically and mentally for the next shot at hand. What happened on the last shot no longer matters. I can't change it, so why worry about it?

David MacKenzie, who publishes Golf State Of Mind has this article about the best swing thoughts to have during your swing. He gives the reader great advice on how to clear the mind of useless thoughts that deliver unwanted results.

I have received some valuable instruction and now it is time to commit to what I have learned and trust it. My mind can be my own worst enemy if I allow it. My mind can also be my greatest asset. I like assets. The more assets you have to more you can build and grow and right now I'm trying to build a better golf game.

Have a great round and always hit your target.

Image courtesy of Swingology Golf Schools



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Comments (4)

  1. October 13, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    You wrote, "I guess it is because I know I can hit the shot. I have done it before, so why can't I do it every time?" I can help you with this one!

    I'm pretty sure it has something to do with being human. Since when do humans do anything perfectly?

    You quoted Ben Hogan. Did you know that he also said, “Golf is not a game of good shots. It's a game of bad shots”? And somewhere I heard that he said he expected to hit seven bad shots per round.

    Here's a little "mind game" you might try playing with yourself when you get upset over a bad shot. Remind yourself that Ben Hogan allowed himself seven per round, so you're not even allowed to get upset until you've hit seven bad shots... and then, when you start to get upset over the eighth (or the ninth or...) ask yourself, "Since when did you get better than Ben Hogan? If he expected to hit seven bad ones -- and he's Ben Hogan, for Pete's sake -- how many do you think you should expect to hit?" If that doesn't make you bust out laughing -- and thus avoid getting upset -- then you just aren't paying attention. ;-)

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  3. October 15, 2010 at 8:06 AM

    @Mike-Just who do I think I am huh:-) That's a great game to remember. I guess I should allow myself at least 12 to 14 bad shots. If I get below that, it will be like a small victory.

    Hopefully I can get in a round this weekend. It has been raining because of the outer bands from the hurricane near Cuba.

    And yes, I was laughing by the time I finished your comment. Puts it all in perspective.

  4. October 15, 2010 at 8:17 AM

    @Scott-I took a look at the website. Seems like an interesting product. I'm sure golfers love seeing their ball take off and gain a few yards.

    At this point I'm really trying to learn about the swing and what makes it work. I want to gain yards by swinging the club correctly.

    Using the spray at this point would only give me false (hope)feedback. Plus if I play in any local tournaments I can't use it because it isn't USGA approved as yet.

    I know a couple of buddies of mine who love to get a hold of your product. All they care about is how long they hit it.

    Out of curiosity, how does the spray affect the other aspects of the game like chipping and putting. Does it increase ball spin as well, making it easier to spin the ball around the greens or does it have the adverse affect? How about putting? Does it make the ball roll differently on the greens?

    Thanks for stopping by. Good luck in all that you do.