The Thinking is Done – Just Practice

My instruction has many little nuances that make HUGE differences. These are mostly setup. I push routine, routine, routine to my students and the reason is the routine is the vehicle for lasting change. If you do something enough, it becomes muscle memory, but if you rethink or relearn something every time, it is brand new to your mind each time, makes you anxious, and does not get programmed as a muscle memory item since it is not repetitious… it keeps changing. The real long lasting change (muscle memory), only comes when something is exactly the same each time for many repetitions over a long period of time. How many repetitions? How long? are totally individual. I do know, the students that focus, don’t change and practice almost like a machine, program much faster…. the “Thinkers” or “Re-learners” never get off the ground and never will. Again, it is because the mind is relearning each time. Real productive practice is repetitious and sometimes boring. It is about programming “Trust” that what you have, is right and will get the job done! The results are awesome.

Here was a reply to a student who has all the pieces and just needs time and no more thinking…

Everything you said and discovered is right. These are the puzzle pieces. Right now you feel like there is a lot of steps, but the small movements will combine into just a few comforting reminders during the routine (after weeks and months of repetition like any other real, lasting change). The best part is once learned, there are so few pieces, the golf swing comes down to Shoulder/Body turn. All Large Muscles and Repeatable. If anything goes wrong, it will almost always be there was a grip pressure change during the swing or slight setup adjustment. You just need time and repetition. It is like the thinking part is done, now stay focused on the same few components over and over in a routine and it will hold up on the course… Ross

How to Take it from the Range to the Course

Many, many of my students and golfers in general have stated they feel they have improved and see the results on the Driving Range, but then seem to lose it out on the course. How do you incorporate your “New” changes to your game?

Routine, Routine, Routine! Okay, you already know this but do you have the discipline to actually do it??? Most don’t or don’t know how. You need commitment, patience, discipline and concentration to stick to your new routine (especially when the wheels are falling off). Many panic and go back to anything that feels familiar as to not embarrass themselves. This is the time when it is MOST IMPORTANT to stay with your routine!

Confidence and Consistency only come when your Self Image (the real deal in your head) believes you have improved and have spent the time and effort necessary to have a level change. You can not fool yourself. This confidence comes (in time) when you stick to a Productive Routine long enough for it to become muscle memory. I know this sounds like a lot of words but it is the Truth. The Automatic feeling in golf comes when you are confident, and can anticipate a positive result. This comes when you have an iron clad routine and do not change it from swing to swing depending on your emotions.

A good Routine has (II) Parts. Setup and Shot. (This is mine. Takes 14 seconds):

PART (I) The Setup

(Behind ball looking at target) I visualize the shot in my mind while I…

1. Check that my, grip is ready, elbows close together, shaft inline with left arm, club face square to my grip. I call this my Template (3 sec)

2. Pick an alignment Spot about a foot in front of ball that I will watch constantly as I walk up to the ball then turn slightly to setup. (2 sec)

3. As I am setting up I use only my feet to adjust my Square Hips and Level Shoulders and Template, parallel to my target line. Your body must stay square and parallel to itself. (2 sec)

4. Now I check that I’m Balanced and Athletic with a sit down (Football Quarterback ready kinda feeling) to know I am centered and ready. * The club is right behind the ball at ground level (not floating above) (2 sec)

* NOT ONCE HAVE I LOOKED AT THE TARGET… ONLY MY ALIGNMENT SPOT. I WILL ONLY LOOK AT THE TARGET WHEN I AM READY TO PULL THE TRIGGER. this keeps me from getting anxious and keeps me in the moment of setting up.

5. Now that I am comfortable and setup I tell myself… “I am ready” and completely STOP …Stopping is very important as to not run the setup right into the shot and the shot gets rushed because anxiety is gathering.

… END OF PART (I)

Now for part (II) The Shot

At this point, I am totally setup and ready to take the shot. There is no need for any more thinking about alignment or setup. Only what I want to do on the Backswing and on the Downswing.

1. Moving ONLY MY HEAD (do not lift up) I STARE AT THE TARGET. While I am staring, I say to myself, in the rhythm I will do it, my Keywords. The keywords are 2 triggers… a word to start your takeaway and a word to start the downswing. In my case I use:

PUSH >>> Which for me means push the club and arms straight back using the front shoulder.

HIPS <<< Which means to start the downswing using the hips first and unwind to the finish. (3 sec)

2. Then when I look back at the ball, I apply the 2 words I just thought of {PUSH} {HIPS} and the shot is done. (2 sec)

I can not tell you how powerful starring at the target and telling your body what to do and then immediately doing it, is!!! It works great! Remember one thing, when you look back from starring at the target GO !! DO NOT HESITATE OR START THINKING…ALL THINKING IS DONE.. JUST TRUST YOUR 2 WORDS AND GO.