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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in mental game

Posted by on in Instructional Product Reviews

quantum-golfThis book is the quintessential "when the student is ready, the master will appear" book. This book is not for everyone, seeing as out of the 115 pages that make up the book, less than 3 are really about any sort of technique. This book is about the mental side of the game, how a player can break through to that next level of golf (ie. breaking par for the first time, breaking 80, etc..), and win tournaments. 

The reader is taken to a remote golf course in Iowa, where we are introduced to John Smith, a frustrated golfer. The enlightened teacher he meets is named Linc St. Clair. Despite the requests of Smith, St. Clair makes it very clear that these lessons will not be about technique. He makes it very clear right off the bat that traditional, or classic, technique is important but will only get you so far. It is playing Quantum Golf that will get you to the next level. 

Our hero goes through a series of lessons that dramatically improve his game from that point forward. The first is feeling, then the teacher moves on to other lessons that compound on the first lesson. The point of the lessons are to get all of the analytical thoughts out of John's head. The teacher wants John to experience the feeling of a balanced, smooth swing. When thoughts of technique are removed, all you're left with is the swing. You just hit the ball. 

The book is a fascinating story, one that I can personally relate to, and a quick read. I think I finished the whole book in a couple of hours. The imagery found within this book, along with the breathing exercises, make for some great takeaways for when you're out on the course again. Shooting par is not about left hand here, right shoulder there. It's just about playing golf. This book reveals that type of thinking through Linc St. Clair, as he in turn conveys the message to an average golfer just trying to break through to the next level of golf. 

Like I said, I don't think this book is necessarily for beginners. There is little, if any talk of technique in this book, and for good reason. If you're a golf who's trying to break 80, or trying to break par for the first time, or you're wondering a little bit about the mental side of the game, I would recommend this book. But the fact is, if you've never picked up a golf club, you do need to learn technique. Even "naturals" like Tiger woods, Rickie Fowler, etc.. went through a long period of trial and error before they could go out and play well in difficult conditions. 

The crossover period, however, is when you've read the books, played with great players, and you want to go out and win tournaments and shoot low scores. At that point, thinking about technique will do more harm than good. What this book does is it completely removes any thought of technique from your head, and plants the idea in your mind that the absence of analysis equals good golf. It's a really great message, but not one you should believe the first time you pick up a club. 

If you're looking for a golf book to set your mental game right, this book is for you. 

For those interested, here's a link to the book on amazon (some copies are going for $.01): Quantum Golf

Tagged in: mental game
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Getting Hooked on Golf thanks to Swingbuild with David Blair

        There's one guaranteed way to get addicted to something (nonchemical, of course).  It's called the "Gambler's Addiction."  Very basically, if you are rewarded inconsistently for the same activity, you become addicted to that feeling of suspense that comes with that activity.  Pulling a lever on a slot machine, playing blackjack, seeing the flop in texas hold 'em, all that stuff is horribly addicting.  You never know when that reward is coming.  
        Golf is addictive, especially for beginners, because the action of hitting the ball onto a largely unknown golf course is difficult enough that a player feels powerless to control what happens when they swing.  Sometimes everything goes right and a magical event occurs.  A beginning player refers to this as a good shot.  The problem is when you start playing golf you have no idea what you're doing.  Hitting a bad shot makes you mad because you don't know what you did wrong.  Hitting a good shot makes you think about what you did right.  Both of these responses (feeling bad or thinking about your swing) lead to poor results.  To cure to these bad results, you need to learn about what to do.
        There are two ways to learn how to play.  You can pay for a private lesson or you can try to teach yourself using whatever resources you have available.  I'm a teacher.  I couldn't afford to pay for something I didn't know would get me good results.  
        I went to YouTube looking for online lessons and found Swingbuild golf with David Blair.  Mr. Blair is an incredibly passionate and talented golf instructor based in Scotland.  I learned all I could from his YouTube videos and paid to subscribe to his series of online instructional videos.  What I learned from Mr. Blair were simple and effective techniques to achieve consistent results.  I just got a whole lot better at gambling.  Nothing more addictive than that.
        Everything I learned from Mr. Blair in the summer of 2010 can be learned here on the Dirt.  The video vault is the place to go.  If you're just starting out, be sure to check out the Five Lessons video series with Elk and Sevam1.  It takes some digging to find but its worth it to learn the fundamentals.


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Posted by on in Village Blogs

Dr Karl Morris mind coach to many successful EU players including Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood, Darren Clark, Padraig Harrington.


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Posted by on in Village Blogs

I recently broke par for the first time on one of my local courses. I've broken par many times before, but for some reason had never broke par on this course. It's only a par 33, but has a few difficult holes that you can make bogeys on. I've shot par and +1 countless times, but I finally broke through a couple weeks ago with a 31. Here's how I did it using a variation of something that Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen talked about recently

1. No "Mechanical Thoughts"- Any time I wanted to start analyzing my swing, I stopped myself. I suffered from paralysis in this arena for a long time, but one day realized that the only thing you can do on the course is play with what you have that day. If I hooked it a little bit, I started thinking of a cut, and vice versa. Off the tee I just wanted to keep the ball in play. The scoring comes from 100 yds and in.

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Seven Principles of GolfThe Seven Principles of Golf by Darrin Gee

Seven Principles is not really like other golf books I’ve read. This book sits in a valley between the mental game and the mechanical parts of the game.

Tagged in: mental game
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