Improve your game without changing your swing

Unlock your golfing potential
This is the third week in a mini-series on the ‘inner game’ of golf. Only through a ‘holistic’ approach to your golf game, including working on the ‘inner game’, will you start to realise you potential and enjoy your golf more.

The Performance Triangle
Have you ever noticed how your performance dips when you least want it to? For most golfers the most obvious case is when we get a ‘Medal’ card in our hands.

Is it playing from a slightly longer course that makes the difference?

Have you often played well leading up to the medal only to find that your game deserts you on the day?

We have already discussed the fact that tension is the biggest wrecker of a golf swing and come medal day I have no doubt this plays a part. However, I also believe there is another force at work and it is to do with your focus of attention.

The Performance Triangle (below left) shows Performance (Score or shot outcome), Learning and Enjoyment. You will play your best golf when you have equal amounts of focus on each of the three parts. In other words, when you reside dead centre of the triangle where the green dot is.

Come medal day we naturally focus more on our score and very often golfers lose sight, albeit temporarily, of the enjoyment factor. A good score becomes the sole focus and the perception is that “if I score well, I will enjoy it”.

Golf by its very nature is a game focused on score – after all, the objective of the game is to play the course in as few shots as possible.

Further focus on score is created by the golfers themselves – after nearly every competitive round the first question I hear golfers ask each other is, “What have you shot today?”

My advice is to focus on what you can enjoy today. Stay present by playing one shot at a time and after the round reflect upon what you have learned.

Johnny Miller, who won The Open in 1976 once said, “I would have been a fool not to have been a good golfer. After every game of golf my father asked me only two questions – what have your learned today son? And, what have you enjoyed?”

Here are a couple of practical exercises you can do…

1.Three Shot Diary
After every round of golf write up, in detail, the three best shots you have played that day. Make each description as vivid as you can including details such as weather, the distance, club used, your thoughts, how it felt etc.

It should be written in such a way that the reader can experience the shot too.

There are numerous benefits to this exercise;

  1. You finish the round reflecting on the positives – certainly more enjoyable than talking about all the negatives!
  2. During a round, no matter what your score or shot you have just played – the next shot becomes an opportunity to be one for your diary.
  3. If your game ever enters a slump or before a particularly important game of golf simply reading back through all your successes will set you in a better frame of mind.

The final point helps to create a positive affirmation. An affirmation is a declaration that something is true. Many golfers create negative affirmations such as, “I’m a bad driver of the golf ball.”

The three shot diary will help you to create an affirmation but one that is positive and therefore much more beneficial to your golf game.

2.Good Shot Tally
Simply write down on a piece of paper or the side of a scorecard a tally mark for every good shot you hit. Just count how many there were each game. Don’t worry too much about the number of good shots, just aim to get a tally mark for every shot you hit, including putts!

If you want to unlock your potential simply book your initial 60 minute session from just £20.00 at Dunes Golf Centre.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PGA GOLF LESSONS AT DUNES GOLF CENTRE

Unlock your golfing potential

Unlock your golfing potential
I have had a fantastic response from the e-newsletter last week that talked about performance versus potential. It seems many of you are aware of how your thinking affects your performance.

Here is the second part in a mini-series on the ‘inner game’ of golf.

Only through a ‘holistic’ approach to your golf game, including working on the ‘inner game’, will you start to realise your potential and enjoy your golf more.

The ‘Self Fulfilling’ Prophecy
Psychologically, fear produces the reaction of trying too hard to maintain control. If you are afraid of missing the fairway you can be overly cautious – you try to steer the shot and make an awkward swing. When we do this the ball inevitably heads for the rough – it is a self fulfilling prophecy!

Physically, fear produces bodily reactions where blood flows to our bigger muscles so we have less feel in our hands and we tend to make poor decisions with our brains. Adrenaline flows freely and we get speedy and jumpy.

The fear of a bad result causes the muscles to tighten up during the swing. This can lead to sudden jerky movements – exactly what a good swing is not.

Curing the problem:
Choose the shot you feel the most confident about playing. You have to accept the range of outcomes of the shot – good and bad. Commit fully to the process without letting anxiousness over the outcome inhibit your abilities.

Don’t think of a pink elephant!
Having read the above statement I am pretty sure that a pink elephant just popped into your mind, right?

This is because the mind does not have a specific image or understanding of the word “DON’T”.

This is why often the thought “Don’t duff it in the water,” is followed by just that result.

Sometimes the mind takes the word “Don’t” to be a call to action against a negative outcome and it will produce the complete opposite result.

An example of this would be “Don’t hit it out of bounds left,” your mind may direct your body to send the ball as far from the left side as you can. That’s why you may find yourself in the trees on the right – you did a good job of not hitting it left but not such a good job of getting it on the fairway.

Overcome this by stating a positive intention before you play every shot. In the examples above “Do” make your target the green and “Do” intend to hit the right hand side of the fairway.

Imagine driving your car home thinking of everything you “Don’t” want to hit. It would be a very torrid and nerve racking drive home and I would imagine far more likely to end in disaster.

Enjoy your golf more this year
If you want to unlock your potential simply book an initial lesson with me at Dunes Golf Centre for just £30.00. Call 01346 510693 or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/lessons/

New Course Record in Mini US Open

Dunes Golf Centre played host to the second Mini-Major of the year as the Short Game Zone was transformed in to a mini Erin Hills.

The nine-hole layout tested golfers of all abilities in a chip n putt event spread over the same four days as the real US Open Event that took place between 15th and 18th June.

Each competitor could enter as many times as they wanted right up until the cut off time of 3pm on Sunday.

With sponsorship from TaylorMade and Dunes Golf Centre, a fantastic prize table was up for grabs in the three categories of; Men, Women and Juniors.

Prize Winners: Vic Buchan, Lucy Watt and James Buchan

In the Men’s section Doug Allan took third place with a score of 22, second place went to Jackie Tait on 21 and the winner, with a great score of 20 was James Buchan.

New Course Record Holder: Jackie Thoirs

James’s score would have been a new course record if it was not for a truly magnificent performance in the Women’s section. Jackie Thoirs set the course alight with an incredible score of just 19 shots to win by six from Lucy Watt and Vic Buchan, both on 25 and taking second and third respectively.

The highlight of Jackie’s round was a hole in one on the final hole!

It would seem that Jackie’s new set of Callaway Clubs and a lesson on chipping not long ago is starting to pay off as she wrote this on Facebook.
“New clubs and coaching by Peter Myers starting to work really well. Anyone looking for golf lessons, I would really recommend Peter at Dunes Golf Centre.”

In the Junior section Luke Allan made it two out of two majors as he took the top spot on a countback from Callum Milne. Both youngsters scored 25 but Luke had the better last 5 holes. Still a tremendous effort from Callum and at just 8 years old he is definitely one to watch for the future.

Luke will now have to wait until the Mini-Open championship next month to see if he can keep his quest for a Major Grand Slam on track.

Father & Son, Doug & Luke Allan in the prizes

Mathew Cardno took the third place position with a score of 27.

In total 177 rounds of golf were played over the four days and we were delighted to see so many families out there enjoying playing together.

Our mission is to grow participation in the game and we know what a wonderful sport it is for families to play together.

The Short Game Zone is a permanent fixture at the Golf Centre and is available to play all year round, 7 days a week. It costs just £2.50 for all day play and with a whole host of different games available it will entertain you and the family for hours. Club and ball hire is free of charge too!

The Mini Majors are going to be a permanent fixture at Dunes so see we look forward to seeing you at the next one:

  • Mini Open 20th to 23rd July Sponsored by Callaway
  • Min PGA 10th to 13th August

Do you find that you never perform as well in a competition?

Do tension and nerves wreck your game?
Do you fail to realise your potential?

With the golf season now in full swing, I am seeing an increasing number of new clients who feel they are failing to realise their potential. The first few medals have been played and the handicap has gone up point one each time, despite preparing for the season better than ever before.

Golfers have a potential level of performance primarily governed by their technical ability to perform a good, repeatable, swing action.

If the technique is improved there is a higher ‘potential’ level of performance. Notice how I state a ‘potential’ level and not a definite improvement in performance.

This is because of a simple equation:

Performance = Potential – Interference

Interference can take on different forms but the most consistent and destructive to performance is that which comes from within – the self-talk.

This includes what you say whilst you are playing the game and also beliefs that you forge about your golf. Often our beliefs are very limiting.

A quick example of the power of belief is back when the ‘4 minute mile’ used to be considered completely impossible – even doctors had written articles saying this time was not humanly possible. Therefore, when Roger Bannister finally broke the record in 1954, it was considered that this record would never be achieved again – yet in the following 12 months, 32 other runners broke his record.

Legendary golfer and my childhood hero – Nick Faldo said, “The most important space on the golf course is the 5” between your ears.”

The chart here demonstrates the Performance Equation:

In other words; no matter how much practice time you put in, working on your swing in lessons or on the range – it won’t make a jot of difference if there is a stack of interference going on in your mind.

TOP TIP

Here is my number one, proven to work, tip to help you shift your current mindset:

The 15 shots worse game
This is quite radical but is a necessary step for you to change the record that has been playing for all those years in your mind.

The game goes like this: Work out what your average score has been for the past few months. You now have to go out score at least 15 shots WORSE than that score!

So, if your average is 85, for you to win at this game you have to score at least 100 the next time you play.

However, you lose the game if any of your playing partners ask if you are playing badly on purpose!

Think about how you would feel.

Suddenly the fear of bad shots is removed as this is actually winning at the ‘new’ game.

The self-imposed shackles of PERFORMANCE are also removed. If you commit to this process you will find it extremely liberating.

I have had some amazing feedback like this from a client:

“I was scoring around 23 Stableford points every time I played and was getting really frustrated, especially as I hit the ball pretty good at the range and in lessons.

“So, Pete asked me to go out and score no more than just 8 points! It felt weird to go out and play bad on purpose but we had a £20 bet on it so I thought – what the hell let’s give it a go!

“I felt so free on the golf course especially as it completely removed the stresses I was placing upon myself about my score. The truly incredible thing was; I get through nine holes and I find out I am on 24 points already (that was the £20 gone!)

“Interestingly, I came back in only 10 points for a 34 point total but when Pete asked me what happened on the back nine I had to tell the truth – I felt on the 10th tee that, as I was on for my best ever score, I had better start trying! Turns out I went back to the old habit of focusing on score and trying so hard that it gave me the old result. Silly when I look back on it as I should have just carried on doing what I was doing.”
Lee Morris

If you want to unlock your potential simply book your initial 60 minute session for just £30 at Dunes Golf Centre.

Call 01346 510693 or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/lessons/