Everybody wants The Secret or The Magic and in this first article written in the new year, my intention is to submit what I have learned in my entire career in just a few paragraphs in hopes your 2018 gets off to a solid start.
Ask any of the greatest players what the most important shot in golf is and their answer is the same, “the next shot.”
The disclaimer here is the shot at hand is actually the most important shot, but consider the construct of when the question is asked. It’s not possible to speak directly to the players during the competition.
So staying in the present then becomes the conceptual focus of all the greatest golfers constantly. Just listen to the interviews of the champions, almost all credit this ability to stay in the present or moment as a major key to their success.
Believe it or not, there is much invested by all of the greatest golf athletes on staying in the present while playing. Know why? Mostly because of the consequences related to their performance. The stakes are high so the pressure is great. Pressure exposes weakness. The greatest fault of the intelligent top golf performing athlete is thinking about too much at once because he or she can. The primary, or key ingredient, is the knowledge that comes as a result of much study and hard work, and it then becomes the enemy at exactly the most inopportune time. Whacky right? But the facts are that too many thoughts just prior to the swing can serve as a performance inhibitor because too many thoughts increase tension. Most golfers just simply outsmart themselves.
Simplify this game when playing by controlling what’s on your mind just before and while you swing. The way you control this is by first acknowledging that it is relevant.
If you are still reading and tracking there are several ways to control what’s on your mind. One way is to quick hit your golf ball. Just address your ball, look at the target and swing. This is why I love watching new and young players get started. Many of them actually will be looking at the target while they begin their swing.
Notice Jordan Speith looks at the hole while he swings his putter.
For those who are experienced and have golf skill, be sure to pick up next week’s paper as I will continue to share some of Dr Morris Pickens ideas on reacting to the target. I’ll also share one way Wesley, my 27-year-old son who is in his second season on the PGA Tour season, employs this idea.
In closing, since 1991, I have taken the last week of each year and visited my teachers to prepare for the upcoming season. This year was no different and my daughter, Mary Chandler, joined me along with her fiancée, William Rainey, along with Nick Willis of Spartanburg and Ishaan Vasadeva, a senior at USC studying Sports Management. The one lesson I want to pass along that both Dr. Morris Pickens and Mike Bender shared with their offseason work with veteran Zach Johnson. As advanced and skilled as Zach is he stills needs the rudiments of the game. The simple things and first things.