The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

The blog is a day late because of a very busy weekend with dinner on Sunday night. This week I continued to play better despite less than ideal playing conditions. On Wednesday with 40 degree temperatures under a light mist and wind most of the day I shot 75 at Scenic Valley. On Thursday with about the same temps and a brief sleet storm that lasted a half a hole I shot 77 at Village Green. Yesterday at Scenic Valley with a little better conditions I had a real erratic day but managed to shoot 78.  I have a little 70’s streak going right now. Now it’s time to get serious. This has been the year to try and find the key to mental success in this game. While I have not been  successful in this endeavor, and it has caused by handicap to go from 3.1 to about 4.7, I feel that I have come to some important conclusions and have had a very productive learning experience. First lets get to some definitions.

The Physical Game: I define this as the way you grip the club, address the ball, and swing the club. The same thing can be said for putting. Its the way you grip the putter, address the ball, and stroke the putt.

The Mental Game: I define this as the way you plan your shots and what you are thinking when you make a swing or stroke a putt. It also includes the way you react to the results of each shot.

So the first question is, How much is this game physical, and how much is it mental. If you read instruction articles, one of the most common numbers put out there is, it is 90% mental and 10% physical. I do not agree. As far as I am concerned it is a 50-50 split. So lets look at the two sides.

1. Lets say you have a great mental game. Everytime you step on the tee you are focused on the middle of the fairway and are able block out the hazards right and left. You have complete confidence on the read of the green and think you are going to make every putt. But if your grip sucks, your alignment is wrong and you swing like a basball player, your going to put the ball all over the lot.

2. On the other side of the coin, your physical game is textbook. But if everytime you step up to the tee your thinking about trouble or doubting something, you are going to hit it  all over the lot, also.

A golfer in order to play to the best of his ability, must perfect the mind-body connection. The mind can not take over the body and body can not take over the mind. They must work together in unison. Obviously I have not perfected this, or the blog would have a different name. I will discuss in future blogs other reasons I think this is a 50-50 spit. The above 2 examples are extreme but you get the point.

In the coming weeks I am going to write about what I call the A’s of the mental game. The A’s are: Acceptance and  Awareness  Or what I call the good A’s    Anger and Anxiety or the bad A’s.  How you do with the first four A’s will affect the last A of the mental game Adjustment.

I will be heading for San Diego to spend Halloween with the grandkids, so there will be no rounds of golf this week. But there will be plenty to write about in the coming weeks.

The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

This week the weather was not very co-operative and was able to get only 3 rounds in. The scores were a little better this week with a 76 and 78 at Scenic Valley and a 79 at South Park in some really tough conditions with some pretty good wind and a mist with temperatures barely in the 50’s. As I look back on this season so far and it is winding down, I look at the one big mistake I made this year. Playing Golf. I should have gone back to bowling. I think I am going to try to live the life of the Big Lebowski. Bowling is much better than golf. First of all there is no waiting. You get a lane and go at it. There is no rain. The season is 365 days. When I was bowling I refused to bowl on February 29th. The crashing and the noise of the pins beats anything golf has to offer. You are always close to a beer. Just like golf courses no two lanes are alike. The only thing you have to decide in bowling is whether you have to take a 4 or 5 step approach. Bowling balls are too heavy to throw so you never have to worry about hurting anyone with a thrown club. You never have to clean bowling shoes. You can be perfect in bowling, the 300 game. Your are never going to shoot 18 in golf, even at the minature golf level. So with that,The The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer is coming to a close because the answer can not be found. I am going to start a new blog: The Beautiful Game of Bowling Where You Can Belch Anytime. I can’t wait to get my first strike.







The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

The blog is a day early because I’m in Columbus, Ohio attending a veterinary conference. I just got back from 7 hours of lectures on dogs and cats skin problems. Whew! I will be getting home late tomorrow so I thought I would do the blog now, although I have this overwhelming desire to go to the bar. My play this week could also drive a man to drink. On Wednesday I played St. Clair which is a difficult track and I did manage to shoot an 80. I drove the ball pretty well and putted well but the iron game was a little off which led to some tough positions. On Thursday I went to my normal stomping grounds, Indian Run feeling pretty good but my iron game got worse and one horrific drive led to a double bogey and I shot 81. Even though the scores were not the greatest I worked more on getting my swing back and did some more things on the physical side, putting and chipping which seemed to help. I put the mental game on the back burner this week. Next week I should be able to get 3 to 4 rounds in. One of the mysteries of this game, which there are many, is why do swing thoughts or keys only work for so long. Bobby Jones wrote about this in the 1930’s. Golfers have always accepted this phenomenon as part of the normal ups and downs of the game. I think unlocking this mystery is one of the keys to the game. I don’t think I’ll be coming up with that answer any time soon. Well the bar is calling, and I am answering. See you next week.

The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

Even though this is a golf blog the Burgh is buzzing over the Pirates taking a 2 games to one lead over the St Louis Cardinals, in the best of five series. Tomorrow is game 4 here in Pittsburgh and hopefully the Pirates can win it and take the series to get into the NLCS. Its been a long wait after 20 consecutive losing seasons but we are on a roll baby.  BEAT EM BUCS AND THE BUCS ARE GOING ALL THE WAY, ALL THE WAY.  I just aged myself terribly with that last line taken from the famous 1960 season, when Bill Mazeroski hit the greatest home run in World Series history, to beat the Yankees and win the series in the bottom of the ninth. Well I guess I have to talk about golf now. The week wasn’t too bad until today. I shot 78 at Village Green and a 76 at Indian Run to break the 6 round streak of 80 and above. On Thursday I started to get a little cold. You would have thought I had contracted the Bubonic Plague the way I played today. In the first 13 holes I had 9, yes count them 9 double bogeys and not one was caused by a penalty stroke. This on my way to a 94. The second time this year I failed to break 90. Now if someone had bet me that I would not break 90 this year twice, let alone once, I would be a pauper today. The funny thing was I felt better as the day wore on. It was a gorgeous day too, in the 80’s with lots of sunshine. The game is definitely goofy. Next week will be a short golf week, thank God, as I have to attend a veterinary meeting in Columbus next weekend. I will be playing only 2 rounds of golf. Trying to come up with some mental key or process this year has taken a bit of a toll on my game. I have got to staighten out some physical flaws that have cropped up, and kind of get my swing back. Its supposed to rain tomorrow but the rest of the week looks good so I should get the 2 rounds in. Lets hope something inspires me this week and the Pirates are in the next round.

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