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GOLF TIP # 10

Play it the Way You Feel

When golf first began the golf courses were not in very good condition. The greens were slow and bumpy, the sand traps were not raked, the fairways were rolling and bumpy and the grass was long and not watered. Compared to then, the golf courses today are immaculate. The greens are fast and smooth, the sand traps have regular maintenance, the fairways are even better. Its obvious the technology was different; wooden shafts, feather golf balls. Now it's graphite shafts, surlyn golf balls and titanium, titanium and titanium. And, how about the education? Exercise and diet? And the list goes on.

We will have a tendency to say to ourselves that "all of this is relative to the times" and for the most part it is. But there are a couple of things that still remains. One of them is that we still want to play the game of golf by feel. Golf instruction has definitely become a little too detailed. Just get up and hit the ball! Do you think of every little move that your body makes when you make a right-hand turn with the car?......foot on the brake, foot on the gas peddle, hand over hand as you turn the steering wheel? You do it by feel. You react to the road.

They say that history will sometimes repeat itself. I wonder, will golf instruction lean more towards feel rather than analytical golf swing mechanics? And will the golfers themselves swing the way they feel rather than trying to achieve the perfect computer golf swing? Just ask Jim Furyk or Billy Casper !

GOLF TIP # 9

Practice

I have had beginner students take a golf lesson from me and come back a week later and have the expectations of being ready to play the golf course. (And in some cases they are ready to play the golf course!) I have had regular students come back a week later for another golf lesson and cannot understand why they are not hitting the ball better. In both cases, neither of the students practiced between lessons. And that is okay. I know it is hard to find the time when we all have other obligations. However, the fact still remains that if we want to learn the game or improve, we have to want to practice. There is no other way around it!

As a beginner you will have to spend time on the practice range to get started. As a non-beginner you could just go to the range and iron out the one shot that you had trouble with on that day. And if you really want to be a good golfer than you should try and spend quality time on the range and play a lot of rounds of golf.

GOLF TIP # 8

Play The Golf Course More Than You Practice On The Driving Range

Practice makes perfect? Or does perfect practice make perfect! If you do not like going to the driving range then, play more golf. You can and will have so much more opportunity to improve your game and learn so much more on the golf course.

On the practice range you rarely get a sidehill lie or a downhill lie or an uphill lie or a ball buried in the rough or have to hit a low shot under the trees. Plus the practice range is so wide open, there is nothing there to guide you. On the golf course there are fairways that are lined with trees to guide you and most fairways offer a variety of lies to challenge you.

Because you're actually playing the golf course, it is much easier to apply all of the necessary skills. You have the opportunity to sharpen your visualization skills. You can and will manage your game better. And let us not forget the incredible opportunity we have to let our competitive nature get a taste of the action!!

GOLF TIP # 7

Competition

It is in our nature to be competitive, we cannot deny that fact. So, let us go with the flow. Play in golf tournaments. It will make you and I a better golfer! You can and will experience in competition the things you will never experience practicing on the driving range or playing on the golf course. Competition gives you the chance to test yourself. It gives you the opportunity to become disciplined.

With regard to skills, competition will absolutely assist you in your achievement to adopt the necessary golf course management skills. Not to mention the fact that you will improve your overall golf game. Your short game will reach a new level, your handicap will get better, and you will be able to be more consistent with your drives.

Yes, competition will help an individual master the right techniques that improve the individuals' scores which lowers the individuals handicaps!

GOLF TIP # 6

Golf Course Management

Keep The Golf Ball In Play! Keeping your golf ball in play will increase the amount of opportunities that you will have to shoot better scores. The whole objective of playing golf is to shoot a good golf score!!!

Good golf course management says that when you are in the sandtrap, the number one priority is to get the golf ball out of the sandtrap. A lot of times when we are in the sandtrap we think of getting the golf ball close to the hole and end up still in the sandtrap. By using good golf course management in getting the golf ball out of the sandtrap we create an opportunity to make the putt no matter where it is on the green.

If you clear the creek that runs across the fairway, with your driver off the tee, you will have a wedge into the green on your second shot. But, good golf course management says that by hitting a 3-iron or a 5-wood off the tee you will be hitting an 8-iron and maybe even a 7-iron on your second shot. And that is not so bad to have an 8-iron rather then a wedge on your second shot!

Why is that not so bad? Because you have kept the ball in play, you have taken the creek in the fairway out of play, you have kept up a good rhythm because you are not mad at yourself for hitting the golf ball in the creek. Good rhythm helps reduce tension and you have more energy to visualize yourself making a good score on the hole, which is the objective of the game!

GOLF TIP # 5

Visualization

Visualize......The key to golf!!! After you have developed a repeatable swing and are able to play on the golf course with some confidence, the next step and probably the most important is the development of your visualization skills. Even if you are not real confident in your golf game it is still good to work on developing your visualization skills.

When golf first began the golfers had to rely a lot on feel and feel is directly related to what you visualize. Feelings are the results of your thoughts. What you think is what you feel. We all have the ability to visualize. It is just a matter of wanting to develop that skill to the fullest potential!!!

We all have other obligations to take care of and we do not always have the time to practice our golf game. That is the great thing about visualizing. It has been proven that you do not always have to physically do some things to develop them. Just by sitting at home in your favorite recliner, for five minutes a day, you can think about those putts that you made in your last round of golf or you can think about those awesome long and straight drives you had off the tee. Believe it or not, you are practicing in the comfort of your own home. By thinking of those great moments you are reminding yourself of the fact that you can do it! Thinking of positive thoughts makes you feel good and when you feel good your brain and your body will store that information more often and sooner rather later it will become a habit!! Disciplining yourself to do a little every day is the trick!! Frequency is the key to practicing.

The beauty of visualization is that it is simple, and it works!

GOLF TIP # 4

Make Putts

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BUILD CONFIDENCE, SAVE TIME, REDUCE TENSION AND MAKE MONEY!?!

Going to the practice putting green and doing the right thing (Making putts) will help you build confidence, save time, reduce tension and make money.

It does not take a lot of time to practice making putts. 15 minutes a day! That is all. Just go to the practice putting green and start off with two-foot putts, three-foot putts and build your confidence. The 15 minutes that you spent making putts will do more for you than spending three hours of missing putts. Spend five minutes making putts and then you are done! Not only have you saved time but you will take those good thoughts with you for the rest of the day!

Doesn't it make sense to exit the driving range with good thoughts that are relaxing rather than frustrated feelings of not being able to hit the driver 500 yards!! The swing you make with your driver requires more effort. Compared to the stroke you make with your putter. After you practiced your driver (or any other club) before you leave the driving range, relax with a few short putts!!

Making putts, building confidence, saving time, reducing tension will all add up to you shooting better scores. Chances are that the next skins game you are in against your friends, you definitely have an excellent opportunity to make money!

No matter how much you read on how to hit the golf ball further or what golf club will lower your handicap, one thing remains........... we still have to MAKE PUTTS!

GOLF TIP # 3

Tension

IF we all knew how to rid ourselves of tension then we could patent the idea and make millions. Tension is the root of all evil in the golf swing!

Instead of trying to find the perfect golf swing that everybody says will cure all of your tension problems, learn how to deal with tension itself. Find out what it is that causes the tension. I know that when I drink too much coffee in the morning before a round of golf I definitely get the jitters and it usually doesn't wear off until seven or eight holes later.

Whatever is bothering you, just go over to the driving range and just take the driver out and just start ripping it!! That ought to release some tension. Or use visualization techniques to release the tension. Imagine that you are in the Bahamas and all of your cares are washing away in the sea. Add positive affirmations and your're back in the zone.

What about when you force a certain shot on the golf course? For example, when you are in the greenside bunker and the pin is right up against the bunker and knowing that it is impossible to get the golf ball close to the hole you go ahead anyway and force the shot out of the bunker. If you try to get the ball close to the hole, instead of just trying to get the ball on the green. You usually end up back in the bunker and having to hit again. Because you have to hit again, you get a little up tight about the fact that your playing partners are witnessing your terrible performance out of the greenside bunker plus, your even more disgusted with yourself because you know that you are a pretty good bunker player. Just getting the ball out of the bunker can save you from self-destruction. The worst that could happen is you would two-putt with a calm attitude.

After long and countless hours of 110% of pure effort towards achieving a perfect computer-model golf swing, I have desired to learn that an 80% effortless swing will more than fullfill and produce the goal of getting the golf ball in the cup. Which is the objective of the game. Tempo reduces tension. To focus on only trying to hit the golf ball 80% of my effort enables me to reduce any tension in my golf swing. As the 80% effortless golf swing calmly forces me to free up my muscles I then begin to swing more according to my own mental and physical capabilities.

Different people have different tempos. Some are fast and some are slow . Use whichever one works for you!

GOLF TIP # 2

Tap In To Your Own World (The Zone)

Concentration...Focus...In the Zone...What do they all have in common? Before I tell you let me ask you a question. What was it that made us motivated as a child?

To play golf we have to deal with a lot of outside circumstances that can side track us from what it is we need to do. (Which is to get the golf ball in the hole!) There is no doubt that it is harder to focus when we are not having fun. So how do we tap into our own world? How do we get into the zone?

First of all, imagine what it would be like if you where playing eighteen holes of golf and during the whole round no one could penetrate your space, no matter what anyone said to you. Nothing mattered because you where so focused on getting the golf ball in the cup; you were soo relaxed...no bills to pay...no kids to worry about...no business deadlines to meet...no worries about where the next paycheck was coming from...no taxes to pay...no responsibilities at all.

WAIT!! Did I say no responsibilities at all? Can I go back to the question that I asked you before about what it was that made us all highly motivated as a child? No responsibilities. Would you agree that it is a lot easier to have fun when you have nothing to worry about or nothing to lose? Or should I say that having fun keeps us from worrying. If a young child is having fun, that child does not have the time to worry because they are always in the present! They are totally focused in the moment.

Tapping into your own world and being totally focused on one thing at a time, however long that may be, is tapping into the zone. Time is suspended and it is easy to have fun. Because we are having fun, we become soo focused or zoned in on what we are doing, that it really takes no effort at all!

I know from experience that when I start making a couple of bogeys I begin to look for an escape goat or an easy way out. So the easiest thing to put the blame on is the golf swing. Or I will try to put the blame on the other players in the group or those kids yelling and screaming and having fun in the playground across the street from the golf course. I begin to lose my focus or my concentration because making bogeys is no fun.

There are two ways that I have learned to face my fear of losing focus or stepping out of my world. The first is to practice over and over the thoughts that I want to think about on a daily basis or to practice over and over the kind of golf game that I want to shoot. I want to predict my circumstances before they predict me. By thinking about the great drives that I have hit in tournament golf on a daily basis, for about one month, I will have prepared myself to go out on a golf course and perform as I have predicted (or as I have thought about).

No matter how much you practice there might be those days when things just do not come together. What do you do then? The answer is in GOLF TIP # 1.

GOLF TIP # 1

Attitude

No matter how much you practice the right thing, nothing is guaranteed. And no matter how perfect the conditions are, the balanced golf ball, the perfect putting stroke, perfect weather and the perfect putter. No matter how perfect everything is, one day that golf ball will drop in the hole and the next day, under the same conditions and circumstances, the ball may not drop in the hole. The best way to combat those days are to laugh, laugh, have a great ATTITUDE and laugh again.

Golf....like life, is not a game of perfect!

Attitude....the only thing that can never be defeated!

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