08/28/2013

Golf is art!

Believe it?

When we go to the range we hit golf balls. Or perhaps we simply go to work on just one or two golf practice routines. With the right intentions, this is all good. There is a time and place for everything. But let’s be clear, this is not how we play golf. To really play golf, you need to be part artist and part athlete. You have to be creative. Take Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson.  They are both technically competent golfers, but what drill helped them make their incredible shots at the Masters? Those were both examples of athletic skill matched to a creative mind. Even on a recent Feherty episode, David Duval said this about his transition back to competitive golf: “I need to start playing as an artist and not as a technician”.

Yes – golf is a sport.

It is also art.

It is also about being creative.

It is also about showing imagination.

Chapter 8 is titled: To Transfer It to the Course, Practice Like You Play.  Well, if you are going to practice like you play, I suggest you get “artsy”. Dr. Jensen offered some examples about how to do this:

  • Rather than using a golf practice routine from the same place to the same hole, put some variety into it.  Use several different clubs to hit chips from a variety of different lies to several different hole locations.  Hey – try your 3 wood! Todd Kolb has his own take on this.  He calls it 5×5.  For each club, perform 5 rotations of 5 chips each.  Assuming you use 3 wedges, a 9i and an 8i, that is 125 chips and takes about an hour.

  • When you are on the range you need to get off the sterile, perfect cut range grass. Find some odd spots to place the ball. Get in the trenches!

I have a few of my own suggestions:

  • Every time you make a shot you should go through your whole set up routine. Or try something completely different! A creative, new routine to really focus on your target.

  • Working on a cure for your slice? Try hitting “opposite shots”. Do all it takes to hit a big hook. Get crazy.

  • Try this: Find a target 100 yards out – but – use a driver to hit the target. Work to perfect that smooth swing. Then, once you can routinely hit the 100 yard target, try 110 yards, then 120 yards, etc.

  • Play a round of golf on the range – all 18 holes. In fact, if there is a practice putting green nearby, after you make your approach shots, take a ball, walk over to the green, make a chip and then make your putts. People might think you are nuts!  So what!?

I have to be honest. This was a hard blog to write because I am a technician. Always have been.  So much so, that years ago a friend at work gave me this comic.

So I feel a bit hypocritical challenging you to become more artsy! Therefore, I pledge to put some creativity into my own golf practice routine. Join me?

There are my thoughts on Chapter 8. Join the discussion! Share your opinions! If you don’t have a copy of the book you can still get one and catch up.  Also, if you miss a week, my archived blogs are at: http://usgolftv.com/author/steve-zahn/

If you want you can also contact me at steve@usgolftv.com

Steve Zahn