Practice…what practice?

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“Ok…let’s just simmer down a little. Let’s not get carried away with the 2 under par 90 we shot on Saturday. Yes, I came top of the leaderboard…but it was lucky right? Still need to practice hard this week to keep improving”.

These were my thoughts on Sunday. Don’t get carried away. Lots and lots of work to do to get my swing anywhere near capable of shooting a sub 80 round. Practice hard.

It’s a shame sometimes things just don’t go to plan!

This week, I haven’t had time to hit ONE golf ball. Nothing since the 18th on Saturday. This is not the kind of practice we’re supposed to be doing. This is however, reality. It’s just been one of those weeks. Lots of meetings, lots of work from the lots of meetings. Deadlines and technical issues. Kids to look after, wife to look after, chores to do etc etc etc. All these things have meant no time for golf. This is what Mr Average club golfer has to deal with all the time. We play a great round and really need to ‘keep on the horse’ to gain consistency…but things crop up that just stop it happening.

I have tried to maintain some kind of learning. Firstly, the trusty 54° wedge has been in the office and swung in front of the mirror several times a day. This must be helping that muscle memory thing they talk of? I’ve also been reacquainted with my old friend Dr Bob Rotella and his ‘golf is not a game of perfect’ audiobook.

He’s great Dr Bob. He has a lovely voice too! Of course, the main reason he’s so highly thought of is not his silky tones, but the fact he actually talks a lot of sense. I’m just not sure how much of it my brain actually processes. I have started listen at bedtime as I’ve heard that if you play these things to a resting/sleeping brain it seeps in without you even realising. I assume in a similar way to the eight spiders we’re all supposed to munch on in our sleep. Maybe not, but you get what I’m saying.

I heard a story once of a guy who served in the forces and held a 14 handicap at his local course. He was captured during service and held prisoner for two years. During that time, he played his local course in his head many times a day. This was the only thing that kept him going. He practised in his head and visualised the shots as well as his improving swing. Eventually, escaped from prison and after getting home, went to play his course. He shot a par round.

That right there is proof (if it’s true of course!) that the mental game is crucial in golf. That would explain why so many pros on tour have mind gurus as part of their team. So my time with Dr Bob has not been in vain. Brain stuff is important.

It is also important to do some ‘actual’ practice too…preferably before Saturday.

 

1 Reply to "Practice...what practice?"

  • comment-avatar
    Ryan Metcalfe
    1 November, 2013 (8:18 am)

    The very fact that Kevin has not been able to hit balls this week may not be as destructive as he thinks. The fact that he has made many repetitions of the desired action will help with the muscle memory he mentioned above.

    It will surprise a lot of people to learn that the ability to see the ball makes the golfer swing the club as their brain/muscle memory allows. With hitting the ball being the main objective when Kevin practices on the range the pattern of signals from his brain are almost always the same and his body reacts accordingly.

    Making swings without the ball in place gives Kevin and all other golfers a chance to override and replace the pattern of signals from the brain by teaching the body and mind to accept a new movement.

    The same phenomena can be seen every day on the course. Most people have a nice smooth aesthetically pleasing practice swing and then once the ball is in the way the swing changes.

    Keep swinging the club Kevin and remember that the balls flight is not important at this stage!