What is the true potential of your short game?

The power of perspective can give your short game the freedom to become unrecognisably different in the future 

What could YOU focus on that would give you more enjoyment, regardless of the score? What do you need to learn, which if you did, would have the biggest impact on your game? Really consider the questions as it is so vitally important. In the quest to get better, if some learning is required, then you will also need to consider how best you can engage and apply that learning on the golf course. 

Maybe you need to learn to respond to your shots better – good bad and indifferent. It is never the bad shot that is the problem at golf because everyone hits bad shots. It is far more likely to be the response to those shots. One of the most powerful learning tools we have available is the skill of NOTICING. Just by noticing what is happening, we actually create the conditions for change. We cannot change something unless we actually know what it is. Noticing is powerful.  

For the above example, you could play a round of golf and set out with the intention of simply noticing your reactions. What do you actually do when the chaos of golf emerges? How do you react when the ball doesn’t behave in the way you would like it to?  

Play the round WITHOUT trying to change anything, just go out with the intention of noticing. You will be surprised as to the effect of this. It is like you are playing a game with a camera following you around the course. Instead of reacting in the usual auto-pilot manner, you place yourself voluntarily under the spotlight. You shine a torch of awareness on what you actually DO. This awareness is curative. You don’t stay the same when you bring that light to show, in great detail, what you didn’t know before. 

Then ask the question: What were my three best shots today? 

To ask this question and then genuinely to answer it has a huge potential benefit to your game in the long term. By contemplating the answer to the question, you are encouraging your mind to go back over the round you have just played and seek out your own versions of excellence.  

You select the good shots (they will be in there somewhere) and then, as you select the good shots, some magic occurs.  

As you select, then write down, the good shots, you are actually solidifying the memory of them. You are strengthening the memory trace. This is so powerful because when you get to play again, you may well have more of these mysterious occasions when you stand over a pitch shot, look at the green and you just ‘know’ you are going to play a good shot. 

Taken from The Lost Art of the Short Game by Gary Nicol and Karl Morris – with a foreword from Bob Vokey, the godfather of wedges.

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