Reminders From an Old Friend
Three Guys Golf Blog: I was going through my closet recently, and ran across “Golf is Not a Game of Perfect” by Bob Rotella, and have been re-reading it over the past week or so. I’ve had a busy summer of work and time with my wife, who’s been home from teaching school, and haven’t had as much time to be out on the links. So, it was a really great time to remind myself of some of the changes that have occurred in my game since I read the book for the first time, and some of the things that I want to remember to take back to the course with me.
My father learned a good deal from Dick Butkus, and some other pros in the NFL who were somewhat ahead of their time with their mental preparation for the game. They spent a lot of time visualizing what they were going to do on the field, and letting their mental preparation help them play better than their opponents. So, I’ve had an idea as to the benefits of mental work on the golf game too, but something about the way that Bob Rotella writes is a breath of fresh air to me.
Here’s an example of a quote from page 119 that really resonated with me:
“Expectations are great if you confine them to long-range considerations… But expectations can hurt you if they are narrowly based on the results of a particular stoke, hole or round.
Golfers in American society, though, tend to be people who are used to getting what they want… They expect to master golf just as they’ve mastered everything else in life. If they are competing, they expect to win. If they swing at a golf ball, they expect to hit it well every time…
On the first tee, you should have two immediate goals. One is to have fun. The other involves the process of playing, not the results. The goal is to get your mind where it’s supposed to be on every shot. If you do that, you’ll shoot the best score you’re capable of shooting that day, whether it’s 67 or 107.”
Dr. Rotella has worked with some of the best in the game, and he has consulted with a huge list. He has really practical advise, and a lot of tips that as I’ve looked back, helped me take 10 or more strokes off my game over the past several years. I highly recommend it, and it’s a cheap training aid : )