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IMGCA Article - The Mental Game of Golf


What is the worst "Lie" in golf?

Wade Pearse

Let us begin with a few myth busters, shall we.

Myths -

1) If you have a perfect golf swing you'll have a perfect game.
2) You can buy a better game
3) Technology has lowered golfers scores

Most every golfer subscribes to these beliefs in one way or another. The entire golf instruction, training aid, and golf club making market bear this out. Golf magazines, tv shows, and article after article offer tips, fixes, cures and virtually every imaginable training aid conceivable to craft the perfect swing. All with the pretense of helping you play better golf.

Well has it worked? Let's take a look...

In 1978 75% of all golfers never broke 90 - so barely 25% ever shot in the 80's.

In 2004, a full 26 years later, after the advent of 460CC drivers with 45" multi-kick point shafts, cavity back irons, balls that prevent hooks and slices, and world class instruction from the smartest minds in the buz, that number has been increased by a whopping 3%!

Now a full 28% of all golfers have broken 90! But hey, let's cut the industry some slack, there's only been 90+ billion spent on golf equipment over that time! That doesn't include lessons or training aids! All that technology and collective wisdom and this is how far we've come...impressive, huh.

Seriously, any other business that produced numbers like these for their customers would be out of business! But the golfing public has an insatiable appetite that an ever growing horde of manufacturers and marketers are more than willing to feed.

Ok, do you want to pay me now or later for the moral booster? What? This doesn't get you pumped about your prospects of dropping your handicap by 10 strokes by buying the next training aid?

You mean to tell me you're not going to do that $2,500 re-shafting, ball changing, loft angle adjusting, launch angle increasing, club-fitting session you had booked for next Saturday? Hmmm, was it something I said?

As golfers we are bombarded with instruction tips, training options, and product offerings that'll have your head spinning faster than Paris Hilton after swizzeling a half dozen Crantini's.

So where's the moral of this myth busting story? Do we all just give up trying to improve? Absolutely not. We all need to fulfill that important human craving of getting better at what we love. Yet where we place our attention to achieve this goal is what has to change. Our core beliefs about what causes improvement should be based on reality not myths. They should empower us, not encourage wishful thinking and needlessly empty our wallets.

"So if it isn't gear that makes us better maybe it's lessons," did I hear you say? Certainly lessons are an asset and obviously accelerate your skill development yet they're not absolutely essential. Ask Lee Trevino, Jim Furyk, Chris Dimarco and countless others who are self taught. And I think we can all agree that there isn't much "pretty" about any of their swings.

Do you think any of them were intent on crafting the perfect swing? Yet if we look at things from a different perspective maybe they do have perfect swings. Why? Because they work! Golf ain't a beauty contest.

In the final analysis there is only one area that promotes the quickest and most lasting change in any golfers game. And what's interesting about it is this is the only area that doesn't cost a penny to use yet almost no-one uses it!

That area is the often quoted 6 inches between your ears! Your mind. The mental game. Using your mind in a strategic, methodical and focused way is the surest method of lowering your scores. Period.

If you want to run out and spend $500 on a new driver and another $1000 or more on irons to make you play better, feel free. You might be that one in a million that changes the statistics. I realize we'll all buy nice gear once in a while but we can't buy it with a belief that this will seriously lower our scores.

Needless to say, my articles won't be sponsored by Taylor Made or Nike any time soon! I don't help sell much golf equipment! No, my approach to lowering your handicap, improving your swing, and increasing your satisfaction leans towards inner change before outer gains.

True improvement only arrives when we first assess where we are in relation to our goal. Then we must take an inventory of all the things that have actually produced measurable results. Which means no denial! We can't hope to move our game to the next level by hanging on to a lie, now can we? If you do then that's what I call a real "hanging lie". Ok, that was a cheap pun but it was there for the taking...

Each and every one of us has the innate ability to tap our own potential and transform any part of our lives, including golf. We just require the right road map and a good compass to keep us on target.

It's time to wake up and smell the napalm or the myths that cloud our brains will keep us believing we can buy a better game.

Wade Pearse is a Peak Performance Coach who practices what he preaches. He only teaches what he himself uses in his own golf game. Using these strategies he has helped clients lower their handicaps dramatically. He has taken his own handicap from a 26 down to a 3 without lessons or training aids.
Wade Pearse
Keeping you on target

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