Wired for Winning: See The Golf Course
With another Labor Day behind us and another New England golf season coming into the home stretch, it’s the perfect time to enjoy some of the best golf of the year! Most of you that I talk to say that fall golf has produced some of your most memorable rounds. Sure there’s the hassle of searching for balls in the leaves, but that’s only a minor inconvenience when compared to the feeling of exhilaration that the cooler temperatures, tricky breezes and the sheer beauty of the fall colors and sharp autumn sunlight stirs up. Throw on an extra layer and toss another in the bag for good measure and the inner Scotsman in all of us is sure to emerge.
Each issue I’ve focused on ideas and concepts to help golfers become ‘mentally tougher.’ Well this issue let’s focus on being ‘mentally softer.’ Sometimes we try to focus so hard on “staying in the moment” that we lose all sight of what the “moment” actually means. Rich Lanigan, a long time New England icon, fine teaching professional and good friend, gave me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received in not only my professional career, but in life. On the eve of playing a practice round for a big competition that I had been working toward for weeks, I asked Rich for any final words of advice. He said, “See the golf course.” I said, “great idea, know all the distances and where all the trouble was, etc.” Rich stopped me and said, more slowly this time, “See the golf course.” I said, “oh yea, make sure I know the breaks in the greens and have an idea what club to hit where.” This time he expanded, “See the golf course, notice the trees. When you pass a stream or pond, see if there are any fish. Keep an eye out for deer and squirrels.” And that’s when the “ah ha moment” hit me. He was encouraging me to melt into the experience so that the best I had could come out. It worked! Not only did I play some of my best golf, but the experience was one I will remember and can draw from for the rest of my life!
Over the next couple of months, use your imagination to produce shots that overcome any adversities Mother Nature throws your way. Enjoy a deeper sense of appreciation for the experience because we are never really sure if this will be our last opportunity to play for the season. It’s also a perfect time to become more introspective and indeed, “See the golf course.”