Conquering Your Ego

ego2-drhannanA follow-up to my last post about ego, the email below is from my best buddy in the UK. Among other things, he and I have share the passion for golf. He moved to the UK a couple of years ago and has focused on his game. Only recently has he noticed the improvements in all areas of his game.  He is his story:

“This is an interesting dilemma for sure.  I know that I would NOT be willing to have higher scores, shorter drives etc over the short term for longer term gain.


Because the course is open all year here, I made the decision in Dec to do exactly what you are talking about in the blog.  I changed grip (very difficult at first); I changed my position at address to be 3 inches off front foot for all clubs except driver (this was also difficult, however now is great); and I changed my attitude towards course management by hitting driver on all holes that were 380 plus (this proved to be the hardest thing as I hit lots of balls in unplayable areas and was forced to play 3 off the tee). Lastly, I changed my ball position while putting (this proved to improve putting numbers immediately)


Things are great as I had the extra few months of practice to try all of these things.  It was frustrating for sure, however most of these months I was playing alone and had lots of opportunities to hit many shots without holding up others.  

Grip change has been the greatest change for me as it ensured that my hands (therefore club face) are square at impact.  I have learned that the back of my front hand is simply the club gave – where this hand points so does the club face at impact. Not many draws or hooks any more and certainly there are no slices.  Sometimes I find myself aligned incorrectly when playing other courses, however normally the ball flies on a straight path right or left and not due to hook or slice – I can accept this, however it is rare at my home course as I know where every tee box location fits my address position.

Having the few extra months has been like a 4 month practice session, however if I had the Canadian golf season, I would be reluctant to change anything – perhaps one thing of this magnitude each year.

I was scoring well at the end of the 2013 competition season and I hope the practice pays off for 2014.  First stable ford was 40 points, which grabbed me second place (31 competitors with full handicap allowance)

Looking forward to my six strokes aside so I can be competitive with you.”

What a great story! His tale is not uncommon for all golfers wanting to play better. He actually took steps, endured the frustration, and as a result is playing better. I am not sure I want to give him any strokes next time we play, but that will be negotiated at the time. I think the word sandbag may be floated around regardless of what we decide.

Interestingly, my friend said that if it was not for playing year round, he would not likely have made as many changes to be a better player. I can appreciate his point, but would counter that the process would be slower and possibly less painful. A big thank you to my buddy for sharing his story!

Conquering your ego always starts the same way….make the decision to change! The rest is just details.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!




11 thoughts on “Conquering Your Ego

  1. Pingback: The Wisdom of Your Golf Shot | The Grateful Golfer

  2. Pingback: My Worst Golf Hole, Ever! | The Grateful Golfer

  3. Jim-

    Living in Canada really makes the concept of short term pain for long term gain much harder to swallow with our short season. But we also have longer days in the summer so that gives us a chance to put in some long practice sessions after work.

    I can really relate to your friend with regards to grip change- it really tests your patience and dedication, plus you truly have to believe in delayed gratification because there will be buckets where you can’t hit the ball off the ground or ringing one or two off the divider at the range. And there’ll be ugly rounds where you’ll be beat-down and embarrassed but once it comes together, you’ll be grateful to have started the journey already so this season is better than the last!


  4. Jim –

    Great couple of posts on ego getting in the way of good golf.

    As I think you know, I’m an attorney, in addition to a lot of other things. About 15 years ago, a movie called “A Civil Action” came out that provides a great look into the murky real world of big-time personal injury litigation. One of the all time great quotes about the practice of law was included by Robert Duvall’s character that has stuck with me to this day:

    “Now the single greatest liability a lawyer can have is pride. Pride… Pride has lost more cases than lousy evidence, idiot witnesses and a hanging judge all put together. There is absolutely no place in a courtroom for pride. ”

    Obviously, I think it translates to the golf course perfectly. I have found it immensely helpful to remember this quote as I have been undergoing my swing changes this winter and spring. Thanks for a great couple of reads to remind me of what I’m really doing.


    Say it with me: “Now the single greatest liability a golfer can have is pride. Pride…has lost more strokes than poor fundamentals, unlucky bounces, and outdated equipment all put together. There is absolutely no place on a golf course for pride.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Always enjoying reading your blog as it provides much more than playing tips. I think your UK friend deserves the 6 strokes per side. KB


    • KB

      That depends if my buddy is supplying the beer or not! He will probably get some strokes, but 6 seems to be a stretch for someone, by their own admission, has improved their game substantially! Always great to hear from you.



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