Golf is a complex game. Many experts elude to the idea that golf is broken down into manageable segments to which the answer is simple. In some cases, this is true. However, my experience suggests that to become a better golfer, a whole approach to golf is required.
I really enjoy making puzzles. For some reason, I find it relaxing and stimulating to patiently find all the pieces and place them in their proper spot. I especially like putting in the last piece. The sense of accomplishment after hours of sorting and placing is quite rewarding. Unfortunately, I did not have that sense of accomplishment on my last puzzle because I lost one of the pieces. So, even though the puzzle still looks nice, it is incomplete.
A puzzle is a bit like golf. All the pieces represent the different aspects of our game. Slowly and patiently, we work at different areas until one day it all comes together and we shoot our best score ever. Then, we examine our game and think of where to improve next and start the process all over again. This is ‘whole’ approach to golf that many novice players tend to overlook.
Think of the best golfer you know; now imagine their entire routine. From the moment they step onto the golf course, it is all about golf. They usually have a very set routine which prepares them for the upcoming round. This player practices the same way, chips and putts with intent, and arranges their equipment in a very specific way. When they finally step up to the first tee, they are ready to play.
When on the course, this same player becomes a creature of habit which reinforces the positive aspects of their game. If something is off, the may adjust slightly, but make sure no major changes occur during their round. They accept what the course and their swing gives them that day, but are cognizant of areas that will need improvement. (For a novel approach to “the answer” check out Vet at The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer) These players rarely focus on a segment of their game, they focus on the entire aspect of playing well.
Golf is very much like a puzzle. Building a complete picture of our game takes time and patience. We could spend hours improving a selected skill only to realize, when putting all the pieces together, that it was not the area that needed the most attention. As the 2015 golfing season approaches, focus on the big picture first. Look at your whole game before deciding which individual skills you want to improve. You may be surprised at what you find.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!