Opening Golf’s Pandora’s Box

Pandora's Box

Golf’s Pandora’s Box

It is time to open Pandora’s Box! Based in Greek Mythology and morphing through the years, the present day meaning of “to open Pandora’s Box” is to perform an action that may seem small or innocent, but that turns out to have severely detrimental and far-reaching consequences. In the case of a golf swing, this statement is quite profound.

After much research and thought, last year I decided that hitting the ball further off the tee was the key to lowering my golf score. I felt confident that my short and mid game was strong enough to carry me most days, but by adding that extra 10-15 yards off the tee would exponentially reap the gains I sought.

After my quick lesson at the PGA Tour Canada Golf Clinic at Wildfire Golf Course, widening my stance seem to be the key to achieving my goal of hitting the ball further off the tee. Well, the domino effect of making this small change was unforeseen. By widening my stance, my alignment, set-up, swing plane and follow through all changed! I could not believe the dramatic effect this slight change had on the rest of my game.

Not to be defeated, I made my way to the range (many times) and worked on this minor change. Initially, I had success with my wider stance, but the challenge was that the rest of my swing was grooved to my old way of standing. Hence, my swing and stance were competing for dominance!

As I became frustrated with the early results, I kept reminding myself of the end goal of hitting the ball further and without degrading the rest of my game. I am still working on this change and my continued focused practice increases my confidence.

An important note about the entire process is to work on one thing at a time. Understanding the 80/20 rule and how the domino effect works will speed up the overall success of your focused change. Too many changes can spell disaster because of the uncertainty of which change impacted which part of your swing.

I know I will eventually conquer everything and close Pandora’s Box. At that time, my entire swing will feel natural again. I will be able to think less of the mechanics and actually not think at all during my swing. That day is just around the corner and I can hardly wait.

When you plan “to open Pandora’s Box”, be ready for some frustration, but keep focused on the end goal. Before you start, try to envision the domino effect of the change and to work on one thing at a time. It is not an exact science, but keeping your eyes on the prize will help improve your game and lower your scores.

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

10 thoughts on “Opening Golf’s Pandora’s Box

  1. Pingback: Fixing Your Golf Swing or Not! – The Grateful Golfer

  2. Pingback: If You Could Change One Thing…. | The Grateful Golfer

  3. Hi Jim,
    I tried the wider stance after you suggested this some time ago. I had to give up on it for the same reasons you mention here. I am going to open Pandora’s Box today, and try once again to get my longer driver working properly. By that I mean find the fairway.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jim, totally agree on working one thought at a time. You can drive yourself wacky multitasking in swing changes. Mechanically, how was the widened stance supposed to increase your distance? Thanks,


    Liked by 1 person

      • Jim, ball striking comes and goes. I have seen some gains with my distance control on the greens after making a change to my preshot routine late last year. Instead of standing next to my ball for practice strokes, I stand halfway between my ball and the hole. Then walk up to the ball and play immediately. Really helps to judge the distance.



        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim,

    It sure is interesting how a small change can have a domino effect on your game. I experience the same thing when making changes/improvements, particularly on the golf course (as opposed to the range) when I’m consciously thinking about it. Then eventually, and sometimes almost magically, the change you’ve been working on shifts to your subconscious and it feels natural and you start seeing the results you’ve been working towards.

    What a wild and fun ride!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh

      You hit the nail right on the head! I have also made changes I thought it was for the better, but had to switch back because it did not work. Talk about Pandora’s Box. So it works both ways!



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