“Focus on remedies, not faults.”
Jack Nicklaus always has pearls of wisdom. After 70 years of playing golf and being considered one of the best of all time, I would think he has learned a thing or two. This small sentence caught my eye today because it is very deep, yet should be very simple to follow. The challenge I am finding is that interpreting his words could result in me chasing my tail.
As an amateur golfer, I do not have a team of experts dissecting every aspect of my game to provide feedback that should lower my score. I am a one person show that has to react to swing faults in a calm and analytical manner to ensure that I am not jumping to confusion more often than not. This is why Nicklaus’ quote is so very important.
In my earlier days, I approached swing fixes in the complete wrong direction. As indicated, I was concerned about my swing problem instead of the root cause of my issue, then devising a remedy. I would stand over the ball and my thought process would immediately start an internal dialogue on what I did not want to happen. I would focus so much on this negative thought, it would of course happen and my frustration level would rise. It was a cycle of self-destruction I could not seem to shake. That is until one day my mentor, Bobby Fortune, explained that fixing swing issues was about focusing on the root cause and fixing it so that I could move on to other issues that needed addressing.
I questioned Bobby and he asked what I thought was causing my current issue of hitting everything right. I told him that I thought it was my alignment and as such aimed on the left side of the fairway. I continue to focus on lining up in that direction because it provided what I thought was the proper remedy. Bobby said that my remedy was a band-aid and did not actually address my swing challenge.
Of course my immediate question was what is my challenge and he said that my stance was all wrong and because my feet were set up to slice and I needed to focus on fixing that issue before moving forward. Of course, as a an amateur golfer with no real experience, I would never have figure out my swing problem unless I stumbled on the solution. But, with Bobby’s help I started to focus on what needed fixing instead of challenges.
His lesson did not sink in right away, but over the years, I have never forgotten his teachings. I realized that most swing issues have a root cause and finding that cause was the key to success. Of course, applying the right remedy is important and as Jack Nicklaus indicates, focusing the the remedy not the problem is how we improve.
Fixing our golf swing is never easy. At my level, I generally need to seek professional assistance to help identify swing challenges. The trick after that is to stay focused on the remedy devised. This process can be painful, but worth every step because the end result is usually better than where I started. So, as you try to improve your game, follow Jack’s advice and stay focused on the remedies not your faults!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!