We all like making the heroic shot that wins the match or saves strokes. Generally, it happens when we are not in our comfort zone and we have to attempt a shot that is more challenging then we would like. This is not an unusual situation, but one most amateurs (in any sport) try to avoid by staying comfortably in a zone that causes them the least about of stress. Unfortunately, it is the place of comfort what is an anchor to your golf game. I know it was to mine!
For years, I played in my comfort zone by only using 6 clubs regardless of the situation. I was confident with this limit selection because I felt I could make the best shots with them. Unfortunately, staying in this comfort zone limited my ability as a player to constantly improve. Yes, I did plateau (anticipating your question) and until I made stressful changes, I was never going to be the player I wanted to be.
The paradigm shift I am talking about where I consciously stepped out of my comfort zone happened three times over the past 40 years. The first is when I broke 90, the second 80, and the last was about six years ago when I decided I wanted to be a scratch golfer. Each of these times took a dramatic change to my approach to golf and as a result, good things happened.
My last major change is still ongoing. I have experienced a few physical road blocks and a few mental ones as well. It is the mental ones that are the most challenging to conquer. The current roadblock deals with approach shots. For some reason I am convincing myself to stop being aggressive. Yup, it seems strange, but I have allowed fear to creep into my mind and I seem to bail out when the shot gets tough. The funny thing is that I was never like this in the past and I do not know what has changed. I know I need to be aggressive on my approach shots, but for some reason I convince myself otherwise. It is very frustrating.
But, I am not deterred. I will conquer this next hurdle because it is stopping me from my goal. My dream is big enough and as such I am okay with stepping out of my comfort zone in order to achieve my goals. It is something I have done in the past and because of that I am okay with creating a new normal for my golf game (and life). It is a matter of having the desire to keep moving forward!
Unfortunately, I cannot work on my approach shots yet, but make no mistake that this year I will be more aggressive and accept the roller coaster ride of success. It is just the way it has to be.
Do you have a golf comfort zone? Does it hurt your game?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!