When Practice Becomes Fun

Many golfers look at hitting balls on the driving range as boring, mundane work that doesn’t even seem to help their golf game.  Well, they’re probably right about it not helping their golf game, as they are using their time and energy incorrectly.  However, boring and mundane it does not need to be, as their practice time can be engaging, interesting, and rewarding, if used in an appropriate and useful way.

Golfers aren’t going to improve while searching in vain for the answers to their bad shots, watching without having any idea why the ball did what it did.  Having limited knowledge of ‘cause and effect’ in the golf swing, leads to many wasted hours of frustration on the driving range.  For what we think we are doing, and what we are actually doing, are most always two very different things.

So why is it that perception and reality are so very different.  If you’ve played golf for any length of time, first of all you know that nothing about the golf swing is natural.  If it was just an athletic, ‘hand-eye coordination’ maneuver, then Charles Barkley would have a golf swing we could actually look at without wincing, and Michael Jordan would be able to break 85.

Golf is more art than game, and the golf swing is more of a craft than a sport; and these need to be taken into account when practicing.  The golf swing and game are a step by step building process of creation, like a sculpture in the works that you are chipping away at, or analogous to building a house from the ground up.  Sometimes we may get preoccupied with what color shades we want for the windows of our new house, before we’ve even poured the concrete foundation.  On the practice range, this is akin to becoming preoccupied with why our ball is going to the right before we’ve even learned how to grip the club, or how to position ourselves into a solid postural base from which to swing.

Don’t get ahead of yourself, as all amateurs do, trying to rush the pure and worthwhile endeavor of learning to swing the golf club.  Instead, sit back and enjoy the difficulty and beauty of it developing along the way.  We only value that which we truly cherish, so treat your golf swing and game in that way, giving them respect and patient attention.  Practice doesn’t have to be so frustrating and difficult, but can be simpler if focused on the most fundamentally important principles that you need at the time, rather than focused on your bad golf shot.

When a golfer begins to learn and understand the mechanical happenings in a golf swing that produce a certain shot, their practice takes on new meaning and productivity.  When, and if, a golfer ever learns to notice things such as rhythm, balance, and being centered while practicing, the effectiveness of their time spent will be multiplied.  Eighty percent of golfers on the driving range don’t know what to work on or how to practice, and have no idea what is wrong with their swing.  Getting to the crux of the matter entails patient and devoted, insight and study, into the real reasons for your club head action.  Intelligent attention is really the only way to have a more productive and fulfilling time on the range, so become a student of the game, ready for many new beginnings!

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