Let’s get one things straight right off the bat, I am not talking about the spirits you imbibe on the golf course, but more along the lines of ghosts. And since it is Christmastime, I, then must be, talking about Ghosts. Specifically, the three ghosts that visited Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens book, “A Christmas Carol”. So, what do the three spirits have to do with golf. Again, I am not talking about the typical spirits on golf course called canned beer, cold beer and wasp in your beer beer. But the spirits of Golf Past, Present and Yet-to-come. When reading Charles Dicken’s book, or better, even easier yet, watch the movie, you begin to understand that the spirits represent choices. So, from this point on our Spirits are called the Spirits of Golf Past, Present and Yet-to-come.
Your Spirit of Golf Past reminds you of the choices you made in the past and the consequences they bear. You try to forget them. Ignore them and hope they don’t rear their ugly heads. Who hasn’t been on the course and teed up their ball on the first hole, wind up and smack the ball into the horizon, only to observe in horror as it banana slices into the far rough or worse yet the hazard. How about landing your ball 30 feet from the green, first cursing the fact you didn’t get the ball on the green and second cursing that you have to use your dreaded wedge to pop it up close to the hole. You line everything up. Your weight is set, your grip is easy and your swing feels good…up until you come down and scull the ball thirty feet past the green on the other side.
Your Spirit of Golf Present is reminding you of what you can have. You see people who can casually walk up to the tee, swing easy and watch in delight as their ball lands in the middle of the fairway with a great second approach shot. Or you see someone who struts up to their ball, just short of green, with their wedge swinging low in their hand. They line up and with little effort and a confident swing, watch as the ball pops up, lands on the green and rolls to a foot of the cup. ARG! You want that, you need that…and you can have that!
Your Spirit of Golf Yet-to-come represents what you want your game to be. But, you need to make the choice. Do you want to continue golfing the way you do? If you do, and you are enjoying the game, that is great! If you don’t and you want to improve your game, lower your handicap and have more confidence, you need to choose today to work on your errors and bad habits because things you hope will go away if you ignore them, won’t. Get a bit of training if needed, practice lots and gain that muscle and body memory! And most important, enjoy golf, it’s a game invented to enjoy!
Woohoo, it’s Spring Training. What? Baseball? Who cares about baseball. I am woohooing for spring training for Golf Season! Yes, the smells of winter dying, if that is possible because winter brings on death. The death of fresh cut grass. The death of sweet smelling flowers. The death of all things green and beautiful. The death of the cold climate golf course grass and the most beautiful game ever created. So I am woohooing for the death of winter and yelling, “Bring it on Spring!” I am so ready for golf season to start. But, first I have spring training to do. I could go through all my golf outfits that I have packed away for the winter. Again, something else to bemoan about winter. The death of cute outifts. Breezes gently swaying the hems of skorts. Hair flowing from the acceleration of the golf cart. But I digress. I will not go through my outfits…yet. I need to focus on my game. Spring training’s purpose is to get in the best shape possible for the game. This is focussing on physical fitness as well as the fitness of my equipment. So where to start?
Well, everyone shouldn’t be starting from scratch and starting this late to stay fit. But, if you are, it is better late than never. Strength, flexibility, stability, balance, coordination and muscular endurance. SIx things to focus on your physical fitness and be prepared for you best season yet. “Spring training here I come!”
Strength: Posture and rotation of your upper body in the swing
Flexibility: Achieve a full back swing with no tension
Stability: Consistent swing mechanics
Balance: Power swing
Coordination: Swing sequence and motion consistency
Muscular Endurance: Making it through all the above for 18 holes!
Find exercises that work for you. Look them up on Youtube. There are oodles. Choose one that you will be comfortable with, not cause injuries and is sustainable. Make sure you work on all the areas of fitness for golf described above. Don’t envision yourself bench pressing 200lbs, envision yourself with a great core, flexible muscles, tendons and optimal balance and coordination.
Spring training for your equipment is just as important, but I will let my hubby give you pointers on how to get these ready for Spring Training…
What is it that you want to achieve this year in your golf game? Is it your physical fitness, a lower score, a further drive? Whatever it is you probably have set a goal for yourself. This goal is most likely achievable and actionable. But is this the best way to approach your game?
Goals are based off an “end game” scenario. Basically, you have set it your mind what it is you want to accomplish, put in a timeline and whoosh, away you go. But then “things” get in the way. A party here or there, work obligations, family commitments. All things that you hadn’t factored in to your goal setting. Your end game has been sabotaged. You most likely won’t meet your goal unless you are the most focussed person around. Even then, it can be derailed.
Don’t get me wrong, goals are great to set. Coaches have them. Marathon runners have them. Businesses have them. But, they are all end game scenarios. Coaches want to win cups or championships. Marathon runners want to finish the run, maybe in a certain time. Business want to have an increased percentage of sales. These are all great goals, but systems are going to get you to that goal.
Systems are the process of achieving the goal. Anyone can say, “Hey, I want to lower my handicap by 2 points this year.” But HOW are you going to do that? What system have you put in place to achieve it? The coach who wants to win championships will have specific practices for his team. The marathon runner will have a training schedule laid out until the run. The company will create marketing processes to follow to increase their sales.
Systems are habits, routines, practices, and approaches. If you just ignored your goal and worked on your systems would you still get results? Sure you would! Routines, practices and how you approach your systems will win out. They are habits now. Not just a “one off”. Goals are things you can’t control. You can get caught up in the end game and literally sabotage your goal because your focus is on the wrong area. And for some, setting goal is fun, but will eventually make them unhappy as they see it not materializing. You can’t control the goal, but you certainly control the system. And your system can become a habit which will give you results.
Don’t focus on the goal. If you ignored your goal and focused on your system, do you think you would still get results? I bet you would. So, what is your system to achieve your goal this year in your game?