Golfers are no different than the average American when it comes to their behavior patterns and actions. Most golfers seek out help with their golf game from a place of pain and frustration. They are wildly embarrassed about the state of their game, the number of golf balls lost, the time spent holding up the group looking for those balls, windows broken, invitations declined, they are the butt of their buddies’ jokes and they want help. They are forced to act…fight or flight… it is human instinct.
As a coach my first goal is to remove that pain, get them to enjoy the game again. Over the years I have become pretty good at that. Trial and error over some 15,000 golf lessons will allow one to gain some proficiency on the subject. The problem isn’t removing the pain… it is what comes next. When people act out of a place of pain, the pain is what motivates them, it is what pushes them, it is what gets them to their lessons on time, it is why they CHOOSE to practice. Remove that pain and you remove the motivation. Not all American golfers are this way but in my experience, the vast majority are. They are not motivated by success and reaching potential… they are motivated by not being embarrassed and that is why many of us do not reach our full potential. You can parallel this idea to many other areas, weight loss is the top one that comes to mind. Shed those first 10 lbs and we become content… we rationalize… we are no longer totally disgusted by the image we see… just partially and from there we go about our lives (finances and debt is another area that comes to mind). In other cultures, not reaching one’s potentially is kin to committing a sin. In America it has become status quo.
So what do we do? It is ok to respond out of a place of pain, it is human nature. It is a good thing… it is what gets us moving in the right direction. When you begin that journey though, you have to know what you will be up against. You will have to know that the complacency bug (CB) will creep up after some progress is made. You have to stay ahead of him, you have to set goals, plan your counter attack on the (CB). Move from a place of thinking about your game as something with holes and deficiencies and begin to look at your game as a masterpiece you are shaping. What areas do you want to make great? What do you want your golfing identity to be? Who can you model this area of your game after? Some refer to this way of thinking as “Lifestyle by design”, I guess we can call it “My Golf Game by design”. Once your have that image of the golfer you want to be, let that passion run deep. Let it keep you up at night. Let it be what pushes you, motivates you, and make the decision that falling short of reaching your potential is a slap in the face to the golf gods…. It is basically kin to a sin.