Copyright 2006 Craig Sigl
Today, let’s get down and dirty about the word “feel” and how I apply it to golf the “Without Practice” way so you can shave some strokes effortlessly this weekend. You know deep down if not at the top of your head, that when you feel good, you will perform or act your best in anything right? Most of us struggle with our feelings because we just let them occur based on whatever is happening in our lives at the time. For instance, if you just get news that you got a raise at work, you are going to have a great feeling for some time after correct? This is a great time to get out on the course as your bio-computer (brain) is now in the optimum conditon for performance. Nobody denies this and yet we go out on the course and choose to say and do things that destroy our optimum performance potential.
I am becoming more and more convinced the longer I play this game that how we “feel” during our round determines the variation from our average score more than anything else. What I mean by feel is our STATE. STATE is physiology plus internal representation. It’s short for “state of being.” So what if we can do things to affect our state just the same as receiving the news that we got a raise at work? We can!
Recently, I shot my best round of the year at 1 under par. As I teach people to really dig into how they “felt” when they played a great round, I took notes and after the round really went over the things I was thinking, how my body was responding, what did I eat, what were my eyes seeing, etc. You need this information to help build your optimal state. Once built, you can rebuild it in the future since you now have the blueprint or instructions. WE need to pay far more attention to when we play well than when we don’t!
Many golfers completely dissect their rounds afterward replaying their bad shots over and over in their minds trying to figure out what went wrong. This only serves to implant suggestions in our unconscious mind that that is how we play. Not good for future rounds. Remember: “as a man thinketh, so shall he become” and other quotes like that? It all stems from the concept of the duality of our mind; the subconscious and the conscious functions. Once we get this, we can do a lot toward the mental side of our game to reach our potential.
Your Golf Score is determined by Feel
I used to take advice from the magazines that say you have to keep track of your Greens in regulation, how many putts you had, how many sand saves etc. and then “identify” my weaknesses. Again, not good since putting the focus on the negatives only gives them power and the repetition of thinking about them starts to solidify in your unconscious. Remember that your unconscious doesn’t know the difference between a positive or negative thought, it just accepts that which it is most convinced of by repetitive thought or action. And besides, I don’t need a scorecard to remind me of my weaknesses on a given round. I know what they are after every round and I can usually pin it down to something I did or didn’t do prior to hitting the ball in my pre-shot routine as I discuss in my “Without Practice” system.
What you need to start doing right now, next round, is really zero in on the things that go well. Make little celebrations in your mind (be humble with your partners) when you hit a great shot. Turn on the positive emotions and show a big smile when you sink that long putt! Take mental, if not paper and pen, notes on anything worth remembering when you do anything that puts you into that “feel good” state. Create an anchor that you do every time you hit a shot exactly the way you planned it just like the ringing buzzer that Pavlov’s dogs were trained to salivate to.
When you have bad shots, immediately analyze it afterward, see what you can learn from it and then FORGET IT! It will do you no good whatsoever to hold onto it. You know that your swing is different from day to day as all the pros also complain about. So what benefit can be gained from going over bad shots that could be gone the next day without even trying? Save the analyzing for the range if you do have time to practice. If not, then just keep pounding your subconscious with images of you accomplishing the little things you had trouble with until your next round. That is the “Without Practice” way.