Albert Einstein defined insanity as repeating the same behavior over and over and expecting a different outcome. I was reminded of this today as I twisted myself into a mental basket case trying to implement too many mechanical fixes during the first eight holes of my golf game. Fed up with hitting pop-ups and chunks off the tee, I decided on the 9th hole to “screw all these stupid swing thoughts” and just hit the ball hard at the target. “Bingo!” The flow and rhythm immediately returned and I rifled short irons right at the pin on four of my next five holes and carded three birdies. Having done the “think target only” thing in the past with great success, I was left to wonder, “Why do I keep doing this to myself?”
The culprits are not just us weekend warriors. I learned during Saturday that Jim Furyk’s resurgence at the PGA was due largely to some recent work he’d been doing with Dr. Bob Rotella. Apparently, Furyk’s mind was so twisted he couldn’t get out of his own way. Watching Furyk reset five times before every putt was starting to drive me insane, but he was making most of them, so he must have been doing something right, and Rotella must be making a boatload of cash off these touring pros. He has developed quite a reputation for fixing guy’s heads right before stellar performances in the major championships.
Weekly players practice once or twice before a round and latch onto a swing thought that happens to be working at the time and then try to put that into play. The fallacy in this method is that swing thought momentum is fleeting and inevitably we make a bad swing using the good swing thought and the mistake is a catalyst for a new swing thought. Every been there? I think we’d all be better off playing 18 holes and starting the round by just thinking target and attempting to “trust our swing” as Dr. Bob advocates.
I wonder how much an hour of Dr. Bob’s time costs? How’s your mental game?