July 28, 2011 - Ralph Cissne
Politics aside, “hope and change” are two words you are wise to purge from your golf vocabulary. Consider the shift in consciousness when you replace these vacuous terms with “clarity and commitment.” To create results you must have clear intentions and the ability to remain in the moment. My mentor Frank Natale described hope as “a notch above worry” with no value to anyone but victims who unwittingly cultivate self-imposed limitations. Change is a vicious circle without direction. I improved my game dramatically, and won tournaments, applying the Natale results techniques included in the Will of Golf program.
Like most players, I love new equipment and used to “change” my putter often. The shine on my new magic wand, however, wore off when flawed mechanics manifested the same frustrating outcome. Several years ago I committed to advance my approach, engaged a coach and have used only one putter with great success. Last week Paul Azinger, on his Twitter feed, reminded me of a simple putting tempo drill (one-two or one-two-three) that works wonders for your stroke. In golf we are both the garden and the gardener. We reap what we sow. Guidance from your local PGA grain merchant will make a difference.
“I found something out there today,” is a common refrain from Tour players after a breakthrough round. Consider this whenever you struggle on the course. The perfect golf swing is a myth, but when you manage your mind and emotions you will manage to score. The golf swing is an expression of your willingness to be present. When you commit to a fluid tempo and a balanced finish there is music playing only you can hear. Maybe the Blue Danube Waltz, Om Shanti or Born to Be Wild, but it is yours. Listen.
Golf is a metaphor for life, and certainly for these challenging times. The best we can do is to play the ball down, exercise our freedom and make the most of every situation. Hope has nothing to do with the outcome. When you are on your game the choices are clear and your results are on purpose. Do not hesitate or take yourself too seriously (although, if over forty, you may take ibuprofen). Results have little value unless they are enjoyed. There are moments when nothing is more satisfying than having a close friend, who has witnessed your struggles, shake their head and say, “Nice shot. I shouldn’t have pressed the bet.” Hold that thought. WOG