Blog: Hard not to think when there’s so much to think about!
I have decided that golf is like bowling. Not physically, obviously, because the only similarities between the two is the fact that there is a ball and the fact that people have to wear weird shoes when they play. Mentally, however, the two sports are not dissimilar.
The interesting thing about going bowling is that a lot of people get better after a pint. That’s because alcohol stops you from thinking too much. So after a few drinks your instincts take over and you just lob the ball any old how. Instead of this resulting in a trip to A&E, your arm remembers what to do from the previous times you’ve played, recreates that perfect swing and boom you’ve got a strike! Now I’m not saying everyone needs to be drunk to play golf well, but on the whole, not over-thinking is pretty important
Every time, during my lesson, I switched from practising hitting the tee peg to actually trying to hit a ball, Chris Parker (senior instructor at Leeds Golf Centre) would tell me not to over think the shot. When he thought I was starting to think too much he would tell me to go back to practising on the tee peg again, and that way I only missed tee pegs and not balls.
Concentrating on trying to remember what I was concentrating on during the previous swing results in a missed ball We worked on my arms some more, which Chris said should form an L-position with the club through the back swing. Once I’d stopped wrapping my arms around my head (again), my swing got more consistent but I still didn’t know from one swing to the next whether I’d hit the ball or not.
Apart from my arm positions, the main thing I learnt this week is that not concentrating results in a missed ball, concentrating on the wrong thing results in a missed ball, concentrating on trying to remember what I was concentrating on during the previous swing results in a missed ball, and concentrating too much results in a missed ball.
At the end of the lesson Chris told me to go practise hitting balls for a bit on the range. I was doing alright until I started thinking about what I was going to have for tea and then I did 6 mishits in a row and called it a day. I am hoping that, like with most things, practise makes perfect and that I have to get worse before I get better. Failing that I will just have to stick with bowling.
Two days after my lesson I went to the range with a friend to practise. The pro shop we went to only had a 6 iron and a driver so while my friend practised with the iron, I got to hit a driver for the first time. It was excellent. The only quibble I had was with the one tree to the right hand side of the range. It’s March, there are NO leaves, HOW did I manage to hit a branch from the middle of the range?!
To read about my first lesson, click here
Image credit: Getty Images (Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle having a golf lesson)