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For all those minds too full of swing thoughts and tips,
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This review is from: The Inner Game of Golf (Hardcover)
I have been playing golf for 18 years and like many golfers have always thought that technique was the key thing to learn. People say that golf is 85% mental and I couldn't see how when I struggled to make decent contact with the ball on a regular basis. (I have had a handicap of 19-21 for 8 years). I have read many mainstream books and videos by the likes of David Leadbetter on the mechanics of golf, I have tried lessons from top golf pros, all maner of videos from lesser known people in the states and a number of swing gizmos with little change.
Here is a book with a different approach to the whole idea of playing golf. According to the author, most bad shots in golf are caused by tension. This stops our muscles from working properly in the swing and is the cause of all sorts of faults. Tension is caused by fear, which in turn is caused by doubt in one's ability.
Then there's the little inner voice a lot of us have nagging away while we play telling us to watch out in case we muck up the next shot like we did last time. Timothy Galwey calls this voice Self 1 which is constantly interfering with Self 2, the rest of our body/mind combination.
If we can distract self 1 so that he/she stops doubting us we reduce the fear, reduce the tension and play better. The author suggests various approaches which are manily centered on becoming more aware of the clubhead's position during the swing.
Another great notion is that of not trying. Instead of trying really hard to follow the latest tip or swing thought from our friends, pro or golf magazine, Mr. Gallwey advocates not trying but instead simply observing. For instance, in the medal this morning, I was rather keyed up and played nervously and therefore inconsistently for the first 7 holes. Around the 6th I decided to just become aware of whether my swing was smooth or not. I didn't try to swing any particular way or have any swing thoughts. Suddenly my game came alight - I par'd the 8th, then the 9th, then the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th. The scores didn't stay that good for the last 5 holes but this approach definitely shows potential.
I don't think you can manage without some technical knowledge and lots of practice, but there's a way to aquire the knowledge and practice and a way to use it on the course. This book is the best I have read on this whole genre of 'just do it' type golf.