A Merry Golfing Christmas

Looking back at 2010, what has golf meant to you and what have you learned?

Have you managed to get your handicap lowered to that magical number you always dreamed of?! Maybe you took your first steps in the game after a lot of convincing and now you’re hooked.
Whatever it has been for you, golf is definitely the game and the vehicle that can let us experience and feel many emotions.
One of my golfing highlights this year was playing golf for the first time with my son Ben and my wife Claire. The golf course was the perfect place to spend time together playing a game that I hope they will grow to love as much as I do.
The round gifted us with many fun times from my wife’s near hole in one to my son not wanting to get out of ‘the sand pits’.
The culture gets us so wrapped up in score and handicap that often playing the game and enjoying good company is lost.
You will often find that when you are not so into your score, or keeping track of your shots, is when you start to perform better.

Here are my 2010 top golfing tips.

1.    Control the controllable – there is no way to fully control the ball and therefore your score, so take time to take charge of your decisions as well as your state.
2.    Deal with reality – when you hit the top of the ball it is not down to you lifting your head! The club came in too high.  Can you make the decision to lower the clubface at impact?
3.    Develop shots, not a swing – you do not have one golf swing in golf you have many shots. It is important to practice with purpose and develop a whole repertoire of golf shots.

The Perfect Gift

What will be in your Christmas stocking this year?  What would be the ultimate golfing gift?
How about some consistency to your game? What about taking 10 less putts per round or having the ability to hit those dreaded fairway wood shots?
There are no real secrets or short cuts to all your desires but can I recommend some books and golfing gifts to get you on track;

Extraordinary Golf – Fred Shoemaker: This book is really my coaching bible, the book has been around for a while but really is a must read.
Mastery – George Leonard: This book gives a fantastic understanding of learning and what it takes to get better.

Every shot must have a purpose – Lynn Marriott, Pia Nilsson: The title gives it away, but really a fascinating read from 2 of the worlds leading golf coaches.

Side Spin: Take a look at www.side-spin.com and order this game. It was developed by my colleague here at Dalmahoy and is a fun and challenging version of golf.