Temperament Training for Golf


Shooting Par is a great score for 18 holes, and as nearly all golfers' realize, it's an extraordinary accomplishment. What seems obvious is that the player has had to exercise a great deal of talent in order to learn what to do, and to demonstrate how to do it. The player would have had to understand golf in many significant and required ways. Mr. Bobby Jones developed a tremendous relationship with the game, and spoke of the golf course as "Old Man Par". He found that not only need the player discover their natural golf swing, the player had to particularly realize that the golf course is what they ultimately need to develop a relationship with, a strong relationship with. What the professional player understands is that great golf demands learning and expressing a golfing character both on the course and with range practice off the course. In other words, in significant ways there is a certain way to play.

A lot of people play golf, and this suggests that there is desire to associate, express, or develop their talents and joys of body and mind. There is exercise, companionship, business and so on, which the player can enjoy. But only a hand full of players truly understands the sort of emotional demands and control relating to high performance golf. And if they do understand this need, they also realize that it's difficult to demonstrate. But handling emotional conditions and making good decisions is demanded by Old Man Par. Par golf requires the player to learn to communicate with the course, and to appreciate its "language", or experience. 

The fun parts everyone loves about golf must rule the player's game according to wisdom and understanding, otherwise Old Man Par will break you every time. The golf course teaches the player how and what to do to be successful with every shot. Hopefully the player can realize that the golf course is their best friend in this game. The player needs this friend, no matter how challenging the relationship. Competing with ones' self is pretty natural in golf but competing with the golf course is to be intensely avoided. It makes sense and certainly seems that the highest level of play demands a certain character expression of harmony and focus linked to your friend - the golf course - as well as to the ball (the other friend) to get through this game in Par style.


Awareness within a particular shot reflects peace of mind, and patience, to enjoy a complete "shot focus", having child-like fun in what can appear as a most "serious" situation. Such golf variables need to be recognized and developed into a strategy for intelligent and gainful play. It is important to consider what sort of golfing character enhances play and which best ends to handle all of the various and even mysterious situations involved. This talk considers many golf course variables, and looks straight at emotional crossroads and 'response modes' spelled out to the player about how to relate to and generally "surrender" to the needs of Old Man Par. The basic idea here is to putt for more birdies by creating your "zone". The golfer heart can do this.

Temperament training for golf is a strategy for developing the golfers "performance mind" or 'awareness' by configuration of pertinent ideas as to priority and then working to practice this "golfing character". The player's mindset is the critical platform for shot focus and execution. The most simple manner and complete attention to the shot is the goal, playing in the 'zone'. This training is to help the player establish an aware and basically thoughtful or directed mode of play in order to stay 'connected'.

Temperament for golf in this talk is not about playing golf while chatting about anything and everything on the golf course, or really to socially "partake" at all. It is about serious golf, as is seen with the level best. The player has to respond intelligently to golf challenges and predicaments, and successfully maneuver to find solutions for success during the round. At the time of the shot, the course participates intensely, and its variables are much more important than the player generally thinks. At some point, excellence in golf requires such careful and intelligent mental work to keep emotions and mind relevant to the play at hand.

Learning to shoot Par directs the player to be more peaceful and aware, and quieter and gentler at golf, while being powerfully confident and prepared, much as a dedicated athlete at the starting line. We see incredible focus. Good players have had to learn to be more aware of themselves, more controlled in actions, and appreciative in the many difficult situations, requiring extensive perceptions and reasoning. Golf can be seen as a thinking game. The player hits balls for only a few minutes while enjoying the game for four or five hours. There is a lot of thinking going on, important thinking. Again, Par is going to channel all the focus to the course in order to carve out a good score. The player works at staying out of their own way so that golf can be the only game played. In a very real sense, the player is guided to work at being more of an artist at golf.


Discovering ones natural talents and letting them do the job is artistic indeed, and fun. Establishing an artistic strategy or understanding for play that helps guide the players' temperament, or emotional balance, can mean some work, and maybe a lot of work for some players. The general idea of strategy and guidelines is to work on the essentials for good golf that help to bring out the artist in the player. Anyone can be more artistic with a bit of focus in the right direction. There need be no effort here to "shift paradigms" of how people live or work their world. Personal judgments are the last thing needed for Par. It's just about playing good golf. After holing out on 18, do what you want. But for four hours of play you basically go to work becoming familiar with relevant shot and golf course variables and respond accordingly.

There is no mystery about the characterization of professional golf. Professionals in all sports, even the best in any career, honor us all with the tremendous discipline, the work ethic, and with the sheer determination relating to excellence. But one can argue that Tour players show us the highest class of thought in sports. Good will and good ideas, honesty and such, are solutions to "the game". They definitely help pave the way to sub-par rounds. Relaxation takes on new meaning beyond merely trying to keep muscles from tensing up. The muscles reach levels of "zone" relaxation when the player's thoughts are correctly and completely focused on the key shot and game ingredients. The muscles never worked or felt so good. Professional golfers know this. The need is for mental harmony and peace at least as much as for solid swing mechanics. 

These temperament ideas tend to correct swing flaws because the player becomes much more sensitive to their feelings and perception of muscles. Muscle tension is handled quickly. Moreover, balancing mind means a more balance swing. Extraneous thoughts and emotions must be eliminated to simplify everything for greater accuracy. More sensitivity to controlling emotional flares means more swing tempo in shot execution. In any event, emotional challenges must be seen and defused in order to be replaced with shot and game focus, and thereby preventing the up and down scores, and keeping the player into some really fun golf.

The failures from only drilling swing mechanics to get ones handicap to zero should alert the player that attitude probably needs a significantly more stringent focus as to game strategy. The failures of great shot makers or great putters to reach the top comes by not more carefully dealing with distractions, and from not having a strategic mind-set and simple plan going into the first tee. The player misses out on the interaction with the golf course when play is too mechanical. Mechanical work alone will never make the player their best. Old Man Par is asking the player to be more of an artist than that.




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