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Chi-Power Golf Part 22 - The happiness of a well struck golf shot

In this two-part feature Jayne Storey outlines her experience of helping golfers achieve the happiness of a well-struck golf shot and offers her take on the key ingredients of hitting it pure, showing how to achieve this golfing high again and again

Why do you play golf? It’s an interesting and useful question to ask yourself. Do you play golf for the camaraderie, social interaction, and the great outdoors? Do you play to improve and lower your scores, the thrill of winning or being in contention or as a journey of self-discovery? Or, are you among the majority of golfers (almost a third of those quizzed in a recent survey) who play the game for the rush of simply striking the ball pure out of the middle?

A few more questions well worth considering...

Do you remember the last time you hit the perfect shot? Of course you do. I’m sure you know the course, hole and club you were playing at the time and have re-lived it countless times since in your mind.

Most golfers remember their “eureka” moment and get hooked on the game as a result. For some this might be the memory of a oneoff drive that entered the stratosphere 25 years ago, for others it’s an experience that occurs maybe once or twice per round, or maybe only half a dozen times per season, but the elusiveness only serves to whet the appetite.

There are many reasons that golfers rattle off to explain their infatuation with the game: camaraderie, competition, exercise, and the aesthetics of the golf course. But research consistently reveals that the simple joy of hitting the ball well ranks highest. In an industry survey, for example, 29% of respondents chose “ball striking” as their top reason for enjoying the game. The second most popular was “the people you play with,” at 19%. No other response drew more than 9% of the vote, including posting a good score, at a rather meagre 8%.

So, what if you could pin-point exactly what took place throughout your pre-shot routine, at set-up and during the shot itself to deliver that precise contact with the ball that produces a cracking shot – the one that takes the breath away.

And what if I told you that since you’ve already had the experience of nailing the perfect shot once or half a dozen times in your golfing life, then you have it well within your capabilities to repeat the thrill of it next time you play.

Let’s examine the experience more closely

All the golfers I’ve questioned about their experience of hitting it pure describe similar feelings such as being relaxed, not trying too hard, not really thinking of anything in particular, increased confidence levels, having plenty of time and a sense of effortlessness.

Not a single golfer, when relaying their experience of the perfect shot, talks about swing mechanics or says they were focused on or thinking about technique – they only remember the feelings of effortlessness, confidence, and having a mind free of mental interference.

Interesting isn’t it, that golf’s elite as well as the mid-handicap golfer who plays 18 holes every other Sunday morning reports exactly the same thing.

Bobby Jones once said that when he played good golf he thought very little but when he played exceptional golf he didn’t think at all…and Tiger (back in the day!) talked about his experience of “silence” before hitting the shot.

Now we’re getting to the crux of the matter. Could it be that the secret to the prefect shot actually lies in the moments before you take your swing? Yes, absolutely…and here’s why.

In golf and other sports we are obsessed with action, movement, motion – the golf swing, the tennis serve, the penalty kick – but time and time again research reveals that the athlete with the ‘quiet’ mind, the athlete who pays attention to and expertly utilizes the gap that precedes motion, is the one who’ll perform a fluid, powerful and effortless shot.

So where should our attention be placed during that ‘gap’? How can you use that moment to produce a winning shot?

Well, if we go back to what we know about how golfers feel when they hit it pure (relaxed, confident, mind free of interference) and we replicate these feelings during your pre-shot routine, set-up and swing – chances are you’ll create the right conditions for the perfect shot to manifest. And if you can do it once, or half a dozen times in a round – potentially you can do it every shot.

Next issue, Jayne examines the ‘gap’ that precedes each shot and explains how you can use it to let go of the attachment to “getting it right”, to relax, take your time, quieten the mind, raise confidence levels and experience more of the joys this game has to offer!

To learn more about Chi-Power Golf, visit www.chipowergolf.com where you can find out about personal tuition, talks and workshops, and also sign up for a free newsletter, "The Mindful Golfer".

To contact Jayne Storey, ring 07986 447250

Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine





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