TONY WESTWOOD is a golf professional and his book The Naked Leader Plays Golf is available exclusively through the Naked Leader website, here. This is an extract from the book. Why not buy it and find out more? It could change your game if you read it before tee time…
WHEN I look at somebody as a golfer I see levers and hinges and joints and pulleys. I then begin to ask myself, ‘would I make a machine move that way to do a task?’ If the answer is yes we carry on. If no, then I look at how I can get you to explore your most efficient swing, by discussing the facts. Once you understand the facts of how your body is designed to work your golf will really begin to improve and evolve.
Have you ever seen one of those machines they use to test golf clubs and golf balls? I is basically a robot, a very simple machine programmed to do what the programmer tells it to do. The challenge is that you, the golfer, bring an extra dimension to the golfing mechanism, EMOTION.
You see, if the robot hits a shot off line it is up to the programmer to adjust the settings slightly. The robot doesn’t throw a tantrum or get disappointed. That is why you need to look at the facts, make a small adjustment and have another go. It is only a golf ball after all.
We have all been programmed to look at what is wrong. At school red ink would appear all over our exercise books, certainly mine anyway, showing you where you had made a mistake. It’s time to look at what actually happened. You have to give it that ‘wrong’ label. You did what you did and that’s it. Nothing else. So look at the facts, make a small adjustment and move on to the next shot.
Here’s the deal.From now on you will process only facts. What actually happened.When you hit a good shot give yourself a pat on the back, congratulate yourself, and move on. You did, after all, do a good job.When the ball goes somewhere other than where you want it to go here is what you do.
Ask yourself, where did it go? Did it curve in the air? Did it go high or low? Then by using this knowledge, and applying it to what you will go on and learn in this book, you will know what you need to do next to produce a different shot. The key is not doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Remember, all you are looking for are facts. What the ball does is a fact. How your body moves is a fact.
I am not saying you need to be an expert in Biomechanics. You do know how your body works and that works for me. You will learn how to link what the ball did to what you did and then understand what you need to do next to enable you to send the ball where you want it to go.
In our day it was either right. Or it was wrong. The interesting thing is that a golfer has been conditioned into that element. It’s right or wrong. It’s either a good shot or a bad shot. Even when they hit a good shot, they’ll even say things like. ‘Yes but that was lucky. I probably can’t do that again’.
Which then becomes a self fulfilling prophecy because the brain says, ‘oh right, well, you said you probably couldn’t do that again, there you go we told you. Don’t you feel good?’ Well actually, no I don’t.
Golfers are generally on this massive downward spiral, mentally purely and simply because of where the emotional element is. And the great thing about what I am saying to everybody is this. What the golf ball does is a fact. How your body works is a fact.
(Extract from The Naked Leader Plays Golf)