While playing golf today No Three Putts had a rather sad revelation. Here it is: I played the best golf of my life when I was 15 - 22 years old. As soon as I got out of college my game went right down the toilet. I got my degree and thought I was now smart enough to think about what I do on the golf course. For the last 13 years every damn shot I hit has way too much thought in it. This is how it goes. I get up to the ball and my mind says do this, but don't do that, can't forget this, but you better make sure you do that and under no circumstances do this, that or the other, blah, blah, blah... All of this thinking is horrible. Thinking is the worst thing that has ever happened to my golf game.
Let me explain. When you're young you walk up to the ball and say to yourself I need to get from here to there. That's it. A very simple but effective thought process. At that age I don't remember hitting bad shots like I do now. Yes, I made course management mistakes, but not the stupid things I do now.
Now here's the thought process going on in my head as I address the ball, swing and finally strike that damn white thing. I walk up to the ball, address it and say to myself "self, is the left foot ok? How about the right foot? Hands in place? Ok it's safe to begin the swing...the back swing begins, is my left arm on the plane I want? Wrists cock ok? Did I go back far enough? Too far? Then the down swing starts and honestly I don't know what is happening. How's my weight shifting? What's going on? Did I do this? Did I do that? Why did I take such a big divot? And finally where's the damn ball? It's where? How the heck did it go there? I was playing it here! What did I do wrong? Did anyone see what I did wrong?"
I omitted about 150 other thoughts I have during this grueling and horrific experience known as a golf swing. If I could go back to my youth, before I read golf magazines, before I analyzed golf swings, before I ever thought about what I was doing, I would be a much better golfer. I know there's no going back physically, but if I figure out how to do it mentally, I'll let you know. For those of you that are curious, I shot an 84 today.