Our Greatest Strength is Letting Go

One of my co-workers wrote a blog today that focused on how to find peace and minimize stress in our daily lives.  There were a few lines in her post that I couldn’t help but apply to my golf game and I wanted to share them.  The first line was the following,

“When we can’t find peace within, we tend to look outward for distractions from our internal struggle. We look for relief by accumulating things. By achieving that title, buying that house in the high status neighborhood or being seen in the latest “in” spot. Or we spend a week at the ocean or 10 minutes in a quiet room and hope it’s enough to bring us internal peace.”

Was there ever a truer statement ever written about golfers?  When our swing goes south and our game suffers what do we tend to do?  We don’t look at our work ethic, practice methods or swing fundamentals.  We get in the car and go to the golf shop to pick up a new box of balls that fly straighter or a new driver that guarantees more distance.  When we are at odds with our golf game we tend to look outward for quick fix items that will make us feel good about playing again.

I think deep down we all know that the only way to get truly better at the game of golf is to put the time in and truly want to get better.   If there were a magic ball or driver out there that could make the average golfer better, everyone would have it and the game would be easy for everyone.  It doesn’t exist.  I do believe that being properly fit for equipment is important, but the average player doesn’t take the time do it.  They tend to buy the latest fad in the game every season with the hopes it will work for them.  These are the same people who always have new gear, but the same old handicap.

The second line that caught my attention was the following,

“We must begin and continue our own journey to quiet our inner battles, empty our minds and make room for peace. It begins with identifying what is filling us up.  With this awareness, we can surrender those things that are not serving us. Sometimes our greatest strength is in letting go.”

Wow.  What a great quote to take with you to the golf course.  I myself am a tinkerer and I am constantly trying new things with my swing to get better, but I have a hard time playing the swing I have on the course.  I tend to take my range mentality with me to the course.  If I were able to empty my mind with all of my tinkering swing thoughts and allow myself the peace of mind of just playing my swing I am sure my scores would drop dramatically.

I also love the concept of emptying your mind to make room for peace.  I thought about what I normally think about during a round and it is crazy how many thoughts run through my head.  (Where is the OB, what is my score at right now?, what do I have to shoot on the back 9 to break 80?, I don’t want to push this next drive like I did on the last hole, whatever you do don’t hit it in that bunker.)  The list goes on and on and on.  I would love to be able to look at those thoughts and accept that they are not helping my game and then allow them to slip from my mind during my round.  There is nothing productive about them and I guarantee they are hurting my game.

The best concept in my co-worker’s post was that our greatest strength is letting go.  By the time we get to the course our swing is what it is.  The course conditions are what they are.  We will hit bad shots and we will hit good shots.  Either way they don’t affect our next swing in any way shape or form, so there is no point getting caught up in the past or future.  The most important shot in your round is your next one and letting go of everything you think you know about the game of golf or your swing is a powerful tool.  The best part is that it is at your disposal whenever you want to take advantage of it.

 

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3 Comments to “Our Greatest Strength is Letting Go”

  1. Great post. Very thoughtful and intuitive.

  2. Dude, great post thanks. I often find that sense of letting go at the end of the season when I hang em up for the winter. The swing thought library is emptied of volumes and a relief sets in. Often, the first round of the following year is the most refreshing because there is no accumulated mental baggage. Just go play. I’m sure you know the feeling.

    • I know the feeling all too well. Like I said in my post I love to tinker and I am trying to let go of that mindset when I am actually playing. I doubt I will ever be able to fully let go of it on the range, but on the course there is no room for all of the swing thoughts I have in my head. Thanks for the comment!

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