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Golf Happens Fast

The blog re-activates! This time for good. I swear-ish.

Today’s topic, as well as all future topics (unless I decide to audible in the heat of indecision, which has been known to happen) will be about golf performance. Golf fitness primarily, but also drawing from my past experience as high level golfer, and as one who works with high level golfers. Topics will include my favorite drills, good mental approaches/practices/ and everything that might have to do with getting better at this wonderfully maddening game. Let’s begin.

Today’s thought: golf happens really fast.

While at first blush it might not seem so, as evidenced by 5+ hour rounds, the important stuff, the REALLY important stuff, happens in a nanosecond. I learned this for the first time at a tournament in Sea Island, Georgia.

One of the biggest junior events in the world, the AJGA Polo Classic was happening and it’s structured as such: 36 holes stroke play, then low 32 players advance to match play. I ended up in a playoff for the last couple spots of match play.

After 10 hours of golf, in mediocre weather, against some of the best players in the world, Ihad a shot to advance and solidify myself as a top recruit in my high school class. On the first playoff hole, I had a 5 foot putt to keep the train rolling. I lined it up, set up to the ball and stroked it, and straight off the face, knew it was out right and would miss.

Boom. A week of travel, three days of prep, two rounds of golf, and in one split second my tournament was over. The idea sunk in, (although my putt did not) “Wow. That happened fast.”

As a big takeaway guy (I religiously journal after tournaments in hopes that what I learned from each event will sink in deeply), my takeaway of golf happening quickly didn’t immediately mean anything. But with a little rumination, and a few more years of competitive golf, the ultimate lesson learned was this:

The important things in golf happen very quickly, so you better be prepared waaaaayyyyy in advance.

From a practicality standpoint, what this means is that tomorrow you might end up with a three footer to win your club championship, but your ability to make that putt will be decided by what you’ve thought over the last several months or years.

If you’re not watching the PGA Tour on TV and thinking about how you would handle that major championship first tee shot, or what’s the best strategic play from the fairway bunker with a one shot lead, or any of the other circumstances those guys find themselves in, you are wasting an opportunity to gain valuable mental reps, before you actually have to hit that super important shot.

The more you prepare in your mind, the more ready you will be for those super fast moments when the most important things in golf actually happen.

If you liked this story, please let me know. If you wish to come with on this journey of golf performance, please follow me at @michaelwhiteheadtraining or here on this blog.

Get after it!


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