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Becoming a Better Golfer – an Epiphany

“Hi Rand, I’m excited to share a breakthrough I’ve
recently experienced. First, thank you for your commitment
to yourself, the game of golf, and to this amazing website
and golf blog…I am inspired and it’s time for a change!

My game has been the same for 10 years or more, as you
know, pretty stagnant. Sure, I’ve had a few decent rounds,
but for the most part I’ve hovered around the low to mid
90’s. Through your guidance, however, I’ve chosen to step
out of myself to observe who and how I’ve been being, on
and off the course. Like most, I’ve always wanted to score
better, but I can see now that my approach to the game is
what has hindered me. Every time I’ve played in the past,
I’ve gone to the course carrying my baggage (not my golf
bag); fear, doubt, worry and pride. ‘What if I play bad? I
don’t want to lose money! Will people get upset if I suck?’
Sometimes I could hide these inevitable landmines, and
begin with a couple pars, possibly even a birdie, but sooner
than later the demons would surface and get the best of
me…all because of my “concern” of being able (or not) to
shoot a low score. The focus of my game was always the
score, never on really enjoying myself, the camaraderie of
friends and being grateful for the beautiful surroundings.
Even when I tried to tell myself to relax and enjoy, my
subconscious was constantly talking about score, score,
score! I had to “look good” and thought I could only be
happy if I played well. Consequently, every bad shot, bad
hole and bad round left me disappointed, again.

I remember playing an outing with 8-10 guys at Pine
Knob, and being so disgusted with my game that afterward
I got in my car and left without a word to anyone…what a
loser! Another round I threw my 4-iron into a 40 ft. pine
tree surrounded by Junipers, and never found it. I couldn’t
have been a good sport if I tried.

The last couple years though I’ve found peace with
letting go of worrying about the outcome, even when I
knew I wanted to “look good” but couldn’t. My mind was
made up that ‘my score is my score, so I’ll just accept it.’
This did give me relief, although it didn’t lower my score. I
simply resigned myself to the fact that I sucked no matter
how hard I tried, so I might as well get used to it and enjoy
myself anyway. I decided to just give up on even trying as
soon as my game went to hell (which was usually on the
front nine), and drink away my misery on the back.

That was then, this is now. As we talked about last night,
I’ve never been so inspired and excited about my game.
Your guidance and wisdom hit me like a brick Rand, and I
got it. I got that “Going With the Flow” means going with
the flow of life, realizing and understanding that we are
all connected to the omnipotent Energy of the Universe/
God, and by virtue of the Law of Attraction and Deliberate
Creation, we are creating our own reality every day! Our
thoughts, words, feelings and emotions are all energy, so
that which we radiate draws back to us an equal energy in
response. So, I get now how I can harness this amazing
power that we all have, and use it to my advantage in my
golf game, as well as in life. I’m vibrating like crazy, knowing
now that I can go out to the course with confidence, and
play a game with myself, inside of my game and actually
have fun.

I heard Jack Nicklaus say, during an event a few weeks
ago, something I had never considered in my 25 years of
playing, something you’ve also suggested. He always first
visualized the end result of every shot, and then the flight
or the roll of the shot finishing, and then let the picture
create the swing. Wow, what a concept. I’ve felt that my
visualization was good, but I never let go and surrendered
my swing. I always tried to control it, and there in fact was
the problem
I had an epiphany, in realizing the problem and
understanding the power of the solution. Never before
have I had the genuine confidence to say that I could break
80, and now I know that I can and I will, this summer. The
idea for me is to play a game with myself, within my game.
I’m excited knowing that all I have to do is let go of the
“score” and trust that my visualization and alignment with
Well-Being will lead the way. In this knowing, I accept that
I will have good shots and bad, I am where I am and it
will take time to improve…and I will! So each round will
be a game for me to become aware and observe myself in
action, focus on each shot (not even the hole), accept the
outcome without attachment and practice being grateful,
for my friends, the surroundings and my growth. Feeling
good and accepting the results will naturally lead to a better
game, and the better it gets the better it gets. I already know
it’s going to work because I remember clearly instances in
the past when I called shots beforehand (being cocky),
and to my amazement they manifested…instantly! Had
I only understood the power that’s been harnessed and
patiently awaiting to assist…but that’s okay, I’m perfectly
fine with it. I’ve come to the realization that being happy
is more important than being a “low score” whether I
accomplish it or not, so my key to enjoying golf and life,
is to unconditionally accept my game exactly as it is, and
exactly as it is not. And for that, I am grateful.

Thanks my Friend, you’re the best!”

David Zmikly

Pressure To Perform

Trish Garber is a fifty-five year-old business owner who has
been playing golf since she was 11 years old. She’s an avid golfer,
very intense, and takes the game very seriously. She’s a member
at two clubs and her main goal is to become the club champion.
Trish currently plays to 10-handicap, and the lowest she’s been is
a 7. She’s all in when it comes to working through her demons.
Trish also understands the principles of personal growth and
success in her professional life. “I heard them before many times,
now I just have to apply them to golf.”

Trish’s Story: “Sometimes I get so aggravated. Sometimes I get
so nervous and scared; I end up choking and “throwing up” all
over myself, especially in a big match – usually coming down the
stretch, most often on the very last hole. It’s all nerves. I can’t
seem to control my emotions. I’m a mental basket case. I beat
myself up. I don’t often forgive myself. I need help…lots of help. I
just don’t know what to do?”

I asked Trish to set an intention as to what kind of golfer she
would like to be. At first being the club champion popped into her
brain. Something she wants so badly that she ends up pushing it
further away. She feels the lack of it too much. I suggested perhaps
another intention. Trish said, like you, “I’m going to drop my
handicap to a 7 or less by July 4th.” Immediately she felt some
trepidation. “It’s like a chicken laying an egg or a pig going to
slaughter,” she said wittingly. Trish has a new commitment. What
Trish really needed is a push outside her comfort zone, where
new growth begins. Perhaps this will allow her the focus to stay
on this goal of becoming a better golfer than she used to be, and
let everything else take care of itself. As we enjoy, the scoring
will take care of it self…and so will the championships. Play for
the fun and joy, being clear and fully expecting – a vibrational
match between your asking and allowing…and then let the results
speak for it self after the match is over. What you’re really asking
from your self is to become the fullest expression of who you are
as a golfer…your personal best! What does being your personal
best look like? Go be that! And go show and tell another how to
become their personal best.

Coaches Notes: I honor Trish for her honesty and willingness to
put herself out there on the line. I recognize many of her traits
that also lie within me. While words can only take us so far I am
reminded of the greatest discovery in psychology in the 20th
Century: We Become What We Think. “If you think you can or
think you can’t, you’re both right,” Henry Ford.


The Wind

Michael is a forty-five-year-old tennis player turned golfer. I
played with Michael over Labor Day weekend in 2007 and we had
a great time chatting on the course, more than Lee Trevino and
Peter Jacobsen if you can imagine. Michael was Up North to do a
Challenge Day Program for Petoskey High School. I invited him to
be my guest at True North. After we came off hole # 13, the tricky
par 3, I asked Michael, “How’s it going, how are you feeling about
your game?” He said something like, “I’m having fun, could be
playing a little better, the wind is bothering me.” Within moments
I receive a call from Michelle, a performance coach from Canada. I
him some, she goes into a quick MEGT acknowledging Michael’s
frustration with the wind. I tap along over the speakerphone on
my cell phone. After a short chat, we tee off on the next hole and
we’re off .

When we come off the green on hole # 17 I asked Michael about
the wind. His response, no kidding, is, “What wind?” And we all
get a big laugh. You see EFT and the MEGT has so many uses and
it works on so many issues. Michael’s response about the wind
confirmed my belief even more.

Incidentally, it was interesting to hear what Paul Azinger
and Tom Watson had to say about the wind at the 2008 Open
Championship at Royal Birkdale with gusts over 40 mph. Azinger
made reference to embracing the wind otherwise you’re in for a
long day, and Watson said to make the wind your friend.


Chipping Yips

Cary is a forty-four-year-old former University of Indiana
collegiate player. He admits that his biggest weakness is his chipping
and his short game just off the green. Cary often uses one hand
on the club to play this shot, just to avoid his disappointment and
embarrassment with his chipping. He’s actually taught himself
to play fairly well using the one-handed technique. His dad also
plays one-handed golf because of a doctor’s negligence at birth
that severed a tendon in his shoulder. My suggestion is that Cary
keep using this tactic in his practice, kind of like how you see
John Daly and Loren Roberts practice putting. Perhaps we will
someday slowly integrate the two-handed move back into his game,
with the feeling that he is using one hand and the other is just a
guide. Regardless, our intention is to help clear the mental block
and emotional chaos within, freeing up and allowing a new more
empowering belief and focus to take root.

Cary hesitates to admit he is deathly afraid of his short game.
This fear is why he learned that in order to score well in college
he had to hit practically every green in regulation to avoid the
dreaded short chip around the green. He developed a fear and a
belief that he simply could not get up and down to save his ass. He
could skull it, chunk it, leave it short, pull it, push it, and practically
any other scenario you can imagine. For Cary we delve deep into
his emotions around his frustration and disappointment with
this short game and once again apply the MEGT, feeling scared
and anxious over my short game around the green. Although I
am feeling extremely anxious with my chipping, I accept myself
exactly as I am. Although I am feeling extremely disappointed
with my short game, I forgive myself for allowing myself to feel that
way. I am choosing to let go of this fear with a new more powerful,
positive focus and belief: feeling confident, calm, and present with
my short game.

When I performed this technique with Cary he actually enjoyed
it. His intensity level dropped from a 9 – 8.5 down to about a 1.5.
He also wanted to make a point that that was then and this is now.
Back when he was playing highly competitive golf his emotions
were all over the board and he would have done just about anything
to improve himself. He says he’s pretty content with how he now
plays and to him golf is all about having fun. Therefore, he doesn’t
get too worked up over his golf.

Cary went on to make some interesting additional comments
just after we finished the process. He made a point about how
putting technique has changed over the years and no one really
questions the confidence factor in these kinds of changes anymore.
People putt cross-handed, craw-gripped, with belly-putters, and
other forms of anchoring and steadying the putting stroke and
no one talks about how these new forms of playing the shot are
embarrassment issues anymore. I reminded Cary that the only
thing that matters is to find out what works for you. He agreed and
went on to say, “This is really about positive reinforcement. Since
you are basically stuck with yourself, there’s no sense for blame,
guilt, or destructive feelings; you might as well embrace who you
are and get out of your own way and let it happen. If I can hit the
shot one-handed then I can hit the shot two-handed.”


Chris Six Months Later…I Get It!

Often this is how it really works. Not everyone comes out with
complete understanding right out of the box. Not everyone gets
“it” right away. It’s a process. It’s called keeping on. And as soon as
you think you “get it” you realize there will always be more. Here’s
a breakthrough example described by Chris’ own words. I’ve been
working with Chris on and off for nearly three years now and on
Friday, September 26, 2008 he said he finally got it, “It’s as clear as
day.” He gave me his story of how he got off to such a poor start on his first nine and again on holes #10 and #11. He said:

“I was pressing so hard, grunting and shit, feeling like
I’m in a basketball game. I brought it all back. It was as clear
as day. I caught myself consciously not having any fun. I
said to myself ‘stop pressing so hard’ and it worked and it
worked fast. I said (screw) this; enjoy it. Look at the trees,
the beautiful course; I’m with my friends playing golf. It’s
a great day. That’s what I thought about. I stopped myself
and forgot about my golf score, my golf swing, the game.
I started to enjoy myself with my friends, laughing and
not being so uptight. I was engaging in the conversation
instead of being livid. It’s the first time I really got it and
could see it so clearly.” I asked Chris what was “it”? He said,
“It – is the feeling, the knowing what I wanted to do. It
wasn’t that I wanted to make a par; it was my knowing that
I wanted to enjoy the day. So many people just don’t know
where to go, then they get more pissed off . Me, I knew
what to do.”

I asked him, “Then what happened.” “I pared out
thinking I was shooting a 45-46 on that nine and ended up
shooting a 41 after a double, double start. I birdied the last
hole. Yes, I banged in a 25-footer.” “Anything else?” “Not an
extreme, but I’m a lot better this year than I was last year.
And yes, I still need to practice. I didn’t practice as much
as I did last year.”

That is a big wow! I love this stuff . And there will always be
more. I invite you to appreciate the growth process, embrace
exactly where you are, and eagerly look forward to where you are
going. Whenever you’ll feeling out of sorts or in a funk – stop for
moment – catch yourself – and turn downstream. All the good
stuff and everything that you desire are all downstream. Getting
mad, feeling you’re supposed to be better, worried about outcome,
embarrassed what others might think are all upstream thoughts.
Appreciating the day, allowing the Well-Being in, being present,
licking your chops are all downstream thoughts.

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