Better Isn’t the Same as Before

“We are what we repeatedly do.” – Aristotle

I want to be better, That’s my goal. My golf goals reflect that. I want to break 90 consistently. And my focus and dedication from 2018 to 2019 proved the possibilities of making that a reality. So, I want to be better. I like how the Grateful Golfer poses question about whether you’re a serious golfer or not.

I want to better than what I had managed to get done before COVID-19. I want to repeatedly do the right things to get those scorecards racking up scores in the 80’s. I just don’t want to squeeze out an 88 or 89 and barely get by. I want to return and work on a steady stream of 84 or 85 with consistency.

Swing Society is NOT a sponsor of My Breaking 90

My best is still ahead of me. I have yet to practice my short game and putting. I am rusty with the woods and hybrids. I bet I could shank every approach shot from 150 yards down 80 yards out. I just haven’t played in ages. I haven’t felt comfortable with trying to select which set of clubs to play when folks are losing jobs, quarantine round 2 lurking or looming in my area, and the whole economy teetering on stimulus checks and faulty stock market out of alignment with its earnings, production and valuations. I am beginning to think that I will play when the weather cools down with post-summer breezes and some easygoing days. Maybe that will be when. . .

Well, until then, I will wait it out. I want to be at my best. I want to get back to where I left off, and then surpass just breaking 90.

In the meantime, I will continue to share with you how I broke 90 and made it a regular thing.

 


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Reset to Refocus

Taking the Time to Look Deeper

Some people swear by SMART Goals, while others are all about planners and systematic approaches such as Franklin Covey planners and inserts. I tend to get lost with such things. I have a content planner for multimedia, a general 18-month day-to-day planner for ideas and inspiration, and a journal where I keep track on four daily focus areas: FAITH, FAMILY, FITNESS, &FINANCES.

I believe I found the most usage out of the 12 Week Year, but I adjusted my daily tracking and to-do list a little more extensively. I needed the core elements of the 12 Week Year combined with The 100 Day Goal Journal. I felt that both systems worked to give me the things I need to advance and achieve goals.

Recently, I had to hit reset ad take a deeper look at my goals. As I approach the milestone of 50, I had to keep my mental bearings about me. Despite living pretty well, I have experienced greater anxiety with the onset of my mother’s cancer and I felt some hints of depression with mood swings after my cousin’s death last year. I remain highly aware of the day to day condition of those living with mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar, but I am also aware of the potential for a mental breakdown based upon the various pressures of this life.

I rely a lot on my faith, remaining firmly rooted in my beliefs. However, I do have to keep my awareness sharp, so I watch out for signs of undue stress and pressure. I fight to avoid any possible triggers, especially when I can predict some tense moments arising.

Managing my time is just one of those things that I have gotten better with over time. Due to my own compulsion, it has to be a certain way or it’s a total waste of my time. With that in consideration, I took a deeper look at how my progress was going with the system.

My Best Could Be Better

As I reviewed my daily logs since January, I realized that the evolution of the more personalized and customized system resulted in the elimination of a few pieces that also made it comforting work. The latest version had me still score my actionable items as opposed to questioning my progress towards long range goals for 10-12 weeks, even less.

The missing element was an evaluation method that informed me of where I was ad wasn’t progressing on my goals. What I realized was that I needed to focus on more of a simple set of evaluation questions to get to my progress towards goals.

What did I struggle with today?

What are some possible solutions?

Am I closer to my goals today?

I usually score my check boxes by the number completed versus the total number of check boxes for the day. I had set my mark for 85%. Oddly enough, I reviewed my work and even on my best days I was at 83% and 84%. I decided during this reset to adjust my mark of success to 80% until I feel the need for a change. I just want to make sure that my daily goals remain in line with my long term goals.

I was doing good, but I know that I can be better. I just need to place more emphasis on progress through daily actions. I can do way better in working towards my goals. I just need to document that work.

Goals and Golf = My Breaking 90

When I read Brian Tracy’s Goals!, I was still coming off a motivational high from David Goggins giving me insights into true endurance and fight through Can’t Hurt Me. Where Goggins left me high and with my feet off the ground, Tracy slapped me across the face with another level of a wake-up call. He gave me an a-ha moment like in Eat That Frog where I finally figured out where the puzzle piece I had along fit into the big picture of getting things done.

I lacked commitment and consistency.

The 12 Week Year taught me the new definition for commitment that I felt compelled to live out fully. It stated that commitment is: the state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to some course of action. In the past, my understanding of commitment was to just show up and at least show up on time if not early. This new definition forced me to have some kind of skin in the game.

In golf, some folks are comfortable wagering on a round. They play relaxed and calm, no sign that they feel pressured or anything like that. Then, there’s the other guy like me. He’s calculated the risk and has worked out scenarios on how to play it safe and smart, even if there’s money on the line. I have to tap into a buried part of my past to climb out of the darkness and swing for the fences off the tee and putt with finesse around the green.

My cousin and I used to place bets on each other’s shots, but we used to talk trash and take shots at each other’s confidence. We knew each other well and knew which buttons to punch and when to put just enough pressure on them. The money was no longer a factor by the turn. Pride was on the line once we got to the back nine.

Where I could never get tripped up was once I determined a certain goal, a score or a different focus beyond $2 per hole par or better. Once I had the determined mindset and focus, I was clear and the game played out right along with me. On one outing my cousin smoothly told me that I could relax and go to the bar or something to loosen up at the turn. I simply said with a smile,”I’ve never played so relaxed in my life.”

Golf goals allow you to focus and draw a mental map, detailing your plans from hole to hole. I am not saying that you picture every shot and situation. What I am saying is that you develop a calmness and a sense of confidence because you have considered a wide variety of scenarios with their best potential solutions ahead of time. In real time, all you are doing is evaluating which scenarios require which solutions.

What if you flub a putt read? Did you get any closer to hole? Then that’s progress.

What if my drive veers off to the left and lose some yardage? Adjust and compensate for the loss in your approach shot. That’s situational solutions to aid in making progress.

I am on Day #2 of the reset, but I am certain of one thing. It’s bound to get better because I am looking it over and placing my focus on progress for my long term goals.


Update: 7-26-20

Morning Weigh-In: 284.9 lbs

Activity: Jog/ speed walk 1.36 miles, 170 incline push-ups, hip-hop/ Afrocentric dance @ 20 minutes

What I learned today: Speed walk is less stress to body and maintains a pace @16 miles per hour or less, even when the outdoor heat is averaging 80-85 degrees.

Game Improvement at a Higher Level

Active Faith Sports
Getting to the point where you can break 90 easily comes with practice and consistent play.  That’s a simple look at it.  Dig deep into the idea of fixing your golf game for better scores and more fun.  Dig deeper and you will discover that breaking 90 will take more out the high handicapper than just showing up and teeing it up for a round of 18 holes every weekend.

“Play your own game.” – Harvey Penick

 

Fix Your Flaws

Your game will not improve without making some changes.  The things that need improvement usually take away from the game being fun.  You know what should happen, but you just don’t seem to have that execution down yet.

That needs fixing.  You have to fix your flaws.

I love to research different golf publications that can help.  Some of my go-to reads include:

These usually give you tips and exercises on game improvement as well as equipment and product reviews that span from golf shoes to golf equipment.

Find the Right Strokes and Shots

You have to add a little bit of finesse to your game.  You have to add some focus as well.  You also need to add the right shot selection for the present opportunity.  That means taking into account the course and the conditions as well as the lie of the ball and how well or poorly you have been playing so far and similar situations.

Some folks might recall me sharing about the infamous flop shot and how mastery of it does not come easily.  When you are struggling and scrambling to keep up with the rest of your foursome, that is not the time try out some new shot or swig technique that you caught a glimpse of while watching YouTube.

Find what works for you and keep a running mental file of which shots work best in which types of situations.  Refer to these when you are considering your options.  Rely on these when you have very few options before you.  High quality equipment and gear play a role in golf, but they do not outweigh shot selection as a core element of game improvement.  Your shot selection is highly import and has an impact on improving your game.

Play Strategically

Take on All Kinds of Challenges

Many people have a “home course” or some course that they play often.  What that really means is that they play that course frequently.  In many cases, they can run down the specifics of each and every hole as if they were asked to recite the ABC’s.  The problem with home course mentality is applicable to maintaining one’s game, not necessarily improving one’s game with challenges found in different courses.

Your game cannot improve without some challenges being faced and conquered.  That is where the improvement comes into play.

GolfEtail.comin to improve your game, the challenges faced must take you to different aspects where your game is not at its best.  That’s when you have to start improving via innovation and intuition.  If you do not do well on par 3;s, play a full 18 hole par 3 course.  They do exist, you know.

Your game will not improve just by research and swing analysis.  You need to put together a plan that will both challenge and help change your previous knowledge.  Your biggest hack for your game might come in the form of learning how to conquer your challenges.