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Playing the Blame Game
I believe that because this sport is played individually and because of its nature, it is our responsibility to lay blame for our result everywhere else but on ourselves. With so many outside influences, so many different swing thoughts and so many pieces of technical advice to choose from, it's no wonder that we find it easy to blame something else.

I don't believe that we do this to protect our fragile egos, because we wouldn't keep playing if we were opposed to the humbling affects of the game. However, I do believe that we lay blame elsewhere because it is convenient.

We continuously set ourselves up with a handful of variables that cause us to be surprised when we hit good shots. It's as if we set ourselves up for failure, like a science experiment that has no method or control for analysis. Some of these variables include trying a new swing tip, hitting when you know a cart is getting ready to drive past you, and changing your swing thought every few holes or shots.

This approach is very common in golf. Mostly, it's because whenever we have achieved success in the past it has seemed to be by chance, so we think "Why not try it again?" Maybe now you can see why this game gets frustrating!

I have a few suggestions that will take a majority of the surprise out of the good shots and make them more frequent and consistent. The first thing that you should do is decide that you want to improve your game. Visit a professional who can help you narrow down all of your thoughts to just one or two.

Then, take the opportunity to experiment with each thought. However, you must be consistent and use one thought or technique for an entire round of golf. This may be difficult to do, especially if you are playing bad, but it is the only way to be sure about its value. If it doesn't work, discard it. However, if you are successful, keep it, and maybe try it again with another logical combination of thought or technique. This is the main reason for seeking assistance from a professional -- they can help you narrow down your choices and speed up the process.

It is time to stop the searching and establish a plan for success. We all know that when we get sick, the first thing we do is get over-the-counter medication, which works only half of the time. Then we go to see the doctor and get the correct medication that will take care of the initial problem, as well as fix the one that we caused with our missed self-diagnosis. Take an open-minded approach to golf, and when you are done you will have a clear pathway to success with specific guidelines and goals along the way.

Good luck in golf and life, and remember...

Wars are won using the element of surprise. It's only fitting that you lose your own battle when your swing uses that tactic on you!

 ©1999 Craig Hocknull
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