Tag Archives: Mount Maunganui

Why wear golf shoes?

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“Golf is a lot of walking, broken up by disappointment and bad arithmetic.”Earl Wilson

By Ian Hardie

The vast majority of the golfers around the world

Usually start playing their first few games of golf

Wearing whatever shoes they already have at home

Generally flat soled or sports shoes of some type

Which is absolutely fine when you are first starting golf

One day though, most golfers reach a point where

They notice that almost all the other golfers out there

Are wearing something different on their feet

Some weird and not entirely comfortable looking things called ‘golf shoes’

golfshoes

Well ok, not as weird as these ones

But still quite a bit different from shoes used in other parts of life

Which generally means the next step for them is that they

Walk into their local golf shop and announce

‘I’m going to need some golf shoes soon…

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How to deal with the discomfort of improving your golf – part two

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phil3

“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”Henry Ford

By Ian Hardie

In the post How to deal with the discomfort of improving your golf

I talked about the fact that to

Change, learn or improve any part of your golf game

The second thing you must do is change or adjust something

And as you may remember

I hadn’t missed anything out there

As of course quite clearly the first thing you need to do

Is identify what you want to change or adjust

Which when you think about it a bit

Can apply to anything in your life

Not just golf

The problem for a lot of golfers is that whatever it is that they identify

There’s a pretty good chance that they may have been doing it…

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A happy golfer is a good golfer

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“Keep your sense of humour. There’s enough stress in the rest of your life not to let bad shots ruin a game you’re supposed to enjoy.”Amy Alcott

By Ian Hardie

When I see golfers coming off the golf course after a game

It’s fairly easy to see that most fall into two categories

Unfortunately the largest group of golfers are

Those that finish the game looking and no doubt feeling

More stressed and unhappy than when they started

Which means by default that the smallest group of golfers

Are those who have finished their game

In a happier state of mind than when they started

It doesn’t take a lot of thought to figure out

Which group most golfers would rather be in

After all, why would a golfer pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a year?

To spend a fair percentage of their recreation time doing something

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Why golfers don’t have as many golf lessons as they should

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” – Steven Pressfield, Author of ‘The Legend of Bagger Vance

By Ian Hardie

In the post What to expect from a golf lesson

I talked about the common misconception that golfers have about golf lessons

You know the one that I mean

Because nearly every golfer out there will instantly offer it

If you even mention that you are thinking of going for one

Or even worse

That you have one booked for next week!

The sympathy with which the golfers deliver their advice with is amazing

“Oh dear, you won’t be playing well for quite a while after that”

“Uncle Joe had a lesson once you know and he was never any good after that”

Not only will the other golfers fill your head with disbelief

Trying hard to talk you out of it

But that little voice in your head starts fuelling your disbelief as well

“I probably will play worse afterwards”

“I’m too old to learn anything new”

“The pro will probably just try and change everything”

“It’s probably going to be a waste of time and money”

And the one that I hear most often from golfers

That absolutely stuns me almost every time

“I’m too useless to take lessons, I won’t get any better”

Let me state right now

I’ve never met any golfer who couldn’t be helped in some way

To improve their golf game with a lesson

For a lot of golfers though

That little voice in their head

Combined with the helpful advice the other golfers have given them

Convinces them that a lesson won’t help

And so they continue to play golf poorly

Until the frustration builds to a point

Where they give ‘the stupid game away’

Which is a massive shame

Occasionally though a golfer makes a decision

That is the opposite of what most other golfers do

They choose to have the golf lesson

In doing so

They choose to suspend their disbelief

Which I’ve discovered is a term that was first coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Who suggested that if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth”

Into a fantastic tale

The reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative

This suspension of disbelief often applies to fictional works of action, comedy, fantasy and horror writing

As well as in professional wrestling (according to Wikipedia)

Even in more common place things such as action movies

The action routinely goes beyond the boundaries of what you think could really happen

Which when we relate that to a golfer choosing to take golf lessons

Means that some tiny part of them is willing

To put all of the ‘helpful advice’ from the other golfers

That says they will get worse after a golf lesson

And their own disbelief of their golf potential

That’s been fuelled by that little voice

Aside for just long enough

To go along to the golf lesson

They make a semi-conscious decision

To put aside their disbelief

And allow the possibility that they just might play better golf afterwards

To be in their mind as they soak up the lesson

As a result

Most golfers who go for lessons

Do actually improve both their knowledge of the game

And their golf of course

But only because they made that decision to ‘suspend their disbelief’

Ignoring that little voice that said ‘a lesson probably won’t help’

I find that once most golfers have had that first lesson

Rather than telling other golfers bad things

They normally suggest to other golfers

That it’s a good idea to have a golf lesson

So if your golf isn’t going so well

Or you are still quite new to the game

Suspend your disbelief and go have a golf lesson with your local PGA Pro

Or more than one if you really want to get better

Because after more than 30 years of being around golf

I’m still to meet any golfer who after an awful game of golf is happy

But I’ve met quite a few who have begun to enjoy their golf more

After they have suspended their disbelief

And improved as a result of having golf lessons

Play well

To contact Ian and book a lesson with him – click here

Experiment your way to lower golf scores – part two

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matrix

“You take the blue pill, the story ends; you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” – Morpheus from the movie The Matrix

By Ian Hardie

In the post Experiment your way to lower golf scores

I talked about the fact that most people would assume

That the longer you play the game of golf – the better you will get at it

It’s a nice thought

That a golfer would get better simply due to accumulating experience

But it’s simply not true – in fact it’s not even close

If it was, we would be able to see that

The longer and more frequently a golfer played golf over the years

The lower their scores would be

Which if we put that into practical terms

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Does your mechanic fix your car while you’re driving on the highway?

“There are two things you can learn by stopping your backswing at the top and checking the position of your hands. How many hands you have and which one is wearing the glove.” – Thomas Mulligan

By Ian Hardie

Many golfers I have played with over the years have expected me to give them tips on the golf course while playing.

In fact, they generally expect more than that.

They expect me to be able to completely stop them slicing, hooking or whatever their problem is – while we are in the middle of the game.

They will say things like;

‘I’m playing with a pro today, he’ll fix my game!’

And they generally end up disappointed

As a golf professional with many years of experience – I know that in general – most golfers’ problems need a little more than just a tip or two on the course to sort them out.

And they need to be sorted in an environment away from playing

So that specific parts of their actions can be isolated and worked on

Then integrated back into their actions to improve their game.

I even go as far as explaining why this is necessary to golfers with the analogy I used as the title of this post

Does your mechanic fix your car while you’re driving on the highway?

Most golfers look at me kind of funny when I ask that

But if your car is running badly

Do you find a mechanic that will hang out the window of your car while driving it at normal speed down the highway and fix it?

Or do you take it off the road to the mechanics garage?

Where the mechanic can isolate and diagnose the problem

Then fix any issues before taking the car back out of the garage and back onto the highway.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

And thinking back I have even seen the result of someone trying to change a golfer while in the middle of a game.

It wasn’t pretty.

It was during one of the first Pro-am events that I played in as a young golf pro.

One of the three amateurs I was playing with hadn’t played a lot of golf (not unusual for a pro-am) and wasn’t going so well over the first few holes.

Another of the players was a former teaching professional who had gone back to amateur status but still fancied himself as a golf teacher.

He was keen to display his golf knowledge – not only to the amateur who was playing poorly – but to me as a young professional I expect.

So it transpired that on the next tee – a short par 3

He confidently said to the amateur

‘I can see what you are doing wrong – you need to adjust this thing, that thing and the other thing’

The amateur who wasn’t in the best frame of mind due to his embarrassment from playing poorly to that point

Adjusted all the things he was told – expecting great things.

The former golf teacher looked on with great expectations that he was about to be crowned as the greatest teacher of all time.

A flurry of club, hands, arms and legs took place.

The ball sailed away……..

Over the out of bounds fence.

A shank was the result.

‘You need to adjust this other thing as well’

Was the former golf teachers advice

Another ball shanked over the out of bounds fence.

By this point – even though we were out in the middle of a golf course – you could have cut the air with a knife.

The amateur was not looking too impressed

A final key piece of advice.

‘Do this other thing and it will work great’

Another shank sailed over the fence.

‘You nearly have it! – was offered by the former teacher’

The amateur though had had enough.

Instead of getting a fourth ball out of his bag

He simply put his club back in, grabbed his bag and without a word

Walked off the golf course.

I have no idea whether he ever played golf again

But I would hesitate to say that he probably hasn’t.

So, will the simple act of playing with a pro – mean you will be able to have your game fixed while you are on the golf course?

Not by me.

I’ll see you on the practice fairway afterwards.

Play well

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The 2013 Open Championship – part two

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phil6

“That was probably the best round of my career”Phil Mickelson after winning the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield

By Ian Hardie

You may have worked out that I wrote the post The 2013 Open Championship

After the third round had been played

At which point Lee Westwood was in the lead

And it was looking like any one of the golfers that were within 6 shots of the lead

Still had a chance to win the 2013 Open and hoist the ‘Claret Jug’

Well, it was to me anyway

Most people would have thought the challenge would have come from the closest three

Which were Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Hunter Mahan

But as you may recall

The main point that I stated in the post

‘Was that even though logic would dictate that the winner

Would have been the golfer that was able

To plot their ball…

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