For the better part of two months, I have been focusing on small improvements, and they are starting to pay off in a big way.
Recently I read we should "start thinking small" instead of thinking BIG. Sounds funny but dissecting a situation into micro blocks can help achieve extraordinary results. My theory is that it's much easier for the mind to complete a small task on a regular basis, instead of trying to tackle the larger goal at hand.
The above theory helped me decide to work with a coach rather than the "standard" PGA Professional.
Standard PGA Pro: Hooks you up to a machine, lets the computer show what is going on rather that using a human coaching methodology.
Coach: A PGA Professional that understand the golf swing is more than just a swing, it encompasses many moving parts that require a coach mentality: mental, physical, and fundamentals.
With a goal of changing my mental and physical game, I set out to find Lee, my coach.
I hired Lee Sanudo out of Encinitas Ranch located just 20 minutes north of downtown San Diego. Two months ago I was about to drop the clubs for good. I was mentally exhausted from my lone efforts to improve with no success, but Lee changed this.
He was able to break down my game into small manageable changes. At first, I thought he could just tell me what was going on, and I could self-correct since I was accustomed to the typical PGA Professional Instructor.
As my journey continued, the coaching evolved to more than just swing this way to get X result. It was about course management, mental fortitude, and the mechanics of the swing.
I want to take this moment to highlight one coaching tip that Lee shared with me.
On Course Management (hole instruction):
Let's just imagine a par 5, 540 yard with a slight dogleg right, the wind at 10 MPH directly into the face.
How I would play this hole
Before Instruction: Arrive at the tee box, pick a vague target out in the fairway and swing away. Next shot I would pick another vague target and forget to factor in wind, hit the shot. On my chip shot I would just find out the center of the green and try to hit that number; then I would come up short because I forgot the wind. Putting was just me trying not to three putt, with no plan in mind.
After Instruction: Arrive at the tee box, pick a target, then refine the target within feet (let's say a foot right of a pepper tree). From the intended target aim at a small target directly in front to the tee shot, line up and hit the tee shot. Before arriving at the next shot, I am thinking about my next club, and looking for targets. Repeat routine as my tee shot and consider wind and external factors. You get the point, even with my putts I am picking micro points and focusing my attention on my intended targets.
With this improved on-course strategy, my misses are reduced to a smaller area, and my overall game is vastly different than a month ago.
Next stop, scratch.