DJ’s confidence, as evidenced by his “swagger”, is not the cause of his superlative play but simply an effect caused by his level of competence; he has earned that confidence and it naturally expresses itself.
Before we talk about how mortals like you and I can bring confidence to our games, let’s overview the stats from the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Dustin Johnson, Winner, 269, hauls in $15M; T2nd Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele, 265, each pocket $4.5M; 4th Jon Rahm, 271, accumulates $3M and 5th Collin Morikawa accrues $1.9M.
Now, for insights into how we might bring confidence into our games, after an early round this past week DJ said he is always “dialed in”; the reporter commented that clearly DJ is not always dialed in, to which DJ responded [paraphrased], “…yes, I’m not always dialed in, but I always think I am dialed in…”.
It is easy for the casual observer to think, as the analysts pointed out, that DJ just shows up and lets his supreme confidence and off the charts athletic ability carry him to the finish line; almost in John Daly’s “grip it and rip it” fashion.
The fact is though that DJ works very hard and has impeccable coaching and understands the dynamics of every millimeter of movement in his golf swing; this level of understanding and competence breeds the confidence that his body expresses.
Furthermore, he has worked hard to round out his game to include the finesse needed to have a very enviable short game even amongst his highly talented peers; his short game competence is a source of confidence that bleeds into his shot making on approach shots because he knows he can shoot directly for tucked pins on well guarded greens… that is, in the event of a less than “dialed in” execution of his approach shot he knows he’ll be able to get up and down or even sink a chip shot for a birdie anyway.
How many of us mortals have put the study and practice time in on our games required to have a level of confidence that allows us to play our best golf?
With my videos here on My Golfing Store, I really get into what is going on with each phase of the golf swing within the context of what I am so confident about, given the study and practice time I’ve put in with my mentor’s step by step approach to building skills in the proper sequence.
How many of us have a golf club, or just grip and short shaft [no club head] and/or a yard stick [as a stand in for a club] tucked in a corner here and there in our homes and offices; just something to pick up and nestle into our lead hand…and then nestle the lead hand into the trail hand [as I’ve demonstrated in a recent video on the grip] for a minute or so a few times daily… just something to waggle around with and go through our pre-shot routine [as I’ve demonstrated on recent videos] for a particular shot in mind on your favorite golf course…”roll calling” the feelings that will be needed during the actual swing to pull off that shot.
How many of us have an old putter, a few balls and a makeshift cup tucked in a corner that we can pull out to putt 3-footers, 5-footers and 9-footers?
Yes, us mortals don’t have the time to dedicate to golf like the insanely talented and uber disciplined men and women we watch play on TV; but in our own right we can watch and study a couple of videos weekly, and waggle about and putt around in the comfort of our homes or offices to become competent at ingraining the feelings that are so necessary to have when it comes time to hit shots on the golf course.
So, let’s not fall into the mindset that unless you have 2 hours every week to go to the range and practice green then you can’t improve at golf; that isn’t at all the case, and if we are really honest with ourselves the idea that we don’t have time to practice is just an excuse we can use when we don’t play anywhere near our best golf.
Let’s commit to building the competence needed to earn the confidence we all want to have on the golf course; it’s easy to start by just planting those stand-in clubs and putters and a few balls around our homes and offices, and keeping a tab or two up on your computer screen so you can chip away at watching some golf videos.
Your comments, questions and suggestions and welcome; my email address is Twilliams@MyGolfingStore.com.
Signing off for now – Ted Williams.