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Let Faith Help You Win At Golf

Apr 9, 2008
Success in anything is hardly possible without faith, and this is true of success in golf. One way to develop golfing faith is to study experts.

Such watching builds up confidence that difficult shots can be made and that normal shots should be made. This causes many golfers to improve spontaneously, simply from the psychological lift that comes from a change in his attitude towards what can be done. Sometimes the improvement is permanent.

Golf is a projection of life, and there are times in life when it is better to be realistically unrealistic. It is best for the individual golfer to believe that there is no limit to what he can do, for it is by such beliefs that he can continuously surpass himself.

It is also best for the game of golf if all of us have faith that we can excel, though obviously everyone cannot be tops in a competitive game. The stimulus of this faith acting upon millions of golfers will help raise the level of present play. In the raising of this level, we shall experience the pleasure that comes when we share in the excitement of witnessing original methods break through physical and psychological barriers to new records.

If a golfer cannot believe that he can be best, he must believe that he can be better. Even such a limited faith can lead him step by step to a brand of golf he might never have believed possible.

No Transfer Of Training

In previous generations, it was believed that the mind that was trained in one field would automatically be better fitted to do other things also. For instance, it was thought that training in mathematics would help you with Greek, that a good billiard player would automatically be an excellent putter, and that a polo player would have no difficulty in learning such a similar game as golf.

Unfortunately, this is not true. Many experiments have shown that each new type of learning is almost always different from all other types. When there is some similarity, a portion of what one learns in one skill or game will carry on to the next, but this is not usual.

There is one kind of learning in which substantial "transfer" can occur. This is the field of attitudes and principles. If I had attacked the problem of learning checkers with the same attitude I had toward chess, and if I had applied basic psychological principles to the process of learning, the results would have been approximately the same.

All this comes under the general rule of "no transfer of training," which when understood will help us avoid wasting time by practicing something which will not be of golfing benefit. In this connection, it is likely that there are few, if any, exercises that will materially assist the golfer.

The practical application of this means that practice will not be efficient unless we practice the very thing we wish to learn, and unless we practice it under circumstances that duplicate precisely all conceivable factors that apply to the golfing problem. We see, as developing from this principle, that medal and match play, winter and summer play, friendly and competitive golf, windy weather and calm weather, flat or hilly courses, and indoor play all present changes in the golfing situation which the golfer has to learn as new skills.

If we are thinking of individual shots, we see then that the ideal would be to practice a shot at the very point on the course and almost at the same time that it was missed. This is not practical, but he who is most careful in seeing that his practice shots duplicate his playing shots will learn the game most quickly.

Remember to believe at all times that you can become a better player, and then practice every shot as a new skill and your game will definitely improve.
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