INTRODUCTION

Breaking 80 with the
80-20 Principle

Practice what matters and play like a natural

Playing scratch golf can seem like an uphill challenge.

Why?

Golf is not hard. It just takes TIME to learn it.

Even most talented golfers play under their potential, simply because of a lack of time.

On top of that,

once we embark on the journey of breaking 80, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the mountain of technical knowledge, strategic considerations and psychological challenges.

But here’s the deal,

this is not the end of the story.

There is a way to play decent golf and do it in a time-saving fashion. If you want to learn how you have come to the right place.

I have learned the hard way, that hours of practice on the range are no guarantee for consistently low scores.

In this guide, you will learn the essentials of the golf swing, course management, and the inner game.

And you will see:

playing scratch golf is not as hard or as time-consuming as traditional teaching methods make you think.

In this guide you'll learn:

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CHAPTER 1

What it takes to break 80

How to master the fundamentals and become a scratch golfer

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CHAPTER 2

How to swing like a natural

Learn how to let loose on the course and stay on your game.

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CHAPTER 3

Make confident decisions

How to become unwaivering in your game and leave your mark.

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CHAPTER 4

Master the inner game

How to master the inner game of breaking 80

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CONCLUSION

Where to go from here

How to put your plan to live and take action

WHO AM I?

About Carlo Reumont

Hi, I’m Carlo Reumont. I help people play golf – simple, good, repeatable golf – whether they are beginning, re-starting or finetuning.

I take a different approach than most “teaching pros” out there. I don’t believe in lecturing you about angles, planes and positions. Instead, I show you how to focus on fundamental principles that connect all golf swings. Master those so you can forget about technicalities and finally start playing golf.

Why I wrote this guide

In the world of golf, you have tons of choices in who you study – I am aware of that. Let me earn your trust by sharing my story. If you’re curious, here’s a little bit about me.

I started playing golf in 2001, when I was 17. Competing with my three brothers I wasn’t always the best, but I loved the complexity and the psychology of the game.

In my mid 20’s I decided I wanted to become a teaching pro. Although I have a talent to teach, I needed to play a handicap of 6,4 or better to be eligible for the certification program of the PGA of Germany. That meant I had to cut my handicap in half in just one season.

So, I went all in!

I got a job in a golf academy over the summer where I helped with beginners’ courses. In my spear time I practiced 2-4 hours a day, plus I played 9 or 18 holes – a day!

I learned all the technical intricacies and fought my way through the jungle of swing theory. Nothing was left to chance.

What happened?

My game got solid and consistent and I played my best golf ever. Although I broke 80 many times in practice rounds, on the test day for admission I failed!

Even worse, after this season my game began to fade. I couldn’t keep up my training of 2-4 hours a day and my swing fell apart from week to week.

It was demoralizing. Hundreds of hours on the driving range seemed to have gone down the drain.

As years past and I played a hand full of times a year. But like most golfers, I played far from what I was capable of. I just didn’t have the time to practice.

Then my brother in law gave me this excellent advice:

"Carlo, if you don't have the time to practice on the range, just swing the club back and forth in your backyard".

To be honest, it didn’t sound like a major insight. But because I hardly got out to practice on the driving range I thought, “Why not give it a try!”

And there I was, swinging the club in my backyard through thin air.

The first week it felt strange.

The second week I began to have fun.

After the third week, all the work I had done years earlier began to come back.

What I discovered was this:

Learning golf is never over. Golf is not a matter of “do this, do that and ‘voila!’ you have a swing”. Golf is constant adventure and discovery.

Over the years of developing the training methods in this guide, I discovered fundamental elements that pertain to all golfers of all levels. Once I got them right, I got my game back – and more importantly, I knew how to work on it.

Before I knew it, I was playing scratch golf again – with five minutes of training a day!

Sounds too good to be true, right?

But get this:

Since my game has come back I have been teaching this system to other golfers, who don't have time to practice for hours. And it is working for them too.

Why?

Because it is simple.

Simple guidelines. Simple goals. Simple exercises.

CHAPTER 1

What it takes to break 80

Mastering fundamentals and more

We have heard it from Harvey Penick and we have heard it from Ben Hogan:

Anyone who considers a few fundamental basics can master the game.

Why? Because golf is simple.

But, and this is a big but,

simplicity is a small target.

The truth is:

Breaking 80 is not easy! Why? To break 80, we need to consider at least these three parts:

(a) the technicalities of the swing,

(b) tactical approaches on the course and

(c) the inner game of golf.

That’s a fair load of work! You don’t need to know everything about these areas to master the game.

The actual challenge is finding the 20 percent of ideas that work.

This 80-20 analysis of what really makes an effective golf swing will only work if you work it.

But!

Once these are clear, and once we practice them regularly, it is only a matter of habit and time – not effort – that you will make them work for you.

It’s like getting your driver’s license.

Did it take effort to learn how to drive a car? No, it only took time.

You didn’t have to drive for hours on end, you didn’t have to put in more effort to drive better. All it took was a regular application of a vehicle and attention to how traffic flows.

Before you knew it, getting from A to B was natural.

Imagine you hit the ball at the top 20% of your ability 80% of the time. How would that change your game?

You would have a lot more energy available for course management and psychological finetuning.

You are then truly playing golf.

WHERE DO WE START?

Usually, golfers are told to prioritize the short game, because we make 60-70 percent of shots within 50m to the hole.

True.

Yet what does that matter, if you are already counting three, four or five shots before you are in that range?

Water hazards, out of bounds, lost in the rough – believe me, I have done my time too.

Working on your short game is vital, no doubt, and you will learn how to do that here too. But, the short game comes second.

Why?

Because getting your short game right is about REFINEMENT. And refinement comes after the basics. So, keep on reading.

Before we can get into refining, we want to build a raw body of skills to improve on.

As you will see, many of the fundamental ideas for a solid full swing, apply to pitching, chipping and even putting.

Once you know what to do on the tee off, getting into the nitty-gritty will be a lot easier.

If you are confident with your five-iron from the fairway, you will manage a little bump and run from beside the green – trust me.

For starters, getting your full swing right is your priority.

CHAPTER 2

How to swing like a natural

Forget technicalities. Just play.

The difference between the average golfer and the scratch golfer is this:

the average golfer is trying to hit the ball

while scratch golfers are playing golf.

When we start out to break 80, we need to take a few steps back and make a conscious effort to follow the trail natural low handicappers took in strides.

This trail is:

  1. Learn to swing the club.
  2. Learned to hit the ball.
  3. Learn to play the course.
  4. Learn to score low.

As stated earlier:

Imagine solid shots were a natural given. How would that change your game?

“I would be on a whole ‘nother level!” you might say.

And you’re right!

That is what breaking 80 is all about.

What you might not know right now, is that you can get there – trust me!

To do that, however, you must take a step back and start at square one:

learn to swing the club.

There are five simple, basic, fundamental building blocks that apply to golfers at all levels and of all styles.

These are:

  1. Stability – How to make your swing unbreakable
  2. Connection – How to make the club part of you
  3. The Center – How to generate power with ease
  4. Awareness – How to know where you are going
  5. Rhythm – How to forget technique and just play

1. STABILITY

How to make your swing unbreakable

Every shot, from the drive to the putt, must stand on solid ground and a stable framework.

Any time you struggle to stay on our feet, you are creating excess movements that need to be corrected before impact.

If not, your shot will fail.

When it comes to stability you are looking for live tension in our body. This makes you strong and flexible at the same time.

Think of a surfer riding a wave.

Think of a tennis player waiting for his opponents serve.

Think of fencing, where the arms lead the sabre (the sword) but the legs do all the work.

Get this:

Creating stability and balance is maybe the SINGLE MOST UNDERRATED SECRET to consistent golf.

Now,

I am not a big fan of learning from pros.

Copying their swing is misleading most of the time because their swings are highly personalized and the result of extensive elaboration.

But, here’s what we can learn from pros:

There are connecting principles underlying personal details.

When we look at most tour pros, for example, we see they stand and swing as if deeply rooted in the ground. This is all legwork and a focus on stability.

If Sergio Garcia or Jordan Spieth play a spectacular shot with their club, arms, and legs all over the place, they do this simply because they can.

Here’s the deal:

from now on, paying attention to the unseen force of dynamic stability in your swing, meaning, making sure your weight is well balanced from start to finish, is non-negotiable.

To build stability,

  • pay attention to how your weight is distributed.
  • Check it at your set-up,
  • check it at the top of your backswing,
  • check it at impact
  • and check it in your finishing position.

If you are off balance anywhere here, you have your work cut out for you.

Get your stability right.

Stand stable and strong, and you can start placing bets on a consistent swing with consistent results.

The best yet?

You don’t even need a driving range to build stability. You can start by swinging your club back and forth in your backyard – just like I did.

2. CONNECTION

How to make your club part of you

Let’s face it:

There is no such thing as “the way” to grip the club.

All hands are different. Your grip is a very personal thing.

On the other hand,

whatever your personal preference, there is, one underlying goal of all grips:

CONNECTION.

Professional or amateur, the closer your connection to the club, the better you can “communicate” to the ball what you want from it.

While stability the foundation, the grip is the heart of the swing.

All the energy you create in the backswing and downswing must get to the ball with as little resistance as possible.

Regardless of how you choose to grip the club, make sure you FEEL AT ONE WITH IT.

“But”, you might object, “what about finger positioning, knuckle counting and V-pointing (the “V”’s comprised of thumb and pointing-finger when holding the club)?"

These are good and relevant considerations.

This is what I recommend:

To groove into your grip

  • get the grip in your fingers.

Some golfers tend to place the grip in the palms of their hands – that used to be me too.

The result?

Slicing!

Why?

When we place the club in our hands, we disable our wrists from rotating through impact.

Before this chapter on the building blocks is over you will know why this is so important.

  • Once you have put the club in your fingers, close the palms of your hands over the grip.

The thumb of your weak hand is in the middle of the grip and the thumb of your strong hand is slightly off the middle of the grip toward your direction of play.

  • From here you want to experiment with inter-locking and over-lapping until you have a unified connection.

You will know you are getting it right, when your swing is in flow and the club is tightly in your hands, without you holding on to it.

Again, this is very basic and straightforward. You can test it and practice it by swinging your club back and forth in your backyard without a ball.

3. THE CENTER

How to generate power with ease

Many golfers believe power comes from the legs.

Sure,

we need stability to load our swing with power.

Still,

the power itself does not come from stability alone. It comes from your torso:

your hips, abdominal muscles, and shoulders – in short, your CORE.

Of course, our arms and torso work together when we swing. The key question is, however:

Which of the two is dominating?

When your arms dominate your swing, you are likely to hurt yourself by digging huge divots. Plus, you are working way too hard to generate power.

Again,

simplicity is key in the bigger picture here. To generate power with ease, swing from the core by activating your core and TURNING YOUR BODY – not shifting it.

Yes,

we shift our weight during the swing – but that’s only the weight.

The body itself is turned.

Turn back, turn forward, turn through and we are done!

This is what it feels like to swing from the core:

  • Imagine you are standing in a virtual pipeline that fits your hips and shoulders, restricting them from shifting left or right.

Your arms remain free to swing up and down.

  • In this pipeline, all you want to do is turn your body and lift your arms.

Turn your body.

Lift your arms.

  • Work from the center of your body – hips, abdomen, and shoulders.

This way you will keep your energy together, keep your movements together and keep your swing together.

This drill is not a rule. It is a guiding thought that can help you find out what it FEELS like to swing from the core.

Imagine your swing is an expression of control, power, and flow. That is what you are working on when you activate your core muscles.

You do not need a ball to know if your swing is arm dominant or core dominant. Try these steps out in your backyard without a ball and put your core to work.

Once you have these three building blocks down, you have laid a grounding framework for hitting basic, simple and classic shots.

There is nothing special and nothing magic about these building blocks and the shots you can hit with them.

Once you get your stability, your grip and swinging from the core right, you will shoot in your 70’s and 80’s with ease – if you have learned to make smart decisions on the course.

More on decision-making later.

Fact is though, you have laid the foundation of your Performance Pyramid:

 

When I started golf in high-school I had been boxing for a couple of months. That is why I can confidently say:

These three primary building blocks of the Performance Pyramid are to golf like legwork, jabs and the defense position are to boxing.

There might be nothing fancy and sexy about them, but they are fundamental and effective.

“Trick shots” in boxing, like dancing, uppercuts and trash talk, can be added with measure later.


Let’s move on!

4. AWARENESS

How to know where you are going

Let us make aiming easy.

Simply put:

we do not need to learn how to aim.

Instead,

we want to learn how we are already aiming and work with that. All this requires is awareness – our fourth building block.

Have you ever played a shot way off target, only to find, after you rechecked your grip, body posture or club head position, that you had been aiming there all the time?

You see,

we always play in the direction we set up to – always.

The key to aiming on purpose is to bridge the gap between where we think we are aiming and where we are matter of factly aiming.

Of course,

there are multiple checkpoints for correct aiming. If you want to break 80, the following will give you enough food for practice:

  • Check the extended line of your heels.

The extended line of your heels (not your toes, as many golfers think) is a great determinant of your direction.

A straight shot flies parallel to the line of your heels.

  • Check where the palms of your hands are facing before you trigger your swing.

Imagine the palm of your strong hand is like a mirror:

Before you trigger the swing, open up the palm of your hand, stick out your thumb so your hand becomes flat. What is your hand mirroring? This is where your ball will go.

  • And finally, check where your club face is squared up to.

The club face is what ultimately sends the ball on its journey, so learn to become aware of how you are setting it up.

Sometimes it just takes an extra peak before you pull the trigger.

Become aware of how these three indicators work together, and you will make them work for you.

Building awareness without a ball is perfect practice. When you swing the club in your backyard you learn the vital skill of visualizing your shots.

So, take five, and give your favorite iron a good swing now.

5. RHYTHM

How to forget technique and just play

What would you prefer:

to know how to swing the club and get it right, or not to know how to swing the club and get it right?

Maybe you are thinking,

“Knowing how to swing the club is better than not knowing, as long as the result is the same”.

I understand.

The problem with the approach of conscious knowing is, that you are still THINKING. You are still in your head when it comes to the mechanics of the swing.

What you are missing out on, as long as you are preoccupied with your swing, is playing the game of golf.

Remember:

  • Our goal is to score as low as possible.

This is what golf is ultimately about.

  • We do this by playing the course.
  • We play the course by hitting the ball.
  • And we hit the ball by swinging the club.

DO NOT underestimate the simplicity of this causal chain.

Think about it in reverse:

  • You cannot hit the ball if you cannot swing the club.
  • You cannot play the game if you cannot hit the ball.
  • And you cannot score low if you cannot play the game.

Golf is inherently creative.

To master the creative part, we want to practice going BEYOND THE MECHANICS OR TECHNICALITIES of it. This is what the final building block is all about. It is the realm of

rhythm and flow.

At the risk of confusing you, this finishing touch to creating a lasting swing is about the practice of forgetting about all technicalities.

When you are in flow you are on top of the Performance Pyramid. You trust the building blocks below stand firmly.

You simply go with whatever you have ingrained into the DNA of your swing. And that is what you do when you practice every day – even if it is only in your backyard.

Now all our energy goes to strategy, idea development and mental strength and endurance.

Strategies of getting into flow are:

  • reduce your technical considerations to one single swing thought.

There are dozens of options you could come up with:

“Keep the foundation strong”, “Keep the right knee in place”, “Turn the shoulders”, “Hips first”, “Long, slow take off”, “Keep your head down”, “Shake hands with the target”, or simply “Trust it!”, just to name a few.

These are just examples taken out of context, so please don’t follow their advice.

What matters is that you condense your swing to one idea and allow yourself to forget all the rest.

  • FEEL your swing.

When you feel your swing, you have the confidence to go beyond even a single swing thought.

This is where the magic happens because you begin to look at fairways, trees, hazards, and greens ahead of you as the playground they are.

  • Get your timing right by practicing the following sequence in your backswing:
  1. Trigger your backswing with your hands.
  2. After that, turn your shoulders.
  3. Finally, finish your turn with your hips.
  • Now comes the downswing.

Here it is the other way around:

  1. First, your hips turn to the target.
  2. Your shoulders follow the lead of your hips.
  3. And finally, your hands accelerate through the ball.

This is as simple as counting to three.

With the correct timing, all pieces of the swing puzzle fall together naturally.

Of course,

these movements are only split seconds apart.

But this sequence is an example of a small thing making a big difference.

Try it out in your backyard. You don't need a driving range or even a golf ball to count to three and feel rhythm and flow.

WRAPPING UP

So, there we are,

these are the 20 percent that counts to swing like a natural.

There are not one hundred things to consider, only five. At best you are learning only ONE AT A TIME.

We can now complete the Performance Pyramid:

As you can see, it does not take much to build a solid swing.

All it takes is practicing the right ideas. With a few simple ideas, you can hugely expand your abilities.

Use the Performance Pyramid to help you prioritize your focus in training.

Like I said, there are more five-minute exercises and routines to come in my book this year. So, make sure you get your copy!

For now, get to work with the practical guide above. Practice step by step in your backyard if you must – but do it DAILY.

CHAPTER 3

How to make confident decisions

Leave your mark on the course

We make more decisions than shots in a round of golf:

Decisions on clubs, decisions on where to tee up the ball, decisions on ideas on how to play our lie, decisions on where to position the ball between the feet, and decisions on where to play to.

No-one only makes good decisions.

But, natural golfers execute their decisions confidently.

Confident decision-making is an improvement process of its own.

So where can you start?

You start by becoming aware of your current decision-making process.

Once you get behind the scenes of what you think and plan on the course, the goal then is to make a conscious effort to improve it.

Improve your decisions in these areas on the course and you will save shots:

1. The Tee-Off

Our first goal off the tee is to stay in the game.

The logic of playing the ball from the tee off is simple:

a ball teed off on the right tends to go left. A ball teed up on the left tends to go right.

Where to tee up the ball is an important decision. But it’s not hard. It’s just pure logic.

Integrate this process in your decision and you will keep the ball in the game:

  • Cut the tee-off in half (the white line in the graphic below). You now have two sides, the left side, and the right side.
  • If you want to play far left, tee off on the far right (red line). If you want to go far right, tee off on the left (green line).
  • Choosing a middle position to stay center fairway.

Either of the black lines will get you more centered on the fairway.

2. Approaching the green

Most misses of the green are try hard attempts.

Why?

Your brain knows what you are asking for. By trying too hard we interfere with the brain.

We perform better when we come from a detached disposition.

And when we keep it simple and just allow ourselves an easy target (the entire green), our brain is usually grateful and rewards us with mechanical details necessary to play the ball close.

Follow these approaches to approaching:

  • Don’t get fancy!

Just aim for the green. Play the ball onto the green and take it from there.

  • Getting onto the green in regulation is fine.

When on a par 5 with a risky second shot into the green, think twice. Plan an approach with a short iron and two putts, and you’re golden.

3. Chipping well

When we chip, it’s similar.

Here I have a mantra:

“I [my conscious and calculating part] take care of the direction and you [my feeling part] take care of touch”.

Aim to get NEAR the hole and you will save shots.

Practice this:

  • Imagine the hole has a diameter of one meter.
  • Getting into a hole with a diameter of 1m is a manageable task for any golfer’s brain.
  • When the task seems manageable, we build the confidence to play it solidly.

4. Putting well

This simple approach saves you puts as well.

Long puts are made when we just play the ball TO THE HOLE, instead of pretending we want to get it in.

Take the 1m diameter approach described above and let your feeling part do the calculating of touch for you.

Your brain knows you want to get it into the whole. So, get out of your own way and just play – TO THE HOLE.

  1. When within one meter, be deadly!

Short puts are missed mostly because of overthinking.

Save putts by practicing the following:

  • Set up four balls one putter length away from the hole on a level area of the practice green.

Best you mark the distance with a tee. Then putt all four balls one by one.

  • When you hole all four in a row, in your next round you increase your distance by half a grip length. When you miss one, you start again.
  • If you have to start again three times in a row, you go back and decrease your distance to how it was in the prior round.
  • Continue like this and see how big a distance you can confidently sink all four balls from.

With this exercise you not only practice confidence and putting under pressure, you practice being deadly.

As a final word on decision making, I would like to recommend Darrin Gee’s “The Seven Personalities of Golf”

This short read will give you a simple and practical overview of the options to work the course.

I can safely say, in my golf life there is a time before reading Darrin’s guide and a time after reading it. Make sure you grab a copy!

A TECHNICAL WORD ON SHORT GAME

Now,

this manual prioritizes the principles of the full swing.

Still,

If you want to break 80, you have to come to terms with your short game too.

So,

I’ll give you some starting points and show you what works for me most effectively.

As touch plays a greater role, we go from raw movements to fine movements. Our swing becomes more and more miniature and restricted.

Practically speaking,

pay attention to the following changes as you narrow in on the hole:

When you pitch from 30m for example,

(a) get your foundation strong and ensure stability.

Then,

(b) make sure you get a tight connection to the grip.

And now

(c) swing actively with your shoulders dominating.

We still turn our body when we pitch. The leading movement comes from the shoulders and arms, not the core.

When we chip,

turning our shoulders falls away completely. We only move our hands and arms.

Remember,

stability, a good connection in our grip and awareness of our direction are still called for unchanged.

What matters most when we chip, is where we place our feet and weight to the ball. The best way to determine this is to find out for yourself by TESTING.

Some golfers prefer their weight on the back foot and the ball in line with it. Others, like me, like to chip the ball just off the front toe of the front foot, with the weight to this end as well.

Both work!

Go to the practice area and test it with 10 balls from each side. This takes 10 minutes and they are well invested.

You will find out quickly what works for you and can stick with that.

One last thought on chipping:

Take Harvey Penick's approach:

get it down in two.

There is no reason to play more than two shots from the fringe.

Practice this:

  • take one ball, just one ball, your weapon of choice, a 7-iron for example, and a putter to the chipping area.
  • Now finish in two.

I know,

it does not work every time. But let it work three out of 6 times on your round and you have saved three shots.

The truth is,

80 percent of chipping is a mind game.

Set the standard of taking only two and you might just see yourself willing the ball in.

CHAPTER 4

How to master the inner game of golf

Conquer yourself and win

The first time I broke 80, it didn’t hit me how I was playing before the round was over.

I was so in flow and free of any doubt, that ideas and decisions came naturally. All shots, even seemingly difficult ones, unfolded with ease.

This can only happen when you allow yourselves to let go of the haven of thought and conscious effort.

Only when we allow ourselves to PLAY golf, do we unfold an optimal performance state.

“That is good for you Carlo,” you might be thinking, “but how do I get there myself?”

Excellent question!

Getting into the zone and playing our best cannot be left to chance. It is something we can practice and work toward.

And there is another question you want to address to play your best:

“What do I do, when I am going through hell on the course?”

Let us begin with the second question.

Anyone can go through hell on the course. No professional player and no amateur is spared of a tough round every once in a while.

And when it happens, there seems to be nothing we can do to fix it. We can, however, learn to keep our temperament at bay and prevent greater damage.

This will help you save shots on a bad day:

Reboot your swing from the bottom.

What does this mean?

  • When your swing is off, start with getting your stability

Remember,

your stance is the starting point.

  • Once that is solidified take a closer look at the grip. Reconnect with your club and you will reconnect with your game.
  • Once those two are back on track, put your attention to swinging from the core.
  • Once you have these three elements working together, put your mind to direction and rhythm.

By building from the bottom up, you are giving yourself manageable goals and a clear pattern of focus.

This approach has turned many a bad golf day into a good one.

The second approach to rebooting your game on a bad day, we want to keep a cool head and a relaxed body.

Best practices to achieve this are breathing exercises and stretching:

Breathing exercises

Take time out for a minute. In that minute take 15-20 deep breaths. Breath in deeply and breathe out normally.

The increase of oxygen in your blood revitalizes the body and clears the mind.

Stretching

There are many opportunities for a quick stretch in a round of golf. A stretch here and there increases blood flow and relaxes muscles.

Prioritize leg, arm and neck muscles. This is where a lot of stress and tension are stored. Stretch it out, smooth it out.

Okay,

we have spoken about physical ways to get your swing and your body back on track.

This is a great place to start.

Now we want to go a step further and stabilize areas the body cannot govern alone.

There is an ocean of research out there on how to get into a peak state of mind on and off sports grounds.

Choose one or more of these three approaches to prevent poor play:

Meditation

Of course, I do not meditate because of golf. I meditate for my general well-being.

Meditation has proven to be a major factor in performance, however, because it allows you to stay patient and calm when events seem to get out of control.

A poor shot is just that, a poor shot.

Just like the best fairway-splitting drive is no guarantee of a good score, so are poor shots no reason to lose your cool.

All that counts, is the next shot.

Excitement in both ways can be distracting. Meditation helps to get that thought from your mind into your feelings.

Play with people you like

Flight partners make a difference.

My friend MJ plays scratch golf. He’s a natural with a handicap of 0 and is always a few shots ahead of me.

Playing with him motivates me to focus and keep up – and maybe even outscore him on a good day.

Even if you are the best player in your flight, playing with people whose company you enjoy effects your focus and joy.

Of course, we cannot rely on others for our mental well-being, that is not the point.

It is important to know, that keeping the emotions of the entire flight at bay, will increase support of each other and positivity in play.

Have goals

There are two kinds of goals you want to establish when playing golf:

  1. a goal for the round and
  2. a goal for each shot.

A good way to create a goal for the round is to set a wager.

Just playing for your ball or the drink after the round can get your mind right.

It’s not much, but it makes a difference.

Playful competition can give your game that ambitious edge it might need to save a hand full of shots and to make decisive putts.

Goals for single shots are important too.

This does not mean to swing the club at every risky challenge your mind presents.

“Tiger-line” is called “Tiger-line” for a reason.

One key to mastering the inner game of golf is to match your goals with your skills.

Here are some rhymes for you to remember how simple goals can be in golf:

  • “When teeing off or fairing away, in the game is where you stay.”
  • “If in the rough, don’t try be tough, swing sound and strong, that’s hard enough.”
  • “When to the green you’re closing in, just play it on, forget the pin.”
  • “You’re putting now from far away, just to the hole is where to play.”
  • “You’re putting in, a meter away, pull the trigger – just play.”

Chapter Summary

Let’s conclude:

mastering the inner game of golf is as much about keeping your body on track (by breathing and stretching), as it is about keeping your mind together (by keeping excitement at bay and working the goals you plan).

I like the old saying: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”. And the main thing in golf is your next shot.

The next shot is the most important shot in golf.

Playing your next shot as good as you can, requires calling upon all physical and mental capacities available.

CONCLUSION

Where to go from here?

You know the drill, now its your turn

Do you also have a senior player in your club, who plays maybe a 10 handicap, and plays it consistently?

How does he do it?

His game is classic:

nothing fancy, no great highs, no deep lows, maybe a trick and some luck here and there, maybe the occasional birdie or bogey, but all in all he is stable and solid.

This, and no more, is what playing in your 80’s is like.

To get there, this is where we go from here:

Start with focusing on your long game.

Get your swing stable, your grip tight and work from the core.

The better we get these building blocks working together, the more consistent our long shots become and the more naturally know what to do in the short game too.

Our ability to aim comes down to our awareness.

This is where we become conscious of how we position and move our body. The clearer this becomes, the more natural our aiming gets.

The pinnacle of the golf swing then is rhythm and flow.

In flow, we are at the top of the Performance Pyramid. This is well worth the effort because here we learn to forget what we have learned and can finally JUST PLAY.

Next,

confident decisions on the course are a mix of logic and detachment.

It might seem that they exclude each other because the one is controlling the other is trusting. But they don’t.

We need both.

Think your decisions through. Tee up on purpose.

And finally,

get out of your way.

Stop trying to play and just play.

As golfers, we are constantly solving problems. That is what practicing the decision-making process is all about.

When it comes to mastering the inner game of golf, you want to make body and mind work together.

On tough days reboot your swing from the foundation upward.

Start with stability. It will give you confidence and strength.

As you can see, there is no magic in breaking 80. There is not so much to learn as there are merely a few simple things to do.

So,

grab your club and start swinging anywhere you can!

To this end,

make sure you get deeper insights on breaking 80 and effective golf training in my upcoming book.

In this practical guide, you will get dozens of exercises and routines for effective five-minute practice sessions.

My new book is all about saving time and practicing what really matters in golf and has been implemented successfully with students of all levels.

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