It’s a par 5, I step up to tee off with my one wood and a one-and-a-half-inch tee. I push the tee in so it’s a half inch high, rest the ball on top, take a few practice swings and step up to take my swing.
I haven’t golfed in years, and I’m sure this is going to be a frustrating nine holes. Head down, feet shoulder width apart, breathe…. swing…gentle, but hard enough. The club connects with the ball and goes about 100 yards onto the practice range running parallel to me. Mulligan. I tee up another ball, go through my routine, and again make contact. This time I top the ball and it makes a sad roll ahead about 50 yards. Yep, this is going to be a long golf outing.
Why are we talking about golf?
I’ve been doing what I do for a while now, working with individuals in harnessing their natural strengths and energy zones to work in the best way for them. Teaching them their own tools and how to use them most effectively. This beautiful 90+ degree day, I finally realized that that concept stretches through everything!! Including golf. I found myself discovering something that I believe will absolutely transform my golf game in the most unconventional way. I also assume that all the golf enthusiasts out there will cringe at what I’m about to say…or they have already realized what I did and that’s why they are so amazing!
From Frustration to Fun!
Around the 3rd or 4th hole, I began to experiment. I’ve always been most proficient with my higher irons. But I had that traditional outlook…when you have ground to cover, aim for your lower irons and get the distance. Problem for me is…I am anything but effective with anything less than a six iron. I slice and dice (the ground). I top the ball and generally just go nowhere. I zig zag my way down the fairway 50 yards at a time. Until I decided to go rouge!
I was on a par 4. I went to tee off and decided to raise my tee up to one inch. I grabbed my driver and made massive contact on the ball! Again…golf enthusiasts…do not peanut gallery me. I’m aware that this is most likely common knowledge, it just wasn’t for me. What a difference!
Next up. The fairway and three more hits to par. Let’s continue to experiment. I really like my seven iron. Why not? I grabbed it and took a few practice swings. Stepped up, head down, feet centered, breathing, gentle pull back and a pendulum swing. I made sweet contact. The ball sailed high and pretty far for me. Huh? That was fun. More effective. What if I golfed each hole with these 2 new techniques? Seven wood on my second swing on a par 5? Maybe?
It was at this point I began just running with the idea that I was most effective at this game by leaning on what worked for me vs. what the book says I should use. And it worked. My game improved, I was having fun verses building frustration and resentment for a game I used to love.
This is what using YOUR strengths looks like. Sometimes it looks unconventional. Sometimes others will judge your process, but none of that matters. What matters at the end of the day is that you are effective, having fun and NOT building resentment for what you are doing.
Life is like a game of golf! Fun when you can use the tools that work for you. Not so much when you think you must use the tools that work for another and that don’t work for you!