No matter how much effort you had put into that sticky, heavy, cumbersome window, you weren't going to move it. You went into it with the notion it would be hard and it lived up to it. You moaned, groaned and maybe even cursed your old house. Your preconceived notions made your expectations, but you failed to follow a process. The first step to opening any window is to first unlock it.
Many players approach golf in much the same way. They step onto a tough golf course ready for a fight. They are braced and determined. They forget their process and play defensively. It doesn't have to be a tough course that causes this approach. Some players will take this approach after a tough warm up session or a rough day leading into the round. Whatever the reason, they don't approach their game with openness, peace or a commitment to the process.
Golf is a game to be played. It is about feel, intuitiveness, playfulness, creativity, joy, nature, action and fun. To approach your round as though you're girded for battle is to put on armor against all of these aspects of the game. I often hear players talk about mechanics, grind, battling and toughness. As a coach, I know there is a time for these things when things aren't going well, but I certainly don't want these approaches to be our standard. I want our players to play with freedom and flow!
Just think of the words you associate with the word grind; tedious, crumble, hard, work, effort, bear down, etc. If I were recruiting kids to play golf, these aren't the words that would attract them to the sport. Why did you start playing? To play or to grind? And that is just one of the popular words used to describe golf as though it is a tough battle.
If you want to play your best golf, prepare to PLAY. Embrace the PROCESS of choosing a target, visualizing the shot and letting it go. Be AWARE and OPEN to the day, the conditions, the course and your fellow competitors. If you make the game about your effort, you will feel tired and beaten after your rounds. If you make the game about freedom and flow, you will simply run out of holes.