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Dr. Gupta: The Secret To Finding YOUR GAME

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Though it is not the modern way, the truth always lies beneath that which is immediately graspable. And it lies further than one’s natural and customary reach.

You struggle to find your game. You have it in practice. You find it on the range. You have it on the practice green.

But you lose it on the course.

Why?

The reasons are varied, but let’s discuss one fundamental possibility. Perhaps one you have not explored. For it deals NOT with tips and tricks, but a dissection of the matter at hand.

Could it be that the game that you are attempting to play in the practice area is NOT the same one you attempt to play on the course?

Could it also be that the game that you are attempting to play on the course is NOT the same one you attempt to play in tournaments?

Could it be that the “goal posts” are being moved without you being aware of it?

I will explain.

How long has it been since you asked yourself why it is that you play? Is it perhaps time to have a SINCERE conversation with yourself about the source of your joy as it relates to golf?

You see, before you can work on your game, you must figure out which game it is that you are attempting to play.

Perhaps in the practice area you are attempting to play golf. You are using a club to advance a ball to a target. You are working on mechanics. You are working on trajectory. And all various manners related to the wholly innocent activity of ball advancement.

But could it be that when you enter a tournament or a match that the game suddenly changes?

Could it be that while you play golf on the practice ground, you play the winning-vs.-losing game in the tournament?

Could it be that while you play golf on the practice ground, you play the don’t-embarrass-yourself game in the tournament?

Could it be that while you play golf on the practice ground, you play the I-must-redeem-myself game in the tournament?

Could it be that while you play golf on the practice ground, you play the I-must-raise-my-Official-World-Golf-Ranking game in the tournament?

Could it be that while you play golf on the practice ground, you play the I-must-keep-my-Tour-card game in the tournament?

At this most delicate juncture in this conversation I will tell you fear not, for I am NOT about to judge you. I am not about to tell you what you should or should not do. This is an epidemic in the world of performance and instruction and it is not my way.

I have no interest in advising you to refrain from playing any of the games above. I simply ask that you discover for yourself, honestly and sincerely and without fear of judgment or reprimand, which game it is that you play.

I will state in a purely clinical and non-judgmental way that if you play any of the games above, or your personal flavor thereof, that you are not playing the game of golf. Once again, I reiterate that I am not asking you to abandon any of those games in exchange for the game of golf.

I am simply stating that if golf is what you practice and golf is what you train for, it is golf that you are improving at. But if in the tournament you are not playing the game of golf, you might as well be playing the game of soccer.

You see, athletes often lose sight of that which is fundamental. And given the culture in which the athlete finds himself, it is completely understandable why he would lose sight of the fundamental.

The fundamental, the secret, is to discover for yourself:

  1. Which game is it that you are really playing?
  2. Why is it that you play?

All across the world, from the professionals to the amateurs, the game is no longer a game. The game has not been a game for a very long time.

The game has become simply a vehicle. A vehicle for gain. A vehicle for conquest. A vehicle to fill the emptiness a man feels. A vehicle for man to settle the scores of his unrequited dreams.

The game has been a clothes line upon which man has begun to hang his dirty laundry.

And, as such, the game is no longer the game it was intended to be.

Perhaps if you were willing to return to the game that first attracted you to it, you could play it beautifully once again.

Perhaps if you rediscovered the fact that the game is meant only to be played and not to be used, you could play it with aplomb.

Perhaps if you returned to the game in its wholly virgin form you would discover that all the demons that have frightened you belonged to all the other games you brought with you, and not the one spawned their existence.

Perhaps…

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Dr. Gupta is the founder of Siddha Performance, a company that teaches human beings to transcend their own mind in order to access the source of superhuman performance. Dr. Gupta has devoted close to 30 years of his life developing understandings and techniques that allow human beings to transcend the mind. Through his analysis and experimentation he has discovered that ultimate freedom and ultimate performance arise NOT from within the mind, but beyond it. Dr. Gupta can be contacted directly at DrGupta@Siddhaperformance.com His work and his writings can be found at http://www.siddhaperformance.com/ He also appears weekly on PGA Tour's "On the Mark" radio show with Mark Immelman.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. snowman

    Jan 26, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Good stuff to ponder. Many of us play to challenge ourselves to score as well as we can and we sabotage ourselves with tension when trying too hard. I suggest everyone that plays should seek to play without / minimize tension… Everyone I play with, especially me, has more game than they can deliver when they are under stress (self-imposed) or otherwise. Tension will reveal/exacerbate your weaknesses/flaws in your game. For “serious” golfers, it seems almost unnatural to play with a carefree attitude but it’s worthwhile to “try easy” to do so.

  2. Jafar

    Jan 26, 2015 at 11:20 am

    This asks a good question to help clear your mind before a round or before a shot even.

  3. J

    Jan 25, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Golf is mentally tough. Thanks for the update. Your articles are essentially the same drivel repeated over and over. It’s starting to sound pretentious.

    • Knobbywood

      Jan 25, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      If your reading comprehension is so bad that all you got out of that article was “golf is mentally tough” you sir, should refrain from commenting not only on this site but any situation that requires your input or opinion on anything written. The world would have far less useless drivel floating around if you and people like you had more self restraint. Thanks!

      • J

        Jan 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm

        And you sir should stick to the topic. Plain and simple. Your opinion has no greater value than mine and simply because you disagree doesn’t make you in any way, shape, or form more intelligent or enlightened. As a matter of fact, those who choose to assign an intellectual value to a subject solely governed by opinions is in fact showing his or her own lack of critical thinking and intelligence. You should refrain from engaging in conversations with people in general if your only ability to do so is to personally insult someone whom you have no personal experience with. You made yourself look like a moron. I may have made myself look overly critical and perhaps harsh, but I believe the truth should be spoken with as few words as possible. It makes for better understanding. Now run along, you’ve overstepped your abilities junior.

        • Andy

          Jan 27, 2015 at 6:15 pm

          You two would probably hit it off over a beer if you didn’t know each other, so let’s leave the negativity aside and contribute to the discussion. I forgive you both.

  4. charles lee

    Jan 25, 2015 at 3:43 am

    great article!! really makes you think differently and question yourself therefore discovering new things about your self or old stuff about yourself.

  5. Ken

    Jan 24, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Huh?

  6. B

    Jan 24, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I have found that I play my best when I start out playing the course but soon change my focus to try to catch someone, or overtake someone, or to word it another way – I try to take something (a position) away from someone…as-in coming from behind to take away their position. It’s a feeling of me starting out getting the feel for the course (like a the race track), and then it changes over to me being the hunter and all others ahead of me with a better score/position (imaginary or not) are my prey. If I’m in the lead I imagine that there are [still] others I must overtake.

  7. other paul

    Jan 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Better then your first article. You try to sound to spiritual when you talk.
    I think it is the fear of failure and embarrassment that makes us play different all the time. I play my best alone. Personal best with friends is 86, personal best alone is 78.

    • Knobbywood

      Jan 24, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      Trying to sound spiritual? Lol come on buddy that’s reaching a little… I feel bad for your spiritual life if this is “sounding spiritual”. He simply has a different stlye that the other writers…Anyway I think this article is a complete breath of fresh air and I loved it, keep it up.

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Instruction

Davies: Training the trail elbow in the golf swing

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Alistair Davies shares with you how to get the correct trail arm and elbow action in the downswing. He shares some great drills that can be done at the range or at home to help lower your scores.Get the correct training for the trail arm here today!

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The important lessons you can learn from Peter Senior’s golf swing

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He may not be a household name in the United States, but Australia’s Peter Senior has a swing for the ages. At 60 years old, Senior has 34 worldwide professional wins including the 2015 Australian Masters beating a competitive field with several top-ranked players in the world. Turning professional in 1978, his career has spanned over 40 years.

Senior’s game and swing have stood the test of time, and the longevity of his career should be recognized. Senior formerly worked with Australian instructor Gary Edwin, and the structure to this swing taught to Senior paved the way for a future of consistent, high-quality professional golf.

Having a great golf swing isn’t the only key to becoming a great golfer, one must learn to play the game. However, you can learn a lot from Senior’s swing.

The origin to Senior’s swing lies in his set-up. Senior sets up in what I call his “hitting angles” or a position that mirrors impact.

From this position, Senior is able to simply keep these angles he established at address throughout the swing. This is why the set-up is so critical. The further he deviates from these “hitting angles”, the more he will have to find that impact position with his body in the backswing and downswing. In other words, more movement. The goal of his backswing will be to maintain these original starting angles.

From the picture, Senior has maintained his original body shape that he established at address. From this position, it will be much easier and repeatable to return the club to impact.

Note how his impact position now mirrors his original address position. All his original angles were maintained with a slight bump of the body towards the target. From impact, he can simply fold up his arms as his right side of his body rotates around his left side, keeping the clubface square to the body.

This standing tall finish position with the head following the torso is much easier on the back. His body has come forward and around beautifully, covering the ball for a proper strike.

The beauty of Senior’s swing lies in its simplicity. The changes Senior made to his swing can apply to anyone. Let’s look at two simple drills to make your swing more efficient and powerful.

“To a large extent, my backswing is a product of my set-up position” – Tiger Woods, Golf Digest 2020

To get into these impact angles simply practice pushing into an impact bag with the head and shaft of the club. Make sure your trail arm is tucked, lowering the trail shoulder as you pressure the bag.

To get the feeling of the proper coil from this set-up position, grab an impact bag and hold the bag in front of you.

From here, swing the bag around you with your arms keeping the top of the bag level. You will feel the trail side of your body move back and the lead side move out, coiling around your spine angle.

The trail glute will also move back and around with this drill, a key move the great Ben Hogan used to pivot his body. To develop an efficient swing and a long, injury-free career, take note of Peter Senior’s key moves.

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Fix early extension: 3 exercises to get your a** in gear

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It’s pretty common knowledge that “early extension” is a problem for golfers everywhere, but how does it affect your body and your game? And what can you do to fix it?

First, let’s look at early extension in its most simple form as a physical issue rather than a technical issue.

During the swing, we are asking our body to not only create force, but also resist a number of different forces created by the aggressive rotational pattern we call a golf swing. The problem comes down to each player’s unique dysfunction which will likely include bad posture, weak glutes or a locked out thoracic spine for example.

So when we then ask the body to rotate, maintain spine angle, get the left arm higher, pressure the ground, turn our hips to the target (to name a few) a lot of mobility, strength and efficiency are required to do all of this well.

And not everyone, well actually very few of us, has the full capability to do all of this optimally during the swing. The modern lifestyle has a lot to do with it, but so does physiology and it has been shown that tour players as well as everyday golfers suffer from varying levels of dysfunction but can ultimately get by relative to learned patterns and skill development.

But for the majority of players early extension leads to one or more of the following swing faults:

  • Loss of spine angle/posture. During the swing, a player will ‘stand up’ coming out of their original and desired spine angle, this alters the path and the plane of the club.
  • “Humping” the ball. Johnny Wunder’s preferred term for the forward and undesirable movement of the lower body closer to the ball.

Lack of rotation during the swing occurs due to the shift in the center of gravity caused by the loss of posture as your body does its best to just stay upright at all.

Ultimately, early extension leaves us “stuck” with the club too far behind us and nowhere to go—cue massive high push fade or slice going two fairways over (we’ve all been there) or a flippy hook as your body backs up and your hands do whatever they can to square it up.

Not only is this not a good thing if you want to hit a fairway, it’s also a really bad way to treat your body in general.

As a general rule, your body works as a system to create stability and mobility simultaneously allowing us to move, create force, etc. When we can’t maintain a stable core and spinal position or force is being transferred to an area that shouldn’t be dealing with it, we get issues. Likely, this starts with discomfort, possibly leading to prolonged pain, and eventually injury.

The body has a whole lot to deal with when you play golf, so it’s a good idea to start putting in the work to help it out. Not only will you reduce your risk of injury, but you’ll also likely play better too!

So we have three simple exercises for you here that you can do at home, or anywhere else, that will help you with the following elements

  • Posture
  • Core strength
  • Glute function
  • Thoracic mobility
  • Asymmetrical balance
  • Ground force development

#1: Forward lunge with rotation

  1. Standing tall, core engaged with a club in front of your chest, take a reasonable step forward.
  2. Stabilize your lead knee over your front foot and allow your trail knee to move down towards the ground, trying to keep it just above the surface.
  3. Maintaining your spine angle, rotate OVER your lead leg (chest faces the lead side) with the club at arm’s length in front of your torso keeping your eyes facing straight forwards.
  4. Rotate back to center, again with great control, and then step back to your original standing position.
  5. Repeat on other leg.

#2: Bird dog

  1. Get down on all fours again focusing on a quality, neutral spine position.
  2. Extend your left arm forward and your right leg backward.
  3. Control your breathing and core control throughout as we test balance, stability and core activation.
  4. Hold briefly at the top of each rep and return to start position.
  5. Repeat with right arm and left leg, alternating each rep.
  6. If this is difficult, start by working arms and legs individually, only life 1 arm OR 1 leg at a time but still work around the whole body.

#3: Jumping squat

  1. Start with feet shoulder-width apart, eyes fixed forward.
  2. Engage your squat by sending your knees forwards and out to create pressure and torque, whilst sending your hips down and back.
  3. Squat down as far as possible whilst maintaining a neutral spine, active core and heels on the ground.
  4. As you naturally come out of the squat, push the ground away using your whole foot, creating as much speed and force as possible as you jump in the air.
  5. Land with excellent control and deceleration, reset and repeat.

Got 10 minutes? Sample workout

3 Rounds

  1. 10 Forward Lunge with Rotation (5 each leg)
  2. 10 Bird Dog (5 Each side or 5 each limb if working individually)
  3. 5 Jumping Squats
  4. 1 Minute Rest

If you can take the time to make this a part of your routine, even just two or three times per week, you will start to see benefits all round!

It would also be a perfect pre-game warm-up!

And one thing you can do technically? Flare your lead foot to the target at address. A huge majority of players already do this and with good reason. You don’t have to alter your alignment, rather keep the heel in its fixed position but point your toes more to the target. This will basically give you a free 20 or 30 degrees additional lead hip rotation with no real side-effects. Good deal.

This is a great place to start when trying to get rid of the dreaded early extension, and if you commit to implementing these simple changes you can play way better golf and at least as importantly, feel great doing it.

 

To take your golf performance to new levels with fitness, nutrition, recovery, and technical work, check out everything we do on any of the following platforms.

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