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Improve your game at your cubicle

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Are you wasting valuable time at work, daydreaming about golf when you could actually be using this time to lower your scores?

If you’re like me you probably catch yourself staring at a golf calendar in your cubicle recounting missed shots from recent rounds and replaying some of the great ones you pulled off. What if you took this “wasted” time and used it to focused on improving your game. At your desk. During work hours.

Major James Nesmith used his time in a POW camp in Vietnam to escape to a golf course everyday. When he was released seven years later, he improved his golf game to an astonishing degree. Without touching a club.

The Major served in the United States Military and was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. He spent most of his days in a tiny cell, speaking to no one, performing no physical activity, fighting off insanity. He accomplished the latter by playing full rounds of golf in his mind in vivid detail. He essentially tricked his body into thinking it was on a golf course for four hours.

Major Nesmith would imagine arriving at the course, smelling the freshly cut grass and flowers. He would imagine walking onto the first tee and going through his pre-shot routine before hitting a perfect drive down the middle of the fairway. He would then walk after his ball, imagining every step before hitting his next perfect shot.

In vivid detail.

He never missed a shot. He played perfect rounds and so can you, in your cubicle.

Visualization

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What Major Nesmith practiced for seven years was creative visualization. When this type of mental rehearsal is performed in a focused state, it has a real impact on the mental triggers that fire your muscles.

The reason that creative visualization works is that you are physiologically creating neural patterns in your brain, as if you actually physically performed these actions. This type of mental training is directly related to teaching our muscles to react in a specific order and rhythm.

Creatively visualizing what one desires (shooting lower scores), by involving all your senses, has proven to help athletes achieve greater performances. These visualizations involve vivid details of what you see, what you smell, what you feel, what you hear and more importantly what you do (hitting great shots).

The Cubicle Golfer

cubicle

Now I am in no way comparing our plush sterile cubicles to the conditions that Major James Nesmith endured, but we can take a very valuable lesson away from his story and apply it to our daydreaming.

If you find yourself staring at your golf calendar yearning for your next round on the course, then do exactly that. Go to your favorite course and play a round, or maybe just a few holes.

Try this: Pick two or three holes at your regular golf course that cause you the most torment. Play them: include every detail imaginable, making it as real as possible. Do this over and over again whenever you have 10-to-15 minutes to spare. And when you play them, play them perfectly.

What do you have to lose other than 10-to-15 minutes you’ve would’ve spent staring at a golf calendar. I’d say that’s not a bad day at the office.

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Colby Johannson writes from the West Coast of Canada. He's logical, practical and a bit of a smart alec. He's taken his film and TV background and his passion for golf and parlayed it into www.QuiteTheChap.com, which brings simplicity, humor, and personal opinions to help alleviate the torment of this devilish game we call golf. I have a few other words for it as I'm sure you do too.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. jc

    Dec 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    man, this works…I was visualizing that I was in a pro-am with Natalie Gulbis and Paula Creamer. It got really slow and they asked if I wanted to skip the back 9 and go back to their place and get in the hot tub….so I didn’t play the back 9..and….well, they made me promise not to tell.

    • Colby

      Dec 13, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Well, now I know what jc stands for. I can only imagine you can walk on water after that experience.

  2. Dakota

    Nov 10, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Colby is 100% right about visualization in golf, its a key factor to success in golf. I have under went many surgeries that have caused me to be out of the game for over three months, without touching a club. Whenever I am not allowed to play the game for awhile. I visualize shots that I would be faced with when back on the course. When thinking of shots that I am going to be hitting, I Can literally feel my muscles moving in the way that they would need to without actually moving at all. I am a very low handicap golfer so it might be different for me than it would be for a 8 handicap.

  3. Juan

    Nov 10, 2013 at 12:19 am

    I can’t daydream at work for hours doing nothing,I’ll get fired plus I’m not in a prison camp or am I….

  4. 4pillars

    Nov 8, 2013 at 5:54 am

    There is no Major James Nesmith.

    There never has been. http://www.snopes.com/sports/golf/innergolf.asp or any other POW who did this.

    It is a total urban myth.

    Shame on you Golfwrx for putting this up.

    • jim

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      there was a great movie called “bat 21” where they rescued a pow (gene hackman) by using his local course distances as a grid to extraction locations…lol

  5. David Smith

    Nov 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    This is no lie! I live in Canada and all of last winter i did this same exact thing. I started by plotting out the courses I play on in my mind and how I can change my game to possibly score lower then I played them in my head all winter long and sure enough I significantly lowered my scores, I played some of my best golf the first round after being dormant for 6 months with only indoor simulators to practice on!

  6. Kevin Simms

    Nov 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Nice article, Colby! Visualization is a great tool that I use on the course, but I never thought of trying it in the office. I’ll have to give it a shot!

  7. tyler

    Nov 7, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Humans werent designed to sit motionless for the most part, 8 hours a day. I would rather have been born a caveman being chased by sabertooth tigers.

  8. Brian

    Nov 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Wow, I’m 2 under after 9.

    • Ben

      Nov 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      I’m stuck behind a slow foursome. sitting in my cart, waiting to attack the pin.

      • Colby

        Nov 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm

        I would hit into them to speed them up.

      • AJ

        Nov 8, 2013 at 9:11 am

        For a start you should be walking, with a tour caddy by your side, and playing behind Tiger, Rory and Phil!

        • AP

          Nov 8, 2013 at 3:05 pm

          Even more reason to hit right over them. Strange how I’ve gone 18 hole in ones in a row, this visualization exercise is incredible.

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Club Junkie

Club Junkie: VA Composites Nemesys wood shaft review and a big golf week for me!

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This week is a big golf week — playing in a member invitational! Got the bag sorted out and there are 14 clubs that I am going to live or die on the course with. I have been hitting the new VA Composites Nemesys wood shaft and am very impressed. A great counterbalanced option with a mid-low launch and low spin.

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Opinion & Analysis

Book review: The Golf Lover’s Guide To England

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There is this notion in the British isles, completely foreign to America, that states that visitors shall have access to all but a smallish passel of private clubs. In abject contrast, the finest clubs of the USA do their level best to keep their gates closed to both the riff and the raff, neither of which is nearly as detrimental to their continuity as some fearful members might believe. In this era of the database, would it be that hard to allow a visitor access once in her/his/their lifetime to Cypress Point, or Friar’s Head, or Prairie Dunes? Into the database their GHIN number would go, and if said individual were fortunate enough to win the lottery for a coveted golden ticket, err, tee time, that would be it for all time. I digress, however, as that rant is not the purpose of this book review.

The Golf Lover’s Guide To England, written and compiled by Michael Whitehead, lists 33 elite golf clubs across that country, divided into four regions, which are further divided into nine districts. Each of these clubs would be identified as unlikely in the USA, but is certainly accessible in England. The short story is: this nearly-pocket-sized compendium should accompany any traveler of golfing purpose, as it is invaluable for understanding the ins and outs of making contact, locating courses, and learning of their nature and history. The long story goes quite a bit deeper.

Michael Whitehead has the forethought to organize his works (Scotland was his first TGLGT volume) in meticulous fashion. The volume opens with a colorful map of the targeted country, complete with numbered flags to identify each of the courses reviewed within. The entire book explodes with wondrous colors, both in page background and course photography, and heightens the sensory experience of its study.

A delightful touch is the location of the Acknowledgements section in the front of the book. Typically relegated to one of the final pages that we skip past, before closing the cover, this is not the case here. Whitehead recognizes the invaluable assistance of his supporting cast, and situates them front and center. Good for you, Mr. Whitehead.

A brief history of the game in England is followed by the first of the four (North, Midlands & East Anglia, South East, South West) regions. The most populous of these is the South East, and we will use it to break down the districts. Five courses occupy an unnamed, scattered district. Five more are situated in the Surrey/Berkshire sandbelt, and four of those sites offer 36 holes on property. A final three fit into the Kent Coast district, and one of them has 27 holes within its confines. Thus it goes throughout the other three regions, albeit at a less-frenetic pace.

Moving along, each of the 33 seminal courses is granted six pages for description and assessment. Whitehead assigns color-coded price guides to each course, ranging from the up-to-49-British-Pounds entry point to the over-200-British-Pounds stratum. He also offers seasonal stratification, identifying the High (expensive) season, the Shoulder (mid-range) seasons, and the Low (economic) season. To facilitate contact with the club, Whitehead does his level best to provide online, email, and telephone booking options for each of the clubs. He adds in area courses of interest, in case the reader/traveler is confined to a specific locale. What more could one need, in advance of the golf trip of a lifetime?

For starters, one might wish to know a bit more about the course. Mr. Whitehead goes into the distances of teeing grounds, the need (or not) for a handicap certificate, the availability of caddies and rentals (push cart, electric push cart, clubs and motorized carts), the dress code, and (if any) tee time restrictions. In other words, any botched planning falls squarely on the shoulders of the golfer. Michael Whitehead has led the horse to the trough, filled it with water, and essentially dunked the equine mouth in the aqueous substance.

I’ve a friend who hates to know anything about a course he has yet to play. Attempt to mention any facet of the course and his response is a loud and grating LA-LA-LA-LA-LA, ad infinitum or until you cease your attempt at enlightenment. For the rest of us sane travelers, a bit of back story about the property, the architect, and the laying out of the course adds to the anticipation. As an architecture aficionado, I base the majority of my trips around the works of the golden-age architects, here in the USA. If afforded the opportunity to travel to England, I would seek out the works of Harry Colt, Alister MacKenzie, Herbert Fowler, and their contemporaries. Thankfully, all of this information is listed in Whitehead’s thorough volume.

The old carpenter’s motto of measure twice and cut once can certainly be applied when considering a purchase of this volume. Abandon its opportunity and you risk a return trip to the lumber yard, at considerable expense. Take advantage of what it has to offer, and your trip’s chances at success are doubled at the very least.

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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: What’s your target score?

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Without a target score, you are just wandering in the field like a feather in the wind. The North Star for your mindset starts with a target score!

 

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