I was having a conversation with a buddy of mine who is a PGA instructor and coach of a local high school team here in Naples, Florida. He made an interesting observation about the kids on his team. He said there are three types of golfers on his team; First type of golfer is the one who has read every golf instruction book, watched every training video and is constantly taking golf lessons. From a technical perspective, this golfer is extremely proficient but can not swing a golf club to save their life. Too much stinking thinking. Second type of golfer is the one who just plays. Bubba Watson is known for never having a golf lesson. He is self taught. He has good eye hand coordination and is very target oriented. Generally this type of golfer is pretty good. The third type of golfer is the one who has some technical knowledge of how to swing a golf club or stroke a putt but at the end of the day just plays golf. This is typically the best golfer on his team.
When I was learning to fly, I remember my flight instructor told me that most plane crashes deemed pilot error are a result of multiple things having gone wrong. The pilot got caught up in solving a problem then a second problem arose which probably could have been avoided had the pilot not been consumed with solving the first problem. These problems snowball and the pilot forgets to fly the airplane.
Golf is much the same. Too many golfers get caught up in what went wrong during one swing. They over analyze the swing to try and discover what went wrong. Paralysis by analysis.
Have you ever laid off playing golf for a few weeks and the first round you play after the layoff is a great round? Then two or three rounds later your game goes down hill. That is exactly what I am talking about. After the layoff you were simply playing golf for the love of the game. A couple of rounds later, you begin to think about what you are doing. Just play golf.
One of the best books about this subject is Fearless Golf by Gio Valiante. I recommend it to any golfer at any level. The premise of the book is to stop playing ego golf which is when we become overly consumed with the result of a single swing or putt. Whether it was a great shot and you wanted to make sure it didn't go unnoticed or it was a horrible shot and you hope no one noticed. Play golf without fear. Ben Hogan was quoted as having said that during a round of golf he probably only hit 7 or 8 good shots. The rest of his shots he simply controlled his misses. That is golf and that is why we love this game. No one will ever beat golf. All we can do is control our misses. Its only a game so just play.