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Play Your Own Game And Be Yourself

By: Golfshake Editor | Sun 04 Apr 2021 | Comments ()

This is a guest post from Zen Golf Associate and Golf Performance Psychology Coach John Taylor. John launched his ground-breaking What's in the Bag in 2020 utilising his expertise from the world of NLP, i3 profiling, and Zen Golf. 

Read the first article below in a 4 week series for golfers who wants to get more from their golf in relation to both enjoyment and performance and for those golfers that may wonder what it would be like to be coached One-to-One by a Golf Performance Psychology Coach. The introduction article can be found here focused on - What Is Stopping You Playing Your Best Golf?

Andy Golfer

Last week 16 Handicapper Andy Golfer got together with Golf Performance Psychology Coach John Taylor (JT).  Over the next 4 weeks you can follow Andy’s gradual move from frustration to flow by reading about how he worked his way through C.L.U.B. with JT.  This week Andy and JT discuss Character.




Useful and Unhelpful Practices. 

Behaviours and Emotions


  • Grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down the acronym C.L.U.B at the top. 
  • Write down Character as the first subheading
  • Write down Identity and Purpose on the line below Character
  • Stop to make any notes you think might help you reflect on your own character, identity, or purpose as you read

Character (Week 1)

Andy: “I don't know where to begin. I have never spoken with a mental coach before.” 

JT:  “You must learn to unblock the old ways of thinking first, before you can then implement new ways to open up your perspective. Unblock the old, to unlock the new.”

Andy:  “What do you mean?  Isn’t this kind of thing just for professionals?”

JT:  “Professionals play for money, amateurs play for fun, or at least they should do.  I come across so many people who don’t have fun on the course anymore.  They get so frustrated with being unable to get close to their potential, that deep down they don’t actually enjoy the gamel.  We help amateurs and professionals alike to get out of their own way so that they can play better golf and enjoy it more in the process.

Andy:  “That makes sense.  OK, sounds good to me. To be honest I am up for trying almost anything that might result in me playing much better golf.”

JT:  “What do you want?

Andy:  “I would like to think that I can break the cycle from playing well on the front 9 to playing terribly on the back. I want to play with fewer frustrations, so I don't get annoyed with myself. I want to learn some new things that can stop me making the same mistakes time and time again.”

JT:  “Great.  Let's start with the CLUB. We will look at each letter as we go through them during the sessions.  Write down the acronym C.L.U.B  on the left-hand side of your page, and we will start with letter C, which stands for CHARACTER.

Your Character is different from everyone else. It's your footprint. Be different.  Be unique. Most of all, be yourself. Yes, it's great to model and be inspired by others but it's you who has to execute the shot.  It is you who has to choose what to do in each moment. 

To find out who you are, you must first identify what your definite purpose is. 

Who are you? and what is your why?”

Andy:   “I am a father, brother, friend, business owner, husband and golfer.  My why is provided for my family, my why for Golf?  Well it gets me out exercising, playing with my friends and meeting new people. It’s about socialising and I love the competitive edge golf brings to my life, or at least I used to.  I seemed to have lost my way a bit and deep down I no longer enjoy competitions because I can rarely play the way I know I can.” 

JT:  “A competitive streak I like that!  You can get that back.  What will happen if you can find your purpose and how will it affect you?  You mentioned that you are many different people. But can you focus on just being you?”

Andy:  “Yes, I have to be different at work or with the family, playing golf and being a father.”

JT:  “All at the same time?”

Andy:  “No, but I feel as if I have to be all of these people all at different times.”

JT:  “When we try to be everything at once, we are not us, We become stretched, and it can be overwhelming and can cause us to become fragmented, then we end up searching for each piece to bring back together.  We are human beings first, not human doings.”

Andy:  “I guess you could say I want to be Andy.”

JT:  “How is Andy's character, what are you like, and what do you enjoy?”

Andy:  “Sometimes I am the life soul of the party when I am full of energy and joy.  On the course, I'm still laughing and enjoying myself, but not as often as I used to.”

JT:  “How is your character when things don't go to plan?”

Andy:  “I get annoyed with myself and those around me. I know this is unhelpful, but it can spiral out of control.”

JT: “What can you do to change when this happens.”

Andy:  “I could respond differently with a smile or shake off the energy that's attached to things that are not working.”

JT:  “What don't you like about yourself? Make a list.”

Andy:  “I get hung up on things, low moods when not playing well, I go inward when I hit the back nine. I feel like I am not good enough to compete with those around me and have self-doubt.”

JT:  “What do you enjoy most about being Andy?”

Andy:  “I love it when I am fun, vibrant, upbeat, stand my ground, I can show confidence. I like my swing and posture. I enjoy the times when I feel that I know I am a good golfer.”

JT:  “Now you have reflected on yourself and your identity. What would you like to adopt moving forward with your game?”

Andy:  “Now I know it's just me that was battling with more than just my golf game.  There are big  aspects of my life and character that drip through into my golf game.

I feel as if I can be aware of who I am, and which version of me I want to be more often, then I can play better golf. 

I need to remember what it feels like to be the fun confident Andy on the course that I used to be.  I know I can be more composed and get back to playing better golf.  I can stop trying to be all over the place trying to be everyone at once.”

JT:  “Andy - you are heading in the right direction.  See you next week.”

Our mind and body are connected if we change one aspect of our lives, it will impact all other areas, and will result in change.

I know that life might have got in the way of your golfing goals, and your character may need some work.

  • The way you feel about golf versus your other life priorities is not fixed.
  • Your character is not fixed.
  • You can choose to change your priorities when it suits you.
  • You can choose to work on your character. 

Next week

Andy and JT are back with LANGUAGE.  They will discuss language patterns and how to cut down on negative self-talk.  Find out how Andy changed a few words in his vocabulary to get a positive impact.

What's in the Bag is centered around in-depth personality profiling using i3, self-awareness, and mindfulness.  The following article is the first feature in a 4 part weekly series aimed at the average golfer who wants to get more from their golf in relation to both enjoyment and performance.

What's in the Bag

For more information about What's in the Bag visit: whatsinthebag.club


Related Content: https://res.cloudinary.com/golfshake/image/upload/t_cms200/content/CIMG6868_q1ftp7.jpg


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