It’s ironic to play the game of golf for fun and still need to continue to learn to relax and let go. Yet I have seen even top professional golfers on TV “hold on” to shots (rather than letting them go). For me, it’s a fascinating evolutionary process, and a challenge for which there is no “magic bullet.” There is no single swing thought that cures all.

Yet, as I’m gradually getting more of a feel for relaxing into my “swing of ease,” I’m finding some consistencies. First, I need to slow down. Take it slow (including my nice, conscious slo-mo practice swings). With this slowing down, comes more awareness. I become more awake to what’s happening and what happens on each shot. And with this awareness, bottom line, I open up the opportunity to listen and learn from both good shots and bad ones. Fundamentally, I’m finding that when I slow down enough to listen and learn with awareness, progress is made.

Saturday, the result was an 88 at (the new) Peacock Gap (a par 71 track), two below my “personal par.” In fact, I posted an 87 since I had a quad on #1 and can only take a 7 now at Peacock since I’m down to a 17.4 index as of Dec. 1st (I’m a 19 handicap on that course).

After the rough start, I “got it going” with four pars in a row to end the front 9. Unfortunately, these were followed by three doubles to start the back nine. However, those were followed by only pars and bogies plus a solid birdie on #17 coming home. I was particularly pleased with some solid chipping.

Learning to relax on the golf course is a fascinating process that’s becoming more enjoyable all the time. Equally important, I see no other way to learn to play better than to slow down, wake up and keep on learnin’.