Jon Leland, The Ambassador of EaseIt’s so easy to let the little, incremental successes get away. I’m learning that it’s important to make the effort to celebrate them and that true success doesn’t necessarily look like big dramatic breakthroughs. Somehow, it’s so much easier to focus of some swing mechanic flaw or something else that won’t really help. So, I’m writing today about some small, incremental successes with the intention that this post will help me to reinforce them.

My last two rounds have been below what Dr. Joe Parent calls my “personal par.” (In fact, as an aside, I’ve been pleasantly surprised about how much of the playing lessons that I had with Dr. Joe have stayed with me.) Specifically, I’m currently a 17.6 index; and I shot a 90 on Saturday at Petaluma’s Rooster Run (where my index is a 20 handicap, so I was 2 under my personal par) and an 89 yesterday at Peacock Gap (a par 71 where I am currently a 19, so 1 under.)

I’m pleased that my on-going explorations of swinging with ease seem to be bearing some fruit. Not only am I learning to relax more effectively (in part with breathing practices discussed earlier that I’ve incorporated into my pre-shot routine), but my focus on “the ease of a layup” has also lead me to recognition of “the power of an easy pitch shot” (which includes better use of my body in coordination with my arms.) After some time, all of this seems to be finding it’s way gradually into every part of my game. For example, my ease-filled practices also include Dr. Joe’s “putting to nowhere” which allows for better awareness of a free and natural stroke in putting.

In general, I think I’m becoming more aware of what’s happening within each swing (which I’m connecting with also via slow motion practice swings like I see Tiger using). The result is that these “exercises in ease” are helping me to get out of my own way–I’m experiencing the seeming “miracle” of a swing I can trust–while also letting me make more solid, consistent contact… at least most of the time. 😉

Like Tiger and 12-steppers say, progress is made one day at a time. Here’s to celebrating incremental successes so that we can keep on learning and enjoying this game (and life) to the max.