“Ranger Rick” is not a Golfer…

Author: The Golf Sherpa  |  Category: Common Golf Pitfalls, The Mental Golf Game

Many beginners confuse the idea of swinging a club with the game of golf.  The Sherpa would argue that they are only loosely related.  Sound like nonsense?  Think about this.

Was your last steak more tasty or nutritious because your cutting technique was top notch?  When you remember a terrific meal, for that matter, do you remember how well you used your fork or the delicious flavors, company and terrific dessert?  Bottom line, was the goal to serve yourself food or was it to enjoy a great dinner? 

When playing the GAME of golf, swinging a club (like using a fork)  is just a means to an end.  The golf “meal” is thinking your way around the golf course, focusing on targets, using strategy…not swinging a club.

Who then plays golf, you or “Ranger Rick”?  You know “Rick”… he is they guy/gal you become when you practice on the range with absolutely no need to hit a target. “Rick” has no art.  “Rick” has no imagination.  Why? 

 ”Rick” has nothing to lose…no scorecard.. no pressure.  Golf does not exist without pressure. 

Why then would you would possibly want to take this goober with you to the first tee?  Simple, you are still trying to make your steak taste better by worrying about your fork.

At this point you are probably begging the Sherpa to stop with the food metaphor and get on with the specifics.

I will make it simple…when you get to the first tee…kick ”Rick” to the curb.  Don’t try to bring this swing obsessed, artless, technician with you, he/she will only get in the way.


1: Stop swinging and start aiming and using your imagination.  Before each shot, your mind needs to be focused on “where and why” you want the ball to go next (not Rick’s 30 point swing thought checklist).  When you stand over the ball, think only of your target..the more specific the better (this really shuts Rick up).

2:  Build and commit to a pre-shot routine to prepare your mind before each shot.  Routine bores Rick and he/she will be less inclined to intervene when your mind is relaxed.

3: Be patient…this mental change made the single largest impact on the Sherpa’s game, but took the longest to trust.

The Sherpa has the distinct pleasure of playing each weekeng with some great guys who happen to have very low handicaps.  Each one of these guys “owns” their games.  They dutifully embrace their “Rickness” on the practice tee, then treat poor  “Rick”  like a red headed stepchild on the first tee.

Bottom Line:  Show Rick who’s Boss.

Play on..The Sherpa

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