Thank you David for providing this forum for the presentation of ‘alternative’ golf coaching methods. The fact that you as a visitor are reading this suggests you are already looking for something beyond your traditional golf instruction. My name is Colin Cromack and I am a non-technical golf instructor who uniquely teaches you how to STOP paying attention to your technique in practice on range and play on course. Let me explain.
My life work is not to be seen as an attack on the 1000’s of coaches who are trained by their institutions to teach you vital technical skills. My work complements whichever technical method you have chosen and is dependent on an individual having sound technical skills in place. My work is an attempt to help you go BEYOND where you are today in your learning curve and help you discover the pleasure of playing high performance golf with a focused and care free, not careless, state of mind.
Target Oriented Golf
Target Oriented Golf is of most benefit to Professional and low handicap golfers but if you are a beginner the sooner you become aware of these skills, the faster you will develop technical proficiency. It is important to understand where you are heading before you set off on your golfing journey or you will, like myself, wander down many country roads looking for the ‘perfect’ swing for what you thought was the answer to your poor golf performance and you will never arrive at your intended destination. The joy of playing anxiety free, consistent golf.
Firstly, I’d like to introduce you to a coaching model which describes 3 distinct PSYCHOLOGICAL phases golfers need to be ACTIVELY coached through in order to learn how to perform.
Phase 1. Internal Focus – this is your traditional technical instruction where your Attentional Focus is on conscious control of your body movement. Unfortunately, this is where the vast majority of golfers worldwide begin and end their golfing lives due to the lack of attentional focus training of coach and player (Examples: The Golf Machine, Stack and Tilt, The Plane Truth etc. and a variety of other technical teaching models explaining how to SWING golf clubs efficiently).
Phase 2. Proximal Distal Focus – self awareness development where your focus is shifted away from body on to club head movement or similar. The minority of golfers who discover this phase recognise how it develops trust in their technique faster than Phase 1 learning (Examples: Instinctive Golf, NLGolf, Extraordinary Golf etc. and just a few others)
Phase 3. External Focus – specific Attentional Focus golf instruction where your focus is moved entirely AWAY from your technique in practice and play and on to your Target. This is where performance lives with ALL other life skills. Externally focused. From riding bicycles to driving cars, playing music and typing on keyboards. This has NEVER been coached systematically for golfers in practice out on the range and course. Until now.
We actually transition to the 3rd stage automatically with all other life skills we master. It does not happen in golf due to the way we are uniquely taught and practice the game. The most significant element of understanding the above coaching model is this. You develop the ability to practice on the range in 2 very distinctive modes: Training (internal/proximal) when developing technical skills and Trusting (external) when practicing how to play golf. Ultimately, Trusting needs to become your dominant behavior on the range in order for you to trust your technical skills and perform under tournament pressure.
If you think it sounds difficult, go and throw a ball at a Target and simply notice where your focus is and anxiety level. You are physically free, in the present, visually operating with a quiet mind. This is the ultimate Golf State of Mind! Notice how the Target gives you your COMMITMENT. Take it away and notice what happens. The internal self talk and the self doubt begins. No Target in mind as you execute a golf shot often results in little commitment in your physical actions when driving, chipping or putting. Feel familiar to anyone?
IF you have ever wondered why you can trust your subconscious self to drive a car where your life is at risk but struggle to trust it to putt a golf ball, my work will be of interest.
Until next time, enjoy your golf!
photo credit: themarque