Why You Can’t Take “It” to the Course



You just took a lesson (hopefully), or got a new tip from the latest shiny golf magazine since Michael Breed retired from the telly. Whatever it was in the magic pill you either bought from the golf pharmacist or from the back alley seems to be working and now you feel your superpowers returning. You call your golf buds and tell them to be ready on Saturday because it’s bet collection time and you’re the bookie.

You warm up on the range and thank the gods the magic sauce is still in the bag, the shanks, tops, slices and skud demons have been removed. Then it’s on the the first tee and you hit the big nasty heel slice into that pretty pool over the fairway.  Your buddies laugh and ask to see your wallet.  What happened???

Well here’s kinda the science of what happened in layman’s terms:  you never had “it”. You put a band-aid on a bullet wound and that only works in the movies…if you are Tom Cruise.

Under stress your brain will always revert back to what is safe and/or well known, convenient, practical, logical, etc. It doesn’t care what you want to do, it does what it knows to do from those 38,000 balls you hit the last 20 years.


“When under stress, our nervous system will automatically choose
to act in whatever way is fastest. The movement pattern that is most
deeply learned requires the least amount of conscious thought, and
therefore the nervous system will be able to carry it out most efficiently.
Moshe Feldenkrais


Over the years your brain has adapted to whatever movement patterns you told it to do to hit that little white ball and now you literally cannot even feel when you come over the top, early extend, chicken wing or stop rotating. Those compensations have blended together to form automated subconscious activity. The quick fix you threw in a few days ago got kicked out of the system once you put it under stress. Yes it sucks but that’s how your brain works.


So in summary, the reason you can’t take “it” to the course is because you didn’t learn “it” well enough to replace the other “it” you have stored in permanent memory. It’s not your fault, blame your brain.  So what can you do now?  Unfortunately you don’t have many choices, either go through the process to change your motor pattern or realize you will probably keep finding short term solutions that end up failing and kinda, sorta accept it and make the other parts of your game strong enough to help your write smaller numbers on the scorecard.