Golf is one of those sports that highlight how learning to play requires a combination of two approaches. The beginning will always be the need to gain a technical understanding of how to use the different clubs to establish the desired contact with the ball. It’s the impact of the club on the ball that defines the trajectory the ball will take.
Moving forward, this technical understanding is translated into a movement the body makes and of which the mind can develop an awareness. Using the technical understanding it is possible to read the shot and notice the difference between the contact as it was intended and the contact as it happened. Body awareness can then be a helper to notice the details that might not have been implemented as planned.
That is the moment in which continuing to learn golf is divided into a technical and a discovery school.
Some continue the path they engaged in until now and seek to enhance their technique. It’s a quest for perfection of the execution. And it often serves its purpose.
What I called the discovery school is one that shifts gears and focuses on the mental game. It includes a strategic approach that engages in a competition with the course designer to outwit the traps he laid out. It includes a competition with the self that seeks to create shots as intended. One after the other these shots serve the purpose to move on a path to the hole that uses the least possible strokes. And this approach also includes learning and accepting what is possible on that given day and in the given circumstances. It’s a path to learning the game that doesn’t focus on the outcome and yet seeks to create the best possible outcome one step after the other. The technical aspect of using the club moved to the background. It gives room to all the other aspects of the game and generates holistic feedback. It is an approach that keeps the objective of the game in mind and seeks to use the outcome of every shot to transform one’s game.
When growing into a leadership role one is offered the same choices.