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Golf the Yoda Way

September 14, 2008 at 9:46 pm
By Head Coach Eric Sieger

Well, another weekend is in the books for the Carleton golf team. It was a wet weekend, with rain soaking the 15-team, 98-player field for just about the entire weekend. We needed the rain in Minnesota, but couldn't it have rained during the week or overnight? At any rate, the Knights struggled a bit in Saturday's first round but rebounded on Sunday, and I think we need to channel Yoda a bit more.

One major fault of my players is that they try too hard. I know for non-golfers that seems backwards--that old sports axiom that one should give 100 percent all of the time. Our problem, sometimes, is we try to give more than 100 percent and we get wrapped up in the results. We need to let go of the result, focus on the present and what we can control. I've taken to telling the girls "Try less, do more," which sounds kind of like the Yoda voice in my TomTom GPS navigation unit. [Of course, Yoda's most famous quote might be "Do or do not... there is no try." Another good one for golf.]

What I mean by trying less is a good player can't try to "make" the ball go in the hole. All he or she can do is trust themselves, visualize the shot, be committed to that vision and plan, and hit or stroke the ball. Instead, we often stand over the ball and think about what not to do, or what might happen if we don't pull off the shot. So we'll work hard over the next two weeks on our mental approach so that we try less to make the ball go in the hole or avoid making a certain score or going into a certain area on a hole. Instead, we'll focus on things we can control and hopefully get more done in the process.