Golf Course Bliss…

Meet Chuck Hogan

Chuck Hogan is considered one of the foremost authorities in the golf instruction industry. Chuck has written/produced several books, videos and audio tape programs and developed award winning packages like Nice Shot! and the Player’s Course. Additionally Chuck serves as a frequent contributor to GOLF, Golf Week, Golf Tips, Golf for Women and Senior Golfer.

Thought of by his peers as the “teacher’s teacher”, he has created the LPGA’s revolutionary teaching handbook and program, and works as a consultant for the PGAs of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as collegiate champions like UCLA, Arizona State University, and Stanford University.

Chuck is also in demand away from the golf course. His sports clients have included Olympians, and professional basketball, baseball and tennis stars. Chuck has developed unique programs for organizations such as Blanchard Training and Development, Peter Jacobsen Enterprises, and others around the business world. Chuck Hogan continues to surpass the standards of golf instruction by continually redefining his own standards. Experience something entirely different: “Golf Instruction that works!”

Mental vs. Physical
by Chuck Hogan

It is a huge mistake, error and misleading belief that you have a “mental” game separate from your “physical” game. In a very real sense, it is non-sense. As long as you think that mental is somehow separate from physical, your game is doomed. And, it is not your game that suffers. It is you that suffers. Literally, golfers have the game set up in such a way that they suffer from “working” at golf. By definition, the serious golfer does not “play” golf at all. What a sad and limiting statement about a potentially great GAME.

The separation of mental from physical started for you way back in the forth grade or so. Your “education” taught you a couple of disastrous beliefs. One, it taught you that the words are the experience instead of the representation of the experience. In fact, the map is NOT the territory. You cannot walk, drive or fly to your destination on a map. The map simply represents your eventual experience of travel. The words “fear, confidence, happiness, confusion, mental” and all others are NOT your experience. They are a word representing your experience. So, if I tell you that I was “nervous” over a three-footer, you might be able to vaguely capture my experience. Or, you might even be able to know my experience quite intimately if you have had a very similar experience. Still, the word is not the exact experience. It is a representation, depiction, symbol of MY experience. You have YOUR own precise experience and a corresponding representative and descriptive word(s). Our descriptive word “pressure” may be shared by you and I if we have the similar experience of a racing heartbeat, sweaty palms, weak knees, incoherent imagery and all the nuances of the experience. Tiger Woods, on the other hand, may use the word “pressure” but have no shared experience. His “pressure” may simple serve to amplify and sharpen his attention and interest in the task at hand. The point is that the word is NOT the experience. The word is a word. The experience is altogether a much richer experience represented in your brain and simultaneously felt in you body.

Hang in here with me, this will become very meaningful for your game. So if you are on the receiving end of a “golf lesson”, is the “teacher” talking to your arm, legs, hand, head, shoulders, putter or physical component? Or is the communication to and for your brain? In other words, is this a physical lesson or a mental lesson? And, is your brain a “mental brain” or a “physical brain?” What would your “physical body” do if your “mental (or is it physical?) brain was disconnected from your body? And, if your “mental” brain were to grasp the “teachers” instructions in an incoherent, fuzzy, imprecise, muted or confused manner, how would your body respond? And, how would you and the instructor know for sure that the instructions were effective to your “mental” parts? If you are executing the shot just “right” with your physical body does that mean that the “mental” instructions were clear and precise? Well, of course it does. So, was it a great mental lesson or physical lesson?

Do you appreciate how goofy it is to split the human being (you) into these mental and physical boxes? As if you could have one without or differing from the other. As if you could have a body doing anything separate from your brain. As if your brain was not a physical brain. As if your physical body could do anything not generated from your “mental” brain. So, when it is said that Chuck Hogan (or whoever) is the “mental” guy; it is a lie! It is also a lie that the “physical” instructor is somehow not communicating from his mental position to the “student’s” mental position. Once that you appreciate that you are one golfer, not a mental AND a physical golfer; you have a chance to get what you want. To get to that level of understanding and appreciation, there is one more piece of understanding that you will need to process. Words are not thinking! So, if you are talking aloud or talking to “yourself” internally, the words are still not thinking!!! The words are a description of your thinking! Golfers, worldwide; get into the “zone” and play great golf. In the zone, they play how they dream of playing. They play to their potential. They play “over their head” and “out of their mind”. Worldwide, golfers explain it as “not thinking, just doing”.

What they really mean, upon further questioning, is that they are not talking. The words in there brain stop or modify in such a way that their conscious mind (verbal mind) “gets out of the way”. They play out of their conscious, controlling, commanding, verbal mind. Of course this is a rare experience when the conscious mind has been educated and rewarded for always being in control. The educational system does not reward you for a great imagination. The schooling system rewards you for articulation and regurgitation of the spoken and written word.

So, you get the idea that talking (internally or externally) is “thinking”. For the golfer, ignorance really is “bliss” on the golf course. Ignoring (root of ignorance) the conscious mind and playing from your image-making mind is bliss, the zone and the place from where all winners win. Tiger is simply in his imagery mind more than he is in his verbal mind. He was trained that way and you can do so as well.

8 thoughts on “Golf Course Bliss…

  1. Lynne Mariot is the head golf pro at Arizona State golf team
    She was his lead instructor at two trips we took for lessons and played at the Raven near the Buttes in Az
    I haven’t heard about him in years
    I do remember Chuck never tied his shoes when he played or gave lessons
    Also the key exercise that he transf us to move using out thought process

  2. I have a “NICE SHOT” VHS/cassette and am interested in somehow getting copied to DVD/CD… They are copyright protected and I couldnt get it copied locally…any ideas?
    Thank you-
    Dudley Beard, PGA

  3. Ken,
    I thoroughly enjoyed your post, writing, and powerful thoughts on what is truly involved with “learning” and “playing” the game. Chuck Hogan and his book, “Rethinking Golf”, have had the most significant impact on not only my golf game development, but also how I (we as instructors) should show others about learning. This book should be required reading for all who want to improve, have more fun, etc…..and I do read it (and reread) more than any other golf “”mechanics” book.

    Best wishes and hope you continue on your “great and quite enjoyable” journey with this great game we love so much!

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