Think in Your Own Style
2006 Carey Mumford

 That may seem a peculiar way to put it.

 Don’t we all do that already?

 We do think in “a style,” but the evidence is that, more often than not, it is not in the style that we actually own. It is more apt to be in a style that we wish we were, think we ought to be or will get us what we want. In fact there is more to commend the likelihood that our thought process, particularly for golf, is guided by a daydream that includes being able to hit drives as far as John Daly, get it up and down like Tiger Woods (not to mention standing in the winner’s circle), putt like Loren Roberts and carry ourselves with the calm exterior of Retief Goosen. We are, admit it or not, spending way too much thinking time inside what we envision as the way some admired person does it. It is time to attend to our own  “name, rank and serial number.”

 The four players named above own four different lead styles. Daly is a Persuader, Tiger is a Driver, Roberts is a Craftsman and Goosen is an Analyzer. What that means is there is no way anyone can be all of those at once, if for no other reason, Mother Nature is neither stupid nor capricious. The wish-list recipe we cite in the first paragraph would, in fact, result in a form incapable of playing golf – at least successfully.

 We have presented this principle previously, but it seems, either not clearly enough or missing the necessary emphasis to claim the ears of most players.

 We suspect that a majority of players continue to cling to the notion that they can “control” anything, and in some cases, everything.  We also suspect that another major hole in most portfolios rests in the difficulty encountered by those same golfers with respect to understanding and embracing what is meant by the term “nondiscriminatory.”  Add to that a truly gross void in the typical view of how thinking affects the game. Most human beings, let along golfers, are under the mistaken impression that all one needs to do in life (or golf) is to “think properly” and the rest will take care of itself. On it’s face, “think properly” is correct. The problem arises that thinking is being conceived as only that which is conscious and observable. Almost no one considers that nonconscious thinking is far more involved even than conscious thinking and yet it is omitted from both the philosophy and the activity of learning and playing.

 So right off the bat, we have four “culprits” to deal with: the style issue, the control issue, the nondiscriminatory issue, and the nonconscious/conscious thinking issue.

 Unless we can get those properly mapped and understood, we are apt to set out on a trip and completely miss the planned destination. Without that, it would be like planning a trip from Chicago to New Orleans with only a map of California to go by.

 The task is made more difficult by a curious twist of human nature. Most of us keep on thinking what we always thought. We keep on hearing what we always heard. We keep on seeing what we always saw. And that makes us keep on doing what we always did.

 That means that we can easily be presented with the four issues outlined above and flunk the thinking-seeing-hearing test and never even know it.