Golf can seem impossible some days. And the harder we try the more difficult it becomes. It’s really no wonder why some people start playing and then give up after a short while.

I received the below email from Ian. It’s one of the best emails I’ve received and does such a good job of explaining the golf learning journey that I had to share it with you (with Ian’s permission of course).

Please read it and offer your thoughts below. I’ll also include my comments.

Hi Cameron,
I have not emailed you before although I have been a long time subscriber to your teaching and material.
Over that time I made several desultory attempts to embrace automatic golf without any real success. I suspect that having spent all my working life as an academic specialist with an almost devout belief in evidence based medicine I found it very hard to let go of the analytical part of my brain when I was playing golf. I have spent many, many hours analysing my swing and all the things that are associated with that since I took up golf seriously 8 years ago (I am now 58). I got my handicap down to 16 fairly easily and had several rounds where I played to 8 over off the stick so I was reasonably happy with my game.
Unfortunately over the last 3 months I have drifted (or rushed) out to 21 and have been incredibly frustrated with my golf. Something needed to change so I watched your Simplest Golf Lesson and decided that I would absolutely concentrate on committing to automatic golf. As you probably know it has been extremely wet on the east coast so it was impossible to play golf for several weeks so my first chance to play was two days ago.
In short, I had 30 points. Not a good result off 21 you might think. However, in that game I hit two of my three best ever three woods. Absolutely perfect contact, with a ball that flew exactly on the line I had aimed and landed within a metre of my target for a 180+ metre shot (0.5% error). Also, I had 4 x 9 iron shots that were easily the best 9 irons I have hit in my golfing career. All went exactly where I aimed and  exactly as far as I expected (< 0.5 m error in 110 m or < 0.5% error). Now these might have been flukes, however, this experience reminded me of something I had not remembered for many years (over 40 in fact).   When I was a teenager, I had a few rounds of golf using my father’s golf clubs which were a set of Jim Ferrier steel shafted irons (painted to look like hickory shafts so players would not be shocked by the new-fangled shafts) and persimmon headed driver and woods. Without any lessons, my 3rd or 4th round was a 74 off the stick on the par 72 Indooroopilly golf course. At the time, I didn’t think this was anything special (thus no memory of it until now) and I never went on with the golf as I was too busy being a medical student.   However, in retrospect, it does suggest that my native swing is pretty good and that I have the ability to play a lot better than 21 (something that my fellow golfers frequently comment on).   Why did the other shots not work as well as the three wood and nine iron shots? At least for some, I remember that I was still focused on the target rather than the ball at the time of hitting whereas for the really good shots, the target had become irrelevant.   With the driver in particular I had major difficulty in ignoring the target and the expected trajectory and so, while I still hit about 2/3 of fairways, they did not end up in good position. As a result, I hit less than 20% of greens so that even with 31 putts in the round I struggled.   Nevertheless, I was impressed enough to try the technique for at least another two rounds and expect to see a really positive benefit for me.   At the very least, not worrying about whether my swing is too upright, too flat, too handsy etc is such a relief that I would be keen to continue regardless.   Ian

My thoughts: Firstly, I wish I could give Ian’s email to every “accountant type” golfer. Even though we think we can control each part of our golf swing/game it really is not possible. And it doesn’t matter how clever and smart we are. We can’t beat our learning system.

The other point is when we leave things alone our game doesn’t fall apart. If anything it gets better. Further, learning takes place and the experience is so much more meaningful and enjoyable.

I like Ian’s email because it’s real. He’s not writing because he had his best score or had a hole in one. He experienced something new and remarkable and just maybe that was better than a long drive or a birdie. There’s so much more I could say, but I think I’ll leave it for a while and wait for some comments.

Resources: The World’s Simplest Golf Lesson – if you haven’t seen this then you’re missing out.