7 Habits of Highly Effective Golf

Put on your golf shoes, we're taking the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People onto the golf course.

For management-types, this is a way to bring the performance enhancement benefits of these famed seven ideas to your golf. If you are one of the remaining few who haven't read the book or heard the tapes, make the purchase. Applying these ideas to your golf may be the impetus you need to try them in your life.

Habit 1...Be Proactive Being reactive to weaknesses in your game puts you into a defensive "fixing" mode--circle the wagons. But being proactive says, "let's build a game I can enjoy." Now you’re in a "creative/improving" mode.   This is an important shift from focusing on "what you don't want" to "what you do want.

Habit 2...Begin with the End in Mind When you say, "I want to improve my game" what exactly do you mean? Do you have a handicap in mind? Do you want to be less stress-filled? Want a better short game? Define what you want the end to be. Keep it in mind by occasionally imagining its attainment. If this sounds flaky, you've got a lot to learn about the power of imagery.

Habit 3...Put First Things First In real estate its "location, location, location." In golf its "putting, putting, putting." You can practice it year round indoors and it requires little strength. You use the putter more often than any other club and it accounts for the biggest percentage of your strokes and the biggest chance for scoring improvement. The putting stroke is the “heart” of the full swing. Buy a great putter or a fresh grip for your old putter.

Habit 4...Think Win/Win Malcomb Forbes described success as failure that you learn from. A poorly played round is the blueprint for your game improvement, if we take the time to read it. You will be amazed at how resilient you can be after a poor shot and how many fewer poor shots you'll make if you can keep Mr. Forbes in mind and ask, "What am I learning?" Win from your good shots, win from the poor ones.

Habit 5...Seek First to Understand Then to be Understood When you are working on any part of your game, begin by first improving your understanding how it "should" be done. Only then, should you turn your focus to improving what you are doing. Seek first to understand.

Habit 6...Synergize Too many players try to "go it alone". Unless you find it particularly rewarding to "figure it out on your own", take advantage of the discoveries of those who have gone before you. Attempt to identify one author/teacher that makes sense to you and build on their experience. If you stray from their teachings, do so carefully. Collaborate, synergize.

Habit 7...Sharpen the Saw The carpenter with a dull saw can try to press harder--likewise for a golfer. But pressing harder is not the solution for either. Regardless how sharp a saw, sharpening is an inevitability. Touring professionals make this case by regularly working with their coaches. Schedule your game for routine sharpening.

Covey's teachings about life are readily adaptable to golf, because golf is life in miniature. It is a journey we take over hill and dale never knowing if we are on the verge of delight or disaster but choosing to move forward regardless. Heartland Golf Schools     Learn golf, learn from golf.