Breathing & Golf

Remergence of a newsletter

First…I’m the classic phase 7 of a online thinkboi:

  1. newsletters are lame

  2. jk, i’m going to start a newsletter

  3. *furiously types and publishes sub par content for 6 months*

  4. has a crises about what the newsletter is for

  5. forgets about the newsletter

  6. has many thoughts thoughts and wonders, why don’t I just publish these

  7. goes back to original newsletters, apologies for being away for so long…to readers who didn’t even miss them, starts at (3) again

With this out of the way, I welcome you back to my Substack which is going to be filled with a lot of thoughts over the next few months.

Breathing & Golf

I’ve never been one to be good at the whole meditation thing. It’s something I theoretically understand the purpose of but never truly been able to implement even though I’ve tried a lot. I still have a recurring invite 3x a week on my calendar for me to meditate: all this does though is trigger me to open twitter again.

However, I think I’ve gotten the hang of the importance of a deep and focused breath elsewhere in my life.

As many of you know, after almost 8.5 years of barely playing golf, being back in Bangalore for the last 6+ months I’ve been playing a lot again. The pandemic has given me an opportunity to go do things I’ve been meaning to but didn’t get time to. I’ve slowly gotten better, getting my handicap down from 24 to 16 to 12. And I’m loving it because I don’t know when I’d get an opportunity like this again to play focused golf.

The final step in my journey is to play a single digit handicap which seemed very hard and definitely not within reach. I feel limited by how bad my bad shots. Seems obvious, I know, but that’s how I feel about it. For example when I miss left, I will miss by 30-50 yards vs 5-15 yards.

However, all that changed this week. I was with my coach and instead of working on my swing, we focused on my breathing before a shot. It seemed ridiculous that it would have any kind of an impact, but we spent an hour practicing just this. Previously, I would inhale, hold my breath, and swing. But now…

Take a deep breath in, exhale, and then swing with an “empty mind & body”

During that one hour, the accuracy of my shots just increased dramatically, and of course I couldn't wait to try it out on the course.

Below are my scores from this week. Unbelievable if you ask me. That last round of 76 yesterday was probably the best golf I’ve played including as a jr. golfer. I am still struggling to process how such a small change could’ve had such a big impact but the breathing has completely changed the tempo of my swing, and hence, my game.

It’s worth diving a bit more into this. When I’ve worked on my swing I’ve found the greatest challenge to be keeping the arms and hips in sync. My coach continues to tell me, it’s all about tempo. I’ve tried for months now to find this rhythm on a consistent basis and failed. There would be day where I can hit 20 balls consistently without any kind of issues, but days where, even though I play to a 12 handicap, I have everything go right and left. Sometimes it happens between holes, hell sometimes between shots. That kind of high variance is almost impossible to manage especially when playing a tournament. But the breathing, it’s brought tempo more than anything else into my game.

Stand up at the tee, take a deep breath in, breath out, and swing without overexerting. The ball seems to be going straight-ish even with a driver in hand. Color me impressed and this seems almost too good to be true but I’m hoping that this new found exercise continues to be a superpower for a more accurate and low scoring game.

There are some lessons here to be learned and applied elsewhere…

In the mean time, just check out this absurd 3 wood shot I hit ⤵️ I’m still losing my mind think about it.

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