The day had finally arrived! It was a damp and dreary Sunday morning, but that didn't dampen my excitement for the day ahead.
After a couple of hours organising the room and erecting the gazebo (the rain was now falling so heavily that you could barely see through the windows) a couple of familiar faces walked through the door. It’s difficult to describe the aura that fills the room when Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson walk in. It provides me with great calm and clarity. I recommend you experience it for yourself.
Shortly after the first of the 11 attendees started to arrive, shaking the beads of water from their jackets, hair and faces (the rain was still poring down). Travelling from all over the UK and Europe to have the opportunity to learn from two of the best Coaches in the world, you could see their excitement as they first laid eyes on Pia & Lynn. A familiar look. At that moment I realised that the way these people viewed Golf was about to change forever.
After a warming drink the day began. Introductions made, Philosophy54 identified, intentions set, it was now time to focus our attention on the days first intentions: Playbox and Decision and Commitment. I won’t go into too much detail of what the initial Essential Playing Skills entail (you can read all about them in Pia and Lynn’s most recent book “Play Your Best Golf Now”) but essentially they were teaching the attendees how to ride the “Golf Roller Coaster”, to tap into their sub-conscious & unleash their inner athlete.
After the theory was laid down in the Swanston Function Room, it was time for us to suit up and bear the elements. A mantra that Vision54 recalls to me: “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand”, typifies what Pia and Lynn believe is vital for a player to improve: experimentation through play. Not one person is the same, each individual walks their own path of discovery to become their own best coach.
One of my favourite conversations of the day was with Jim. We talked under my umbrella for 10 minutes or so about his Golfing experiences. He delved into his ‘Spirt of the game’: why he played, his frustrations, his great passion for it. I won’t divulge what was said, however, the influence it had lead to him hitting putts in the poring rain while many of us were halfway through lunch. This is what Vision54 call an ‘A-HA’ moment. They happen when a player makes a huge personal breakthrough. I was so happy for Jim to have had one. I look forward to hearing about what happens in the next chapter of his Golfing Journey.
After a superb Swanston Lunch, Pia and Lynn commenced with explaining how human beings are hard wired for negative. A primal defence mechanism that has ensured the survival of the human race for centuries. Unfortunately it’s not beneficial to Golf. They described that when we play, we must organise our shots into the following categories: Great, Good & Good Enough. Ensuring we react either positively or objectively to them. For every negative reaction there must be at least 3 positive to create equilibrium.
They also discussed that each of us should discover what we do when we play our best and worst golf (My54 and Not54). Doing this allows you to build your recipe for success. It shows you when you get off track and more importantly, shows you how to get back on!
There is no such thing as euphoria in golf, there is always something that didn’t go exactly to plan. As players we must learn to revel in our imperfections, accept them as part of our game and allow them to provide us with a clear action plan of how to improve.
The clouds broke, the rain ceased and Balance, Tempo and Tension (BTT) began. For me BTT provides the bridge between Technical Golf Instruction and Performance Coaching. Pia and Lynn highlighted that BTT can influence someones technique. It can save players a lot of confusion and time by simply performing simple exercises like hitting shots standing on one leg, gripping the club as tight as you can and swinging at 50% of your maximum. I can testify to the power of BTT, as I have seen the dramatic changes it can make to someones Kinematic Sequence (how a persons body is moving during their swing), the way they generate force from the ground and most importantly, their ability to control the golf ball.
During Pia and Lynn’s introduction to BTT, we had the surprise of a special guest. One of Scotland’s finest players, Marc Warren, a European Tour Player that Pia and Lynn help. Marc chatted with the attendees, passing on pearls of wisdom. We are very grateful he popped by to support the day!
With the Scottish Sun now beaming down we all went back onto the range to try various BTT exercises. A-HA’s happening left, right and centre, smiling faces everywhere I turned and the sound of sweetly struck golf balls resonated in the air. You cannot underestimate the power of BTT!
All of the exercises now completed, the discussions finished, it was unfortunately time to conclude the day. I couldn’t believe it was over so quickly! As Pia and Lynn said their thanks I couldn’t help but hope that the day would become my groundhog day. A day filled with amazing content, brilliant people and most importantly, lots of FUN!
All that leaves me to say is a HUGE note of thanks to:
- Pia and Lynn for blessing us with their presence.
- The wonderful attendees who made the day possible (please stay in touch).
- Swanston (in particular all the staff who bent over backwards all day for us).
- The members of Swanston New Golf Club for allowing us use of the Function Bar on a Sunday.
- Stuart Campbell, who continues to help and guide me on my Journey.
It was quite simply one of the best days in my Professional career.
Bring Possibility To Life, Change The Game.