Golf Coach 101 Owning One’s Pre-Shot Routine

Sonoma County, CA. ~ Most golfers love the game of golf. That’s Captain Obvious in the house. Maybe they don’t enjoy their


scores but scores

could be dif- ferent if golf- ers simply shifted

awareness. Ben

Hogan believed that his pre-shot or pre-game rou- tine began not at the golf course, but when he woke up to get out of bed. His idea of perfecting this pre- shot vision was to estab- lish an even-keel tempo from the beginning of the day until its end. He never rushed anything. In many respects this level of bal- ance he employed reflects the Buddhist practice of mindfulness.

When I work with stu- dents at the range I often see them looking at the ball


intently but hardly at

their target.

Most touring pros take their time before they execute their shot. They have taken own- ership of their pre-shot ritual space. They know the power of what Carl Jung called the “Active Imagination.”


employ this metaphysical skill much like an architect would in creating a blueprint for a build- ing. They have a vision in place long before they ever swing a golf club and this vision is

form. I understand the dynamic power and process of the breath in the way that it helps me to relax. Most amateur golfers carry too much stress and ten- sion in their bodies as well as their minds. Learning how to properly connect the rhythm of one’s breath to their golf game can make a huge difference. I like to encourage my students to use their breath in conjunc- tion with their imagination so


BIG spRing Guide by James Fish •

based on the creative powers of their imagination. Having been a student of Bud- dhist meditation practice for over thirty years has prepared me quite well for the job I per-

that the two work hand in hand. See the shot, feel the shot, be the shot. Vision the shot, breathe its essence or image into the body, then become the shot. Visualization, realiza- tion, actualization;


the power of three and we see it all around us. My students know that I put a lot of emphasis on this paradigm of three; prima- ry target (flag or fairway) secondary target (elevat- ed-housetop, tree, cloud or mountain) and inter- mediate target ( blade of grass, clump of dirt, rock, etc… ) somewhere two to three feet between your golf ball and the target line. Once the constella- tion of three points has been identified, then the golfer is ready to fire. So when we take the time to relax, we gener- ally play better golf. Tak- ing ownership of one’s pre-shot and pre-game routine is not a given; so one must be willing to

claim their creative powers as a birthright and a key to success, both on and off the golf course; as above, so below.

James Fish works as a golf teaching pro at the Foxtail Golf Club and can be reached via e-mail at: or 707-548-2664

UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • May 2018 • 23

Hi, Shekeyna... As a local musician I appreci- ate the article in Upbeat Times regarding Sonoma County open Mics. However, I’d like to mention four which were not included. On the 2nd Monday of every month, Michael B. Se- rious hosts an open mic at Cof- fee Catz in Sebastopol from 6:30 - 9:30. At 2Tread in Santa Rosa, there’s one every Mon- day hosted by Dean Martian starting at 8. At Red Brick in Petaluma every Monday, RoJo and SoJo host an open mic from 6:30 til 9 at and in Gey- serville there’s one at the Gey- serville Christian Church ev- ery Wednesday from (approx) 6-9, hosted by the pastor, Hil- ary Marckx (Sonoma County’s Rockabilly King). I’ve attended each one of these and they’re all first-rate!

~Thanks, Marty Rainone BENNETT VALLEY JEWELERS Letters to Upbeat Marty,

I greatly appreciate your com- ment and am sharing it with Paul Doyle, the publisher of Upbeat Times. Thank you for reading my Musical Notes in the column titled


County open Mics’. Also, thank you for attending the Open Mics and supporting the other musicians and the ven- ues. Be sure to look for the Upbeat Times Entertainment Guide that is being published this Summer. Enjoy this lovely Sonoma County Springtime! ~ Kind regards, Shekeyna

Serving Sonoma County Since 1987

2700 Yulupa Ave. ~ Santa Rosa, CA 95405 707-523-1333 Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. ~ George Washington UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • May 2018 • 23

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