Craft –

Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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“An activity involving skill in making things by hand,” as defined by my digital dictionary Google. Spending the last 25 years of my life deeply involved in the game, nothing speaks to me more. You could apply this to building your golf swing or short game, the technical side of the equation, although my interpretation of craft is how each of us makes a score on the course.

Craft implies a personal application, your way of doing things.  Just like any master craftsman, that deep knowledge can only be acquired through years of hands on experience. When you’re trying to make a score, you need lots of rounds, repetitions, to learn what it takes for you to change what is normal. The process is messy, frustrating, and at times deeply rewarding.

I’ve spent some time working with a junior golfer over the last year and his scores have been hovering around 90 in tournament play. He’s done a great job improving his golf swing, hitting better shots and getting a better feel for playing better golf, although the tournament scores haven’t reflected the better all around game, until now. With tournament rounds every weekend, he smashed through his tournament best with an 81. To me, he’s learning how to make a score on the course, in a tournament. He’s had a little help along the way, but the score is his. He stood over the shots, counted them all up, and learned what it took for him to move his normal from 90 to 80.

This process applies to everyone, myself included, and one thing I can assure you of is if you continue to do things the way you’ve always done them, don’t expect anything different. If you don’t add an extra 30 minutes practice session or two during a week, or if you continue to play a golf course or certain holes the same way, the results, should always be about the same.

Try walking instead of riding, talking to your playing partners less, firing every approach at the middle of the green. We all have to learn what it takes, at a very personal level, to play better golf. A craftsman experiments, learns at every turn, and is thoughtful and focused on his/her task, this should be no different with your golf. 

Good luck!