19th Hole

Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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Slow Down, Do It Again

I have a bit of a drive on my way to TPC Scottsdale every day, maybe 30-40 minutes in the car each way, and use the time to listen to tons of podcasts and audio books. The title of this column, Slow Down, Do It Again, is from a world class drummer I was listening to a couple of days ago, Dave Elitch. He’s toured the world with numerous massive acts as a drummer and on the side he also teaches high end drummers, that title is something he uses every day as a coach.

The reason this tag line resonated with me was the similarity it has to learning really anything golf swing related. The mind struggles early on to learn new motions and your brain is building a network that understands these new moves. Many of you have heard of muscle memory to describe learning something new, the reality is your brain is the only thing that controls the muscles, so when you change a pattern or movement, the brain is relearning how to accomplish this new move. 

Slow down the movement, get it right, then add speed and repetition.  If you think about a new move and don’t purposefully make it look exactly like what you want, then the change process slows dramatically. This process is as much mentally taxing as it is physically taxing. If you want to make a meaningful change in your golf swing, you need to slow it down, do it over and over and over.

Even though this sounds a little strange, the more you practice moving things around the better you understand your mind and how it deals with the change process. The familiarity of being completely lost on the first day or two of learning something new, paired with the comfort that you know you’re in the right place and over time, the feeling will subside.  

We all want results and we all want results yesterday. I’d encourage everyone to slow it down and live in the chaos for while, use video, mirrors, anything that can give your brain the feedback it needs to understand and bridge the gap between the old and the new. Embrace the process and have fun with it, you’ll be shocked at how fast you progress! Good luck! 

Rob Rashell is now the Director of  Instruction at TPC Scottsdale. You can reach him at robrashell@pgatourtpc.com.