A Story of 61
Its Wednesday July 19. My phone is going off more than usual. After constant text and email alerts, I grabbed my phone in alarm to make sure there was not an emergency. The text I happen to read was from Andy Johnson (a.k.a The Fried Egg). "Jordan is on 59 watch". I had to check the live scoring and sure enough Jordan was -7 through 8 holes on the day and had made an ace on the 7th hole. Wow.
Leading up to the event, Jordan played in the Trans-Miss Am at Prairie Dunes in Kansas. The tournament yields a very strong amateur field. Jordan played sub par. He found himself flooded with thoughts and becoming unsure of what he should do. Every golfer has a few days like this where you almost feel lost. “I didn’t feel comfortable over the ball” said Hahn. Most golfers go through this their entire playing career. With frustration amounting, the Illinois State Am was the next and last event for the summer for Mr. Hahn.
Day 1 of the event comes. Jordan comes out -4 through 6 on the first day. After a few bogies he ended up -2 thought the first day. Not too bad for the average golfer. However, Jordan hit the moment of truth that every golfer dreams about and has no idea how to do. He was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Jordan said "Screw it, wherever it goes, it will go" That was it. When he let go of control and let his training take over, it was lights out. Jordan started to build an intention to the shots. Stating, "the ball WILL do this. Stepped up to the ball with confidence, felt a physical trigger, then rocked the ball. Jordan walked with a different vibe this day.
Hole after hole, Jordan was able to see the shot he wanted with pure clarity. He could feel the hit coming off the face before the ball was even struck. His body moved with rhythm and a effortless vibe. The game almost seemed too easy as he carded birdie after birdie. He would hit his driver in places most people can only dream about. Irons would land within a great proximity. The hole looked huge to Jordan that day. Things even got better when Jordan carded a hole-in-one on the 7th.
When I asked him when he realized where he was with his score, he said "not until the last hole". He was so entrenched in his process and the shot at hand, nothing else mattered. Jordan wrapped up the round and set a record for lowest score in Illinois Amateur History - 61. Jordan also set the course record at Calumet Country Club. It was a day that will live on for a while.
Emails flood in from people who happened to be there competing or watching. This one from Brian Barret reads "saw Jordan hit a 350 yard cut on #14 in route to course record 61! Stud!"
For me, the joy came from Jordan seeing his capabilities. He came across that learning moment of what it takes to let go and play at an impressive level. Also, the support everyone has for him which is special because Jordan is a awesome kid and family to me.
The lesson here is learning how to let go of thought and control. Over trying and Overthinking are performance killers. Players have a hard time letting go of control. However, this is what you are training for. We train to do things on a subconscious level.
When performing, it is time to trust what you have worked on. Most players are taught to Train for Technique the entire time. They are taught that if your technique is great then you will play great. This is harmful for performance. Training the technique is a small piece to great performance.
You must practice controlling thoughts and learning to think productively. This is a must in the Champion Ways Curriculum. If you train well, and can define how you control those thoughts then getting in the zone will happen more times than not.
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