Our regular chats with Craig have revealed his love of golf and how it’s blossomed in the prime of his life.
Q. When did you take up golf?
I started playing golf when I was a kid. Some of my happiest memories are out on the golf course with my dad. In my day, I had a decent handicap of 17 but I stopped playing during my 20’s and 30’s as life got in the way and I couldn’t seem to find the time.
I believe that, for me, playing golf tends to come in waves and I started again a couple of years ago, after my divorce.
I love golf. It gives me an opportunity to think, it’s great exercise and it’s one of the only challenges where the one person you’re playing against is yourself. Occasionally, for one or two shots per round you can hit the ball as accurately and gracefully as any professional golfer. Everything is in full harmony.
Q. How has your talent as a golfer developed?
Golf is immensely mentally challenging. As I’ve grown ever-so slightly older (sighs) and gained life experience, my ability to use my mindset has become much stronger that it ever was. This is very handy as I tend to hit quite a few lousy golf shots.
Although golf requires a specific set of skills and a lot of time practising, the key driver is having a positive mindset.
To be honest, my golf talent developed when I was young and it’s still there, even though it’s like a rusty chain on a bike that’s slowly getting smoother each time I ride it.
Q. What have you learnt as your golf has evolved?
I’m a typical ‘ooh it’s shiny and new’ golfer. I love golf equipment. I’ve found that taking my time and being fitted for the correct golf clubs which precisely match my swing, my build and my stature, rather than just buying the latest and greatest equipment, serves me better and saves me money! It’s the equivalent of buying a suit ‘off the peg’ or a Saville Row made-to-measure suit. Both are ok, but the made-to-measure one fits like a glove (a golfer’s glove!)
Q. Can you apply golf strategies in the workplace?
Although golf is a talent, a strategy and a learnt process, the real battle you need to win with golf, is mindset. You need to learn to think of an outcome you want to achieve, visualise every single shot and live in the moment by taking and breathing one shot at a time. You can tee up on the second hole, forget to do one part of your mindset routine and hit a lousy shot. That period of time from walking from the tee to where you’ve hit your ball to take your next shot, is where you choose to focus your mindset on that next shot rather than the mistake you’ve just made. You can physically see golfers where they’ve ‘carried’ a bad hole or a bad shot around the whole course with them.
Q. What’s the next step in your golfing journey?
To be more consistent. It’s the golfer’s dream. For every shot, every hole and every course to have my mindset and talent aligned, while playing a consistent below par round of golf. The secret to achieving this is to get into a habit of focusing myself on a series of mindset actions on every hole:
• begin with the end in mind
• visualise the shot in graphic detail – what I want to see, hear and feel
• picture the ball flying through the air and landing where I want it to land
• relax, enjoy it and recognise I’m only in competition with myself
Q. What’s your mantra for developing your golf talent?
The power of your mindset will help you improve your golf. It will also support you to achieve most outcomes in life whether that be evolving your talent in your chosen sport or developing your own career.
Thanks Craig, very inspiring. Now, to swing into action with developing my badminton form!