One of a KInd

One of a Kind

by Michael Riggs and Wes Sime

Let’s try an experiment with your golf game. Close your eyes, and picture a player you admire who is known for being creative in his shot making.

Chances are you imagined a publicly recognized player known for carving crafty shots around trees, splashing feather–soft sand shots to short-sided pins, or using the “wrong” club that provides the “right” outcome.

Did you picture yourself in this scenario? Probably not. But the truth is, we can all be highly creative when we put our minds to it.

Creativity expert and British author Sir Ken Robinson puts it more elegantly: “Creativity is not a single aspect of intelligence that only emerges in particular activities, in the arts for example. It is a systematic function of intelligence that can emerge wherever our intelligence is engaged.”  So you have to think “outside the box” to get your brain to come up with creative options.

And engaging that “systematic function of innovation with your brain”  in every aspect of your golf game can significantly increase your success and satisfaction. So consider becoming a highly creative golfer, or at least consider becoming slightly more creative than you are right now.

Knowing your capabilities and practicing unusual and challenging shots beyond your current skill set enhances your success and makes the game more enjoyable.  Let’s say your drive lands pinned next to a tree disallowing you to hit the shot normally. Have you practiced, and are you capable of, swinging the club in the opposite direction to punch it back to the fairway?

Creativity requires you to strip away preconceptions, look beyond long-held beliefs, venture into what every golfer knows is “impossible.” Don’t let conventional wisdom discourage you from being creative. If you’ve never seen a shot hit successfully it doesn’t mean it is impossible.  Remember, it’s the results that you’re after.

To achieve extraordinary results with your golf game, you have to do more than think of something different. You have to pay attention to your inspiration for a creative shot and then act on it. Or, as marketing guru Seth Godin says, “Ninety-nine percent of the time, the hard part about creativity isn’t coming up with something no one has ever thought of before. The hard part is actually executing the thing you’ve thought of.”

Build upon your innovative nature by gathering knowledge and insight gleaned from other creative golfers who have achieved the success and satisfaction you envision for yourself. Challenge the status quo by practicing unusual shots to learn what you can and can’t do at this stage of your golf career. Open your mind to the creative possibilities.

S² Tip

Play your next round without hitting the “expected” club – not on one single shot. Yes, that means teeing off with a wedge and putting with your driver, too.

Success Story

Just when the golf world thought Phil Mickelson was riding off into the sunset, he gets his mojo and creativity back at the FedEx Cup. Welcome back, Phil. Click here to see this creative shot from a young Phil.

In Another’s Words…

“I always view problems as opportunities in work clothes.”– Henry Kaiser, businessman