If you’ve been a fly hanging around my tent recently during any number of coaching sessions with clients, you’ve probably heard me say “Dedicated to the Discipline of the Details” quite often.

I use this phrase when wrapping up a coaching session, when emphasizing a particular improvement point, or when reminding my clients what it takes to reach their improvement goals.   The overall meaning to the phrase seems very general.  By design, it’s meant to be.  And the simplicity of the phrase brandishes powerful meanings.  No matter the individual golfer or what we cover during a coaching session, the phrase can mean a lot.  Especially when we’re discussing areas of skill improvement that is specific to an individual’s needs.

It’s a phrase that when used correctly, can mean the difference between success and average.  It can mean the difference between sustained improvements versus short term results.  And it can mean the difference between enjoying a simple game versus being so confused while playing the game that frustration gets the best of you.

How I Coined the Phrase

During 2018, I found myself coaching more golfers who were desiring to play at a more competitive level.  Many of these golfers were existing clients who never played any sport “competitively” during their lifetime.  Some existing and new clients had experienced competitive sports at various levels, but never played golf at any level of competition.  And just a few existing clients as well as a lot of new clients experienced competitive golf at some level.  Each were looking to get to the next level.

As each coaching session went by, I found myself digging into my past as a competitive athlete and sharing my stories of what it took for me to reach the top of a competitive sport.  I also found myself sharing stories of my struggles of playing golf at a competitive level.  Many times, my stories about my golf struggles mirrored those of my clients.  But each of my golf stories mirrored the experiences of previously playing a professional sport.  And each story had 3 main ingredients.

“Dedicated” to the Discipline of the Details

Dedicated means you have more than passion.  More than the love of any game, activity, or experience.  So much more that no matter the distraction that keeps you from the experience love, you’re willing to make a sacrifice to continue the experience, at any cost.

Everyone’s sacrifices are different.  And each person’s sacrifices are relevant to their individual priorities.  For the average amateur, your priorities are significantly different than a touring professional.  The biggest difference is the touring professional’s dedication to golf significantly outweighs yours.  Golf is the means to the end, putting a roof over their head and food on the table.

To play better golf, the sacrifices you’re willing to make should be similar to the touring professional, yet different in regard to the time you devote to the sport.  Sometimes amateur golfers find the dedication to the sport “boring.” Especially in today’s fast paced world of immediate satisfaction.  This places “dedication to golf” at more than an arm’s length away from you.  Becoming truly dedicated to anything takes more time than you realize.  It also takes a will to be more than committed.

Within my March 2021 Blog Post of the Month, I’ll detail “Dedication” a bit more and provide you some ideas about how you can manage your priorities to become more dedicated to your golf game.

Dedicated to the “Discipline” of the Details

Little kids think the sole meaning of this word is punishment.  So do a lot of adults.  Although “punishment” is a listed as a possible definition, when you truly understand the word and how it relates to any success you’ve achieved, discipline is a trait you’ll daily strive to achieve.

Discipline is knowing, understanding, and repeating a set of items, in the same order, that allow you the comfort and confidence to become consistent at any task.  It can be described as a process that is trusted to produce a desired outcome most often.  Especially when tasks are completed in the same order.  I bet you have a lot of “disciplines” within your life that you’ve become totally unaware of.  Why?  Because the order of the tasks has been repeated so often, the tasks are “automatic.”  And those disciplines are the fabric of your success, both personally and professionally.

The idea of discipline allows you to repeat a process you know and trust, works for you.  And you use these disciplines most often when faced with a problem.  How often when faced with a problem do you boil the problem down to its simplest form. discovering that something simple you repeat every day can allow you to solve the problem?  Isn’t a round of golf a continuous cycle of problems you have to solve to it’s simplest form to score your best?

Within my April 2021 Blog Post of the Month, we’ll explore how you become “Disciplined” at improving your golf skills and provide you some suggestions about how to use the disciplines of ordinary life to solve the problems you face when you play golf.

Dedicated to the Discipline of the “Details”

The smallest items of your game, or life, that make the biggest difference, are in fact the “details.”

Here are some golf examples of details.  How many degrees open or closed do you place your front foot at address?  How many yards of carry distance does your 56° wedge produce when you swing at 50%?  With the ball below my feet, how much less or more club will I need to carry a shot to a specific yardage?

These questions, along with countless more questions, comprise the details of your golf skills.  But how do you remember all these details?  And how after remembering the details are you employing the details? Here’s a link to understand how just one word, one detail, can mean a lot in your game.

When you find a great coach that you trust and can build a relationship with, details come pouring out of you both.  Ultimately, it’s up to you to understand every detail and use each to secure your skill improvement and sustained success.

Within my May 2021 Blog Post of the Month, you’ll find out how to recognize the details of your golf game.  I’ll also provide you a few suggestions to never forget the details you need to record your best scores this year.

Commit Yourself to the 3 D’s this Golf Season

When you’re facing adversity this golf season, can you remember your “3 D’s”?

Dedicated to the Discipline of the Details is a mantra all my clients use now.  It’s not just for the competitive golfers.

Can you commit to being dedicated this golf season to genuinely and sustainably improving your skills, not your score?  How will you discipline yourself to reach your targeted golf goals for 2021?  And what details will truly make the biggest difference in your game and your sustained improvement?

Until the next installment of this series of blog posts, keep saying to yourself:

“I’m going to be dedicated to the discipline of the details.”

As you read this blog post, you began the process of repeating the phrase.  As you continue to repeat the phrase to yourself, start taking an inventory of each “D”.  Start asking yourself the simple question, how does each item within the list of each “D’s” inventory relate to one and other?  In addition, ask yourself the question of how each “D’s” and its inventory list relates to the other 2 “D’s” and its inventory list?

I’m dedicated to the discipline of the details that my clients need to be successful.  And I commit to being dedicated to the discipline of the details of providing you some ideas this spring about how you can be and do the same.

The big question is how dedicated to the discipline of the details are you, to yourself, this coming golf season?