FAQ Regarding Personal/Playing Styles
1. Q: How does knowledge of my style help me play better?
A: Practicing and playing according to the parameters that define your natural style creates a physical and emotional environment for playing/practicing that produces optimal cooperation between your "mission," the resources Mother Nature gave you and the motions (both learned and instinctive activities and actions) required to get you where you want to go. The result, when you honor your given style, is that you use less energy, you put less stress on your system, you get it done in a shorter time frame, with much greater ease toward reaching your objectives.
Conversely, if a player practices outside his/her style on the range, and then moves to the course, with the normal pressure there, Mother Nature insists that the style "she" provided at birth will come into full play. Now all the work done on the range has to go through entirely different "screens." It is apt, at that point, either to be lost entirely or quite confusing to the player. Practicing in the manner of someone else's style will only find its way to the course, if it is exactly like your own and we have never seen that happen. It's one thing on the range with no pressure, to do anything you wish. It's another entirely on the course, where even with normal pressure, players default to their basic styles, no matter how they have practiced. At that point, one stops and mutters, "But it was going so well on the range! Why can't I get it to the course?" Hence the expressions players give to the experience of "doing it well" on the range and then "fouling up on the course."
2. Q: Why haven't we heard more about this before now?
A: There is no short answer, but most of the evidence points in one direction - most teachers, instructors, and journalists have accepted an incomplete, over-simplified conclusion - that one's playing style is a matter of personal choice, and therefore doesn't matter so much. There is much more evidence to support the opposite, that your style is NOT a choice, though one may even notice an occasional variation or departure. Close examination will show that such variables tend to surface from inappropriate application due to not knowing one's own style. Behavior Style is predetermined, as part of our basic structure, by Mother Nature. It came with our birth. It has genetic roots and is therefore not only important, but inescapable. Failing to understand and honor the principal characteristics in your natural style can, and will, "eat your lunch" at the most inopportune times, as in "under pressure" on the golf course.
3. Q: Does that mean I have no choices in life?
A: No. We can, if we have reasonable understanding and appreciation of our styles, utilize temporary departures from our own styles for interpersonal tasks, such as communication with others. For tasks that come under a "solitary" heading, such as golf, bowling, shooting foul shots, pitching in baseball, skeet, billiards, writing, reading, studying, we will get maximum results through our own styles, not an altered version.
4. Q: Is "Style" what is involved in the cliche "playing the game within yourself?"
A: Yes. Style is the single most critical measure. Most players, however, seem to think "within yourself" refers to something about the assertiveness of the swing, or within some kind of vague parameters having to do with your emotions. Style is found to be the basic dimension. The others are either secondary or peripheral.
5. Q: Isn't "style" the same as "personality," and just a matter of semantics?
A: No, it isn't. Style is a reference to those traits that came with you when you were born, along with the maturing (as opposed to changing one's approach to others and the world) you may have added on your journey. Personality is learned after you get here and may be altered (may accompany any maturity but without necessarily being related to it) along the way, depending upon what you believed you needed to get along with other people. You might try to alter your style, and you might even succeed, but it will likely send you on many an adventurous trip to a variety of doctors and/or hospitals, either medical/surgical or psychiatric. And it will surely take a bite out of many of your golf shots without either your permission or your knowledge (until after the fact).
6. Q: Does anyone have only one set of style traits or are we a combination of more than one?
A: Everyone has something of each of the four trait groups. Those, however, are subject to things like intensity and which side of a mid-point the traits fall on. It can be understood this way. Each style embraces a number of traits, and no one has all of them. The traits that go with the "Driver" deal with how we relate to our environment - that will be either in the sense of trying to dominate it or submit to it. With the "Persuader," it's how we tend to deal with people - either we will move toward them or move away from them. The "Craftsman" deals primarily with the tasks in life - on the one hand, it may be with a slow, rhythmic careful quality, or it may be in a big hurry to reach a conclusion. "Analyzers" immerse themselves in how the "rules of the game" are dealt with - either following them to the letter and insuring perfect quality, or doing things their own way to the exclusion of all others. The organization of those traits, in our experience, has not been found alike in any two people. All of us are different.
Loosely translated, Drivers try to "run the show." Persuaders Take care of social life and promotional issues. Craftsmen get the work done, and Analyzers handle the quality assurance of everything.
7. Q: Where can I find out more about this?
A: From those of us who teach at Birdgolf and KeyGolf. You may also improve your information base by acquiring a copy of our book, "The Double Connexion." It provides more detail on the matter of both Personal and Playing style as related to the elements of the automatic game and how to develop it. The book is also available as a download on the internet and you may contact us for a CD version or for more information. You can, of course, research the matter, as we have done, and form your own conclusions if you would prefer not to trust our studies. If that is your choice, we'll be glad to provide you with a list of resources to get you started on your study pilgrimage. Just send us an Email.
8. Q: How can I contact you?
A: Reach us through our websites or our email addresses.
The Bird Golf Academy
KeyGolf Home Page
Double Connexion Book