By: Charles W. Boatright
How to Use Your DMZ to Improve Your Rhythm & Tempo–
The term DMZ stands for De-Mentalized Zone, or where the golfer is performing in their ZONE, minus swing thoughts. The best method that the golfer can utilize to perform In the ZONE is to simultaneously develop a routine and sequence that can become an auto-reflex. Most golfers’ practice sessions do not provide the golfer with the ability to develop both routine and sequence during the typical practice session.
The only method the golfer can develop the DMZ is to have their practice session resemble golf course conditions. The training session I use is called the 405- Training Drill self-coaching forum. This is the process where the golfer places four of five golf shots into a certain drop zone before going to the next station to hit the next series of golf shots.
It’s not enough just to practice in the hope of improving your golf game; you have to be a prepper and not a golfer that focuses on swing thoughts. In reality, the golfer has to prepare their mind along with their body to improve their golf game and ultimately reach a single-digit handicap.
Arkansas Fairways and Greens is a radio show that airs each week on Saturday morning at 7 a.m. central time zone. This is on I-Heart Radio station KARN 102.9 FM. Bob Steel and Jay Fox, host and co-host respectively, had a round-table discussion on 15Apr2017 about swing thoughts. Jay Fox probably had one of the best philosophies, that I totally agree with, about the issue of swing thoughts, “Just don’t have them.”
If the golfer wants to get away from swing thoughts, they must develop a consistent routine and sequence that engages their subconscious mind. The golfer’s main objective is to engage the subconscious mind during the shot process and get the conscious mind out of the golf swing process totally. The subconscious mind is the powerhouse of the golf swing. The subconscious mind works off of two premises, Routine and Sequence.
If you are just practicing instead of preparing for your next golf game, you are only addressing about 10 percent of your capability. During the documentary on Golf Channel, entitled “JACK,” the other professional golfers that were interviewed stated that no one prepared better than Jack Nicklaus for tournaments. Even Jack himself stated that he put in more time preparing than he did practicing. Thirty minutes of preparation for your next golf game is better than three hours of practicing time on the range.
The best way to develop the DMZ in your golf game is with a scrimmage game also used by football coaches to help the team prepare for a game. The scrimmage game simulates game-day situations to help prepare the team for the actual game. Just practicing doesn’t afford the football player or, in this case, the golfer to experience the conditioning, atmosphere, or environment of an actual game or a tournament.
While practice prepares the golfer’s body, it does little to prepare the mind. Golf is not so much a physical game as it is a mental game. This is the reason why preparation is more important to the golfer than their practice time. Even Yogi Berra’s statement about baseball applies to golf as well states, “Baseball (or golf) is 90 percent mental, and the other half is physical.” So why set up a practice that is tailored toward the golfer’s physical game, that is only 10 percent; when, in reality, it is a mental game, the other 90 percent.
This is one reason why golfers see little improvement in their golf game and why they find it so difficult to take their lessons and practices to the course. This is because golf is played between the golfer’s ears. Practice is more of a physical element, while the golfer’s DMZ is more of a mental element. The fact is that the golfer’s practice session does not even closely resemble how the golf game is played.
The DMZ- ESPY Self-Coaching Forum
The DMZ ESPY Golf Swing self-coaching forum is developed using the 405- Training Drill, based on a scrimmage-type training. This allows the golfer to take a page out of the football coach’s play book and apply it to their golf game. The DMZ is in the form of a scrimmage-type golf training session, which is the basis of The 405- Training Drill forum. The 405- Training Drill self-coaching forum is discussed in Section 7 of my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach.
The golfer using the 405- Training Drill self-coaching forum can actually work on their golf game, tee to green, while developing the important DMZ. I use special practice balls in my 405- Training Drill that only travel less than one-third of the distance and weigh about a fourth of the weight of an actual golf ball. These special golf balls go by the name of AlmostGolf® balls. I call them SAFE (Simulated Aerodynamic Flight Effect) golf balls in my book.
These SAFE golf balls behave just like an actual golf ball, where the golfer can fade or draw them and have the same flight characteristics of an actual golf ball. The SAFE golf balls, as the name implies, do not cause property damage or injury to people or pets. This is the greatest benefit to the golfer because it opens up a whole range of options and alternative areas to work on their golf game under course-like conditions, as in the 405- Training Drill self-coaching forum.
Essentially, what the golfer is doing with the SAFE golf balls in the 405- Training Drill self-coaching forum is hitting their golf shots in feet instead of yards, up to 300 feet. I set up the first hole of my golf course at Lake Caroline that is a 376- yard dog leg left, Par 4, in my back and side yard. The actual distance of the first hole is 376- feet.
I use five SAFE golf balls and five actual golf balls and try to hit four-of-five balls to two targets, the intermediate and approach areas. The rules in my 405- Training Drill are the same for golf, but I’m hitting five golf shots from each station. If more than one golf ball doesn’t land within a 10-foot radius of my target, I must go back to the tee box and start over until I have 4-of-5 SAFE golf balls land in each target area.
DMZ Rules of Engagement No. 7, The Subconscious Mind
What the 405- Training Drill self-coaching forum does is that it creates adrenaline that is missing from the golfer’s regular practice session on the range. My subconscious mind can’t differentiate between my prep work and playing golf.
Not being able to create similar conditions in the golfer’s practice session is the main reason why golfers experience a breakdown in their golf game. This is the reason why golfer can’t carry their game from the practice range to the golf course. There are rules on how the subconscious works, and the DMZ Rule No. 7 states- The subconscious mind always prevails in conflicts with the conscious mind. What this means is that there are no guarantees that the golfer’s practice session will translate into how well the golfer will play on the course, where it counts. Because they don’t resemble each other is the main reason I call this the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Syndrome.
The golf course doesn’t resemble anything close to the practice range. For one thing, you’re not taking batting practice where the golfer is hitting ten to fifteen golf shots from a perfect lie on the course. Second, the consequences factor doesn’t apply on the range. Third, your mind is treating your golf shot on the course like a survival skill, due to the adrenaline level that doesn’t exist on the practice range or in golf lessons.
If the subconscious mind perceives the difference between your practice session and course play, it will totally disregard your practice session or golf lessons, because it doesn’t resemble course conditions. In other words, there are no similarities between your practice sessions or golf lessons and course play. This becomes the golfer’s conflict.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Syndrome
So, I created the 405- Training Drill self-coaching forum to achieve two objectives- One develops repetition (reps) from a practice session of hitting five golf shots to a specific target area. Two- simulated playing conditions that create adrenaline from trying to get four of five golf shots into a specified target area to address the course conditions situation.
The golfer’s adrenaline is similar to the elixir that Dr. Jekyll created in his lab that turned him into My. Hyde. If you don’t create adrenaline during your practice session or golf lessons, you’re leaving out a key component in your preparation for your golf game.
Using Adrenaline to Fuel Your DMZ
Adrenaline can either fuel or flood the golfer’s DMZ game, the golfer’s subconscious mind. Adrenaline can either create a mental edge for the golfer to perform IN THE ZONE, The DMZ, or flood the golfer’s mind with confusion and distraction. When you are standing over a series of five golf shots in the 405- Training Drill self-coaching forum, you are creating pressure, or adrenaline, by attempting to place four of the five shots inside a 10- foot radius. This is similar to the adrenaline created on the golf course.
So if the golfer can create adrenaline in their prep work, this allows the golfer to develop the same conditions, on and off the golf course, for an efficient routine and a sequence that the golfer can depend on to make consistent golf shots on the golf course.
The Best Quote In Golf
I use the DMZ like the batter uses the batter’s box. Once I step into the batter’s box, I’m in my DMZ. I use three simple (Sync, Preset, and Yaw) elements to develop essential muscle memory to perform my golf swing. The only other thing that I do is to slow down relative time by using tempo. I use tempo to establish each of my three elements. The DMZ and the ESPY Golf Swing sequence create both natural Rhythm and Tempo, without swing thoughts.
Remember the quote in Caddyshack by Chevy Chase- There’s a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.
To learn how to create a DMZ, a 405- Training Drill self-coaching forum, purchase your copy of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach from the links below, or visit your local bookstore:
My book can also be purchased at Edwin Watts Golf Store in Jackson, Mississippi. Phone No. 601-956-8784
820 East County Line Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157
This book is a self-coaching forum that provides basic and advanced fundamentals to help you play golf with confidence and start lowering your handicap.
Please take advantage of my SR-925 Diet Program, where I lost 6 inches in my waist in 3- months (FREE of CHARGE) with the CASPER Workout Program, detailed in Section 20 of my book:
Please include an exercise routine in your weekly schedule.
Also, learning The ESPY Golf Swing Coach process is an excellent way to develop Rhythm without experiencing the Blues: