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In Conversation with Cameron Strachan and Justin Tang: Navigating Golf's Tough Terrain and Thriving Amidst Failure

September 13, 2023 Jesse Perryman Season 2 Episode 92
In Conversation with Cameron Strachan and Justin Tang: Navigating Golf's Tough Terrain and Thriving Amidst Failure
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Flaghuntersgolfpod
In Conversation with Cameron Strachan and Justin Tang: Navigating Golf's Tough Terrain and Thriving Amidst Failure
Sep 13, 2023 Season 2 Episode 92
Jesse Perryman

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        This episode is a fun one ! On behalf of Justin Tang and myself, we're excited to bring you a conversation with golfing guru and distinguished author, Cameron Strachan. With a whopping 14 golf books under his belt, Cameron is a wellspring of knowledge on every aspect of golfing, from refining your swing to navigating the course. And, as an added bonus, he even shares an exclusive discount code for listeners.

      During our fascinating chat, Cameron imparts his wisdom on everything from developing a low-maintenance swing to the significance of self-belief. He intriguingly compares the techniques of golf-greats Tiger Woods and Adam Scott while underscoring the necessity of a balanced practice routine. Cameron's own experiences and learning journey are a testament to the power of focusing on your own capabilities and trusting your learning system.

     As we round off our episode, we take an unexpected detour to explore the science behind throwing and its correlation to golf. Wrapping up, we reveal insights on improving golf performance and managing pressure on the course. If you're seeking a fresh perspective on embracing failure, savouring the challenge of the game, and the benefits of on-course practice, this episode is tailor-made for you. So, get ready to reassess your golf strategy as we tee off with Cameron Strachan !
    To reach Cameron, go to www.automaticgolf.com and to reach Justin easiest, go to Instagram and you can find him @elitegolfswing. You can also find me at Instagram as well @flaghuntersgolfpod. 

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

        This episode is a fun one ! On behalf of Justin Tang and myself, we're excited to bring you a conversation with golfing guru and distinguished author, Cameron Strachan. With a whopping 14 golf books under his belt, Cameron is a wellspring of knowledge on every aspect of golfing, from refining your swing to navigating the course. And, as an added bonus, he even shares an exclusive discount code for listeners.

      During our fascinating chat, Cameron imparts his wisdom on everything from developing a low-maintenance swing to the significance of self-belief. He intriguingly compares the techniques of golf-greats Tiger Woods and Adam Scott while underscoring the necessity of a balanced practice routine. Cameron's own experiences and learning journey are a testament to the power of focusing on your own capabilities and trusting your learning system.

     As we round off our episode, we take an unexpected detour to explore the science behind throwing and its correlation to golf. Wrapping up, we reveal insights on improving golf performance and managing pressure on the course. If you're seeking a fresh perspective on embracing failure, savouring the challenge of the game, and the benefits of on-course practice, this episode is tailor-made for you. So, get ready to reassess your golf strategy as we tee off with Cameron Strachan !
    To reach Cameron, go to www.automaticgolf.com and to reach Justin easiest, go to Instagram and you can find him @elitegolfswing. You can also find me at Instagram as well @flaghuntersgolfpod. 

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Flygarner's Golf Podcast. I am your host, jesse Perryman, along with my co-host at times when I can get him away from the lesson tee. His name is Justin Tang. Justin resides in Singapore and is an instructor at the Tan AmeriGolf Club there. So if you're ever in the sunny country of Singapore and you want to spend an hour or two with Justin, make sure to hit him up at Tan AmeriGolf Club.

Speaker 1:

This week, our guest on the Flygarner's Golf Podcast is a man by the name of Cameron Strachan. Cameron has been on the podcast before. He is one of my favorites putting guru, extraordinaire learning expert, author of 14 golf books, including my favorite, look and Shoot. It's as simple as it sounds, folks. You don't want to make putting any more complex or complicated than it needs to be, and his book is a must, and in this episode we've got Justin. Cameron and I talk about the phenomenon of putting, but mainly about learning and what it takes to learn and have that become a part of our central DNA, whatever it is that we're learning, and also about performance, a little bit about putting, a little bit about this, a little bit about that. It's kind of an eclectic conversation, but Cameron is a coach, an author, an instructor that keeps things very simple, has simple ways of explaining how you should, or at least to help decipher ways to get better, coming from a simplistic approach and, as you well know, coming from simplicity doesn't necessarily translate into learning things easily. Sometimes the simplest methodologies are the hardest to learn, but we take solace in the simplicity part of whatever it is that we're trying to learn, and Cameron is an excellent teacher when it comes to that. As well as just keeping things simple, simplicity is going to breed repeatability, and if we can repeat good things in this game, we're going to play pretty well, and that's what my intention is getting this information out there and, undoubtedly, the message that Justin and Cameron spread to their students.

Speaker 1:

And if you want to explore more about Cameron, I'm going to highly recommend that. I guess the easiest way to get ahold of him is find him through Instagram. It's camstratx, all one word C-A-M-S-T-R-A-C-K-S, as well as if you want to find Justin, he's easiest also on Instagram at Elite Golf Swing, and also, too, when you're over on Cameron's Instagram account. He does have a link to automatic golf and all of his products and things that you can get from him as well as get ahold of him directly. Probably the easiest way to do it Sit back and relax and listen to this one, folks.

Speaker 1:

It's a good one, and I always enjoy talking to Cameron. I've learned a lot from him. Once again, I'm going to highly recommend the Look and Shoot book For those of us who want to become masterfully skilled putters. A lot of it lies within the mindset and, well you know, putting is easy by its very nature. We're not taking the club back very far, we're not extending our follow-throughs very far, we're not working on speed with our putting as far as hitting a putter far. It really is the second part of two different games within a game, and Cameron's an excellent instructor in regards to that. And once again, he has graced us with a code, a discount code for those who listen to the pod, and I'm not going to divulge that code here in the intro. You must wait until the end to get it. I have you as a captive audience in regards to that.

Speaker 1:

But thanks again for listening, folks. I hope your weekend was great and I hope your upcoming week is filled with great golf and a lot of fruitful manifestations of the work that you're putting in. Cheers everyone. Hello and welcome again to another edition of the Flag Hunters Golf Podcast. I got my favorite putting guy on here he lives way too far away and my brother from another mother, justin Tang, in Singapore. And the man first mentioned those who are familiar with my podcast have heard Cameron before promoting his book. Look and Shoot Cameron Strackin, the man of the hour, my favorite putting guru of all time, and he's got a lot of wisdom, not only in putting the ball but just keeping things very simple, so simple to the point where you think how come I didn't come up with that?

Speaker 2:

But welcome boys. Thanks, mike, for having me again. It's great to be here.

Speaker 3:

Thanks mate, Thanks Cameron, Good to see you again. Yeah, anytime. I think let's give credit where credit is due. You're not just a part-time short game coach, You're actually a learning expert. So maybe we just start off with a very, very heavy question how do humans actually learn? It's a good question.

Speaker 2:

Justin, it's something I've been fascinated with probably ever since I started playing golf. To be honest, when I first started I was I had a. I shot 156, I think. In my first game and the very first time I had 17 or 18 shots on the very first hole and I just thought, oh my God, this game is impossible. I hate it, but there's something about it. So what I did was I practiced near my parents' house, where I grew up, in a horse paddock and I pretty much would go backwards and forwards hitting balls in this horse paddock, and this was well and well until before I was interested in putting this is more just the full swing and by the end of the year. So I went from.

Speaker 2:

I started in Easter 1988. So it's a long time ago. I'm showing my age here but by the end of the year I shot a pass score and not long after that I won a golf scholarship. And it was when I had the golf scholarship that I started having lessons all the time and it was when I got worse. So I went from shooting a pass score within 12 months having a handicap, you know, coming down very quickly, and then all of a sudden I lost the plot and my dad sort of, he's quite a straight shooter, my dad, my old man, as we call him. I hear the old boy. He said what are you doing, mate, like you know you used to, you're playing really well. You started improving really quickly and now you can't do anything. So that got me interested and he said you know, go back to your old ways.

Speaker 2:

And then a member of my club gave me a book called the Intergame of Golf at roughly at the same time and that was sort of when I got interested in what you know I call natural learning, and for me it was.

Speaker 2:

The results were not instantaneous, because I don't think there's ever such a thing, but the results again happened very quickly when I forgot about the game, part of the ball, chipped the ball, hit the ball and learned in a way that felt good to me. Yeah, it just, things just took off and I got my game back again. I felt the wagon a few times that I've always been able to come back and maybe for the last 20 years I haven't had a regular type golf lesson. I don't think about my swing, I virtually don't think about any technique, I just want to play golf, I play golf and my automatic game just keeps working for me and I don't play much these days but when I do I'm still I call it half handy. I'm able to sort of hold a scratch or one handicap. But you know, I'm pushing 50 years of age, I'm not the best shape, but yeah, my game is still really very consistent and I'm still getting the ball quite well and still part well.

Speaker 3:

That's a fascinating thing to know, because everyone thinks that golf is a very high maintenance sort of thing. I often use this analogy If you know how to cycle and have not done a bike for three years now, I give you a bicycle. You're not going to follow, you'll probably be able to ride the bicycle around the block.

Speaker 2:

So just you know, that's what I'm. Yeah, sorry, go on, I'll let you finish.

Speaker 3:

What can we take away from this bicycle analogy and apply it to the game of golf?

Speaker 2:

Well, I agree with you. I made the same analogy, and that's that is that we do all these skills day to day. We walk, we talk, we drive a car, we can throw a ball, we can run, we can ride a bike, and we, we learn most of these things either as children or young adults and we have them for the rest of our lives. We don't really forget how to ride a bike, and so I basically can't golf be the same. Why is it that we have to? What do we need to feel the need to practice all the time, and if we don't practice, we feel like we've lost our game and we haven't got our game.

Speaker 2:

I'll start applying tennis just recently at my club, and the other night it was about there, and he goes oh I haven't played for a month. I'm so rusty. I'm like mate, I haven't played for 30 years. You don't lose it in a month. You don't lose your swing. I don't think you need to be practicing all the time. So when you learn a skill to the automatic level, to the natural level, it's almost impossible to unlearn it. So your system will have a harder time unlearning that skill than what it will, just retaining it. So I believe you've always got it. And what a great mindset to have. Anyway, you know that you don't actually lose your swing. You don't need to practice a lot, so you can still go out to the golf course and enjoy it and play at a really decent level.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I tell people this right, if you cannot lose a bad golf swing on purpose, how many of you think you can lose a good golf swing? Good question, justin, really Good question. Just, that can come back on. I just lost Justin. Yeah, so I said this. I said this if you cannot lose a bad golf swing on purpose, what makes you think you can lose a good golf swing? Sorry, I just lost the man. So Cameron I was. I often tell my golfers this if you cannot lose a bad golf swing on purpose, what makes you think you can lose a good golf swing?

Speaker 2:

What makes you think you can lose a good golf swing?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, People keep.

Speaker 3:

I'm not saying you as in you, but in general, so some people go for 152 golf lessons a year to try to lose the bad golf swing and replace it with a good one, and they can't do it. The bad golf swing is still there. And then on the other side of the equation you've got a really good golfer who thinks he needs to go to the range twice a week, play twice a week on the golf course so that he can maintain his good golf swing. So I think there are some facts and fallacies here about how humans actually learn. People have this idea that they need to kind of grease the golf swing, otherwise it just fades away. I don't from the learning literature. That's not true at all, because there is a saying old habits die hard. And it's really true because of mylination.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, look, I agree. I think that we as golfers in general, we like making the game harder than it needs to be. And we have a. As a human, we have a built-in safety mechanism which makes it almost impossible to unlearn skills, because imagine if we wake up in the morning and we've got how to walk or we couldn't talk. So once we've learned a skill to the automatic level, it's practically impossible to unlearn it, and that's just. That just makes life easy. That means we can cruise through life. You know you're expending the least amount of energy, otherwise we'd be exhausted.

Speaker 2:

Imagine how hard life would be if we, you know, forgot how to talk. Every, every, every morning, went to remember it. Oh, I haven't had a. I'm going to go have a lesson on how to talk or how to walk or how to drive my car. We don't. So golf, golf can be the same. Golf is just another motor skill, with nothing. You know, we love golf and we're passionate about golf, but it's just another motor skill. I just treat it the same way as everything. That's what I did 25, 30 years ago and it changed my life and it changed my. Golf came to and yeah, I basically. Now, you know, I kept talking about it. I was so excited when I figured it all out and it made sense, and I was very excited to realize that there's millions of other golfers out there that, have you know, had experienced the same problems that I had that I'd experienced.

Speaker 3:

I think it starts with a fixation of how a golf swing looks like. So can you talk a little bit about this, this fantasy that all a good golf swing is equivalent to a good golf game, and vice versa?

Speaker 2:

Possibly the biggest myth in golf is that you need to if I have a good. You know the golf will say to themselves or the golf industry is a very general rule will say, if you have a good golf swing, you'll be a good golfer. But I don't believe it. And there's. There's so many examples in golf of of you know pros on either to any turn in the world. Actually, like the Asian tour, you see some amazing golf swings on the Asian tour, oh yeah, and you know these guys don't get enough credit, but they, you know they're termed ugly, but these guys are unbelievably good golfers. You know some of these guys play for 20, 25, 30 years or longer when they get to the seniors tour and they've got, yeah, ugly golf swings. They break every rule known to man when it comes to golf, but they're still able to play golf very, very well.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, especially the high professional golfers. The name that comes to mind is a Ta Wan Wiracchan. When I first started golf in 1998, I'm like, hey, this guy's swing looks weird. Well, to me weird means that he doesn't. His string doesn't look orthodox compared to, say, an Adam's score or a Tiger Woods. But what really confounded me was this he could shoot the same scores that Adam's score and Tiger Woods could, yeah. So I knew I was missing something back then.

Speaker 3:

So instead of labeling them good or bad, I used the term optimal. So Jim Furick is actually a big guy, I think he. I believe he's as tall as Tiger Woods, both a six foot two. Back then Tiger Woods used to out drive him 60, 70 yards. So clearly, one guy's swing was optimal for his physique and another one was suboptimal for his physique, given that it didn't produce a potential yardage. However, jim Furick can look at Tiger and say, hey, I've shot 58 and 59 on two different occasions at PGA tour events. I do. It can't make that clean. So it's not so much about the look per se and I often tell golfers it's not that this swing is bad or suboptimal is that your system cannot explain why the swing is able to shoot 66 all the time and I often call Jim Furick swing a money printing golf swing yeah it prints money.

Speaker 3:

One of the most consistent stuff swings around.

Speaker 2:

There's a guy called Bruce Litzke on the US tour. That was a money making machine as well. He played with a massive, big cut. He was a farm boy, he didn't practice between the off season, he hardly touched the club and there's many funny stories about him. Yeah, he just made cuts and just made money like hand over fist. Yeah, and traditionally you call it ugly or unorthodox, but it's right for him.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, because it's got the reverse look. And how the swing came about was a great story itself. He said, hey, I'm going to have a family, I love racing cars and fishing. I want to be messing around with my golf swing or spending too much time there. And then he realized, hey, if I start playing a state you know what that makes my swing really low maintenance. There you go, and he could go like three months without touching the club and show up at a tournament and return a 66. So that's the stuff of legend. That's the kind of golf swing that I want. I don't want to be spending every night at the driving range or even playing golf every day, just so that I can maintain my golf swing. I don't do math every day so that, oh, I don't forget how to multiply. So it takes a leap of faith to actually embrace this philosophy that, hey, you're not going to forget your golf swing. Your golf game won't abandon you just like that.

Speaker 2:

It certainly takes a leap of courage, and the courage comes from learning, to trust in your learning system. To say to yourself hey, I'm actually able to hit the ball from point A to point B consistently, I can do it, my system knows how to do it, I've just got to basically keep out of the way. And that's what the learning mindset's all about, essentially saying to yourself hey, I'm a problem solver, I can figure it out, so I can stand on the first tee at any golf course and I can have a look at the hole, I can look at the distance I've got at the ball. If I trusted myself in my learning ability, I'll find a way to solve that problem. How do I get the ball from here to there in the least amount of shots and, you know, in a 40,000 foot view?

Speaker 2:

That's what automatic golf natural learning is all about. It's understanding that you're a problem solving machine and we are. We've all got the same capacity to learn and it's putting our trust in our learning system. And it's very powerful Because when it clicks in your head and you figure it out, the confidence you get is unbelievable, because then all of a sudden you realize, hey, I'm actually better than all the golf magazines and all the gurus out there. I'm actually better than them. They can't come to any and it's amazingly powerful when you want to play golf. You know consistently well, day after day, week after week and year after year.

Speaker 3:

So you mentioned in 1998, you started taking golf lessons and then you got worse. So aren't golf lessons supposed to make you better? What do you think of how golf lessons are structured in our modern world?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm not against golf coaching, but I think there's two types of instruction. One is teaching, where you just tell someone what to do, and one is coaching, and that's where you basically become a mentor of sorts and you assist the golfer in becoming a problem solver and guiding them through the process so they learn themselves. I think for the jet as a general rule, the golf industry is very much around technique and they still believe that, hey, if I've got a good technique, I'm going to be a good golfer, whereas a learning methodology is hey, let's, let's get the ball from point A to point B in the fuel amount of shots and let's find what works well for you. Because you know I've said this story many times I grew up in Melbourne in the mid nineties. We had some very good players coming through. We had Stuart Appleby, robert Allenby, which you know a blast from the past, and another guy called Steven Allen, and I think Steven Allen was potentially an even better player than those guys and they will fit. You know, stuart, maybe take Allenby aside he swing was a little bit unique, but these guys were mechanically perfect. So every golfer in Melbourne coming through through that system had an absolute, you know, perfect golf swing. They all got taught swing plane, you know, body pivot and everyone looked really good. But if Jim Furrick went through that system I don't know if you would have made it, I think. I think Jim Furrick was in a just a different system in a different part of the world and he was able, just to, you know, stick with he swing.

Speaker 2:

But in Melbourne in that time you really had to. You're almost forced to adopt, you know, this perfect technique and it didn't work for guys like myself. I mean I hate it, I couldn't, I couldn't make it work. And I practice really hard, like I was dedicated to the game hours and hours every day, just couldn't make it work. But when I gave up all that and I went back to my way, all that practice I had done I think helped me indirectly and I was able to turn it around very quickly by the end of the 90s I was a different golfer. I was consistent, I hit the ball well and it all just clicked into placement. But I didn't get it from thinking about technique, I got it from getting rid of the technique, not even going there. I completely have given up on it by that stage.

Speaker 3:

Again, credit to you. Not many people have the courage to say hey, my strength looks a bit different, but it's workable. I'm familiar with C-Valent. They used to call him the baby-faced assassin. Yes, and he used to pound it. He was one of the longer hitters on the ANZ Tour.

Speaker 2:

Yes, he was. He was only little. He was probably my height. He wasn't like 6'2" or anything. He was probably 5'9" or 10' maybe I'll stand corrected on that, but he was phenomenal. He was really good, but he had some success. I don't know what he's doing now, but he was so good, it was amazing.

Speaker 3:

Yes, another name that was quite popular back in that time was Stephen Leeney a beautiful golf swing In Melbourne. A couple of coaches stand up in my mind Dale Lynch and Stephen Bann. They were at the Australian Institute of Sports back then. The mindset back then was very technique oriented Only because that was when Fyder Woods first came out and his swing was supposedly perfect. It's touted by the media.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and if you look at Tiger's ball striking at certain weeks and certain months and certain days of the year. He was hit everywhere. He couldn't get his driver on the planet, but he had this amazing ability to get the ball on the hull. So he hit an incredible recovery shot. And if you look at the highlight reels of Tiger Woods, there's a lot of shots from the middle of the fairway but there's a hell of a lot of shots from the trees and under trees and hitting over water and hitting shots from the wrong fairways or fairway traps. So I mean he's a good example, tiger Woods, in many ways, but he's also a bad example because he was just so much better than everyone else. But yeah, tiger was far from perfect with his golf swing.

Speaker 3:

But he was extremely skillful with the club face and the club path to create different shots that the situation required. Yes, and that's a skill that is lost. Well, that's an aspect of the game that is lost on a lot of golfers. They go into a game thinking, okay, I've sorted my swing plane out, now it's 27.75 degrees on the way down, I will shoot part of the game. But unfortunately there's never the case and a lot of people back to our discussion earlier they think the look of a golf swing will determine success on the golf course. Nothing could be further from the truth and in the early 2000s Adam Scott's golf swing was the closest possible swing to Tiger Woods.

Speaker 3:

But their track record was very different. And a lot of golfers I feel they tend to practice only the easy stuff. So they go to the driving range. You have buckled balls, hit seven, iron hit six. Driver three would want that, but, as the case may be, they just go home. But that's not what you're going to find on the golf course. You slice your first tee shot to the right side of the fairway under some trees. You're going to be able to hit some punch shot and let it run out, maybe with some fade spin, some hook spin, as the situation demands, but many, many golfers are deficient in that area of the game, and golf is one of those few games where a practice arena is very different from the field of playing. Now, with that in mind, can you share with some of our listeners what does a an efficient practice routine look like?

Speaker 2:

Yes, look, I could talk all day about practice. I spent a lot of time researching practice and practice methods and ways of practicing to get better, and you make a really good point about when golfers go to the driving range. For the most part and I don't want to put everyone into the same bracket because everyone's a bit different, but for the most part what I see is that golfers go to the driving range and they want to practice success, and by success I mean they want to hit perfect shots time after time. So they'll stand on the driving range mat, they'll get one club, they'll put a club on the ground for a lineman, they'll pick a target and they'll hit 50, 60, 100 shots at the one target. The same shot over and over again.

Speaker 2:

Sadly, learning science will say that that golf is really only going to get exercise after the first shot or two. So, and what we don't do as humans, especially as adult male learners, for the most part is what we don't want to, what we don't tend to do, is practice failure. So we don't stand on the practice on the driving range with a seven iron and trying to hit a high hook, and then, once we've tried to hit a high hook. We don't then try and hit a low fade with a five iron. And then we don't try and hit a soft driver. We don't hit a knockdown. Three would beat. We hit the same shots over and over again. But learning science will say if you practice failure, you've actually hit shots that you don't. You're not that good at. When you go to the golf course, your learning, your retention, will be so much better. But some golfers probably find it annoying to practice failure.

Speaker 2:

I actually think it's quite enjoyable and makes practice entertaining. But I don't really practice much these days anyway. But when I did practice I had club string all over the driving range. I never hit the same shot twice. I never hit the same shot to the same target twice. I was just completely random. All sorts of weird and wonderful shots. And then when I went to the golf course I was ready to play, so I was playing. So I was practicing like I play rather than playing like I practice. So there's a very, very powerful statement there. Yeah, you really should, if you're going to practice, practice like you're out in the golf course. So change clubs, change shots and hit all sorts of weird and wonderful shots. Have some fun with it Like it's actually a fun game. I can't think of anything worse than standing on the practice fairway trying to figure out your swing plane or you know your risk, your risk position, or hitting a shot and then watching on video and then going back and forwards. I mean just, it's not much fun at all.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's what Hogan did Prior to playing in a tournament round. He would play the golf course in his mind on the range before he teed off. He said it and then he would go play. He said I play 36 holes every day. I'd play 18 on the practice team and then go out and play the real 18.

Speaker 2:

One of my favorite stories in golf and I've written about this and I've spoken about this in other podcasts before One of my favorite stories is about Nick Feldo, back in back in 1988, 89 when he was working with Leadbetter and you know, obviously Leadbetter is very technical and he apparently changed his swing and he went from too handsy to big muscle theory and there's books written about it.

Speaker 2:

But my favorite story about Nick Feldo during that time was every day he went out and played nine holes with one ball and his goal was to shoot a low score. Every day for two years he did that. So I believe, as a learning expert, that his success came from those nine holes not from all the technical ideas or maybe as a combination of, but those nine holes that he played every day. That was key to his success, because he didn't think about his swing, he didn't think about his technique, he went and played the game and to me that's very powerful and that doesn't really get spoken about much in golf circles. But yeah, I believe that those nine holes every day were critical for his success.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's awesome Again practice arena and the actual skills. I think the best thing that one can do is to practice on the golf course as opposed to practicing on the driving range, Because most driving range have all these rubber mats and golfers don't realize that you could miss it up to half an inch or an inch. The club still bounces into the mat, into the ball, but you're not going to get that kind of assistance on the golf course.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I've written about this extensively and one of my favorite practice ideas is for a golfer to practice on the golf course. So for practice to be successful, you need two things you need relevancy and you need frequency. The driving range gives you frequency. You can hit a thousand balls in an hour if you go fast enough. But you don't get the relevancy because there's not really golf. But if you go to the golf course and you take two or three balls with you and hit two or three shots off every tee and into every green, then you're getting the frequency as well. So you're getting relevancy and the frequency and I think that's the best practice that one can ever do. It just takes a bit more commitment, that's all. It's a bit harder to do that. You've got to get under the golf course, you've got to pay your money, you've got to walk around, but you're out in the fresh air. It's a good environment. It's much better than the boring, horrible, stale driving range, in my opinion.

Speaker 1:

I agree, I do this at my club all the time. I'll go out by myself in the afternoon and I'll hit different shots and, quite frankly, it's been so much more joyful to me because it's fun to try to hit low screamers around a tree or high hooks up over a tree, different shots in different wind conditions. How about different lies around greens, different bunker lies and things like that. But doing a Monoc golf course, I don't know, there's something magical to it. I think it accelerates the learning it has for me.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's magical, mate, because you're a problem solver and humans love learning. We're learning machines. If you look at kids playing with anything they play with their puppy dog or they're playing with Lego or they're riding their bikes or they're throwing baller and kids love it, they enjoy. Learning is fun for humans, but we get away from it. But when you treat golf like it's a skill, like all others, and you learn it and having fun and you solve problems, there's probably nothing better that a golfer can do. We mentioned that.

Speaker 2:

Tiger Woods how he gets in the trees. He's an unbelievable problem solver. He can stand 204 yards out in the rough. He's got to hit it over a tree. He'll find a way and that's why he was hitting shots, but no one ever thought of it. He's hitting pitching wedge 188 yards, flying it over all the trouble and rolling up to three feet. He did it all the time. I mean it wasn't a fluke. He ran the greens. All those amazing shots he hits or has hit just highlight the fact of how amazing he was. But we all can do it, but we tend not to, because we tend to want to conform to normal. We want to make sure our swings are right. Are we too scared to open the club face or close it or open the stance or do something radical? But I encourage everyone to get out there and find your radical and you can always come back. But we don't push ourselves enough and we don't allow the learning to really go to the next level.

Speaker 1:

Do you think that? Well, let me ask this one more question, justin. Do you think that it's because, cameron, in your opinion, the advent of certain technological advances track man, flight, scope, things like that that's boxing people in to a certain style versus yesteryear, where people of yesteryear were because this technology wasn't available. Maybe their heads were less cluttered and they can allow their natural creativity to come out without thinking about whatever.

Speaker 2:

It's definitely an element to that. Video cameras, probably back in the 90s, were everywhere. We were very prevalent. We didn't have track man, obviously. Look those devices.

Speaker 2:

And that technology can certainly help if you use the right way. I think there's got to be a balance. I know guys I grew up with guys and I still know these guys and they're still technocrats. They still can't go to the driving range without thinking about their swing. They've been doing this for 30, 35 years and they look at me and they go God, your handicap is amazing and you're still at the ball. Well, how do you do it? I go. Well, I've been saying the same shit for years. You need a level of discipline and you've got to, I think, make the break. But if you like doing that, if you love being a technocrat, if you love analyzing the golf swing forums and talking biomechanics, then do it if you love it. But you can't have it both ways. Sometimes you can't do that and still play really well, unless you're very lucky. My research suggests there's only a very small percentage of people that can be very technical and still play half decently very small, about 2%, because most of us don't learn that way Too hard to learn.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, there's just too much distraction in the head and our modern society where people have sometimes two iPhones and iPad and a laptop, there's just too much distraction. And I think your resting baseline for brainwave frequency is higher than it was in the late 80s and 90s. So you start adding I don't know technical thoughts, oh, I'm working on the thing my hips to do this and that brain doesn't work that way.

Speaker 2:

And I was just going to say sorry, justin, I was going to say and you add in instant gratification like humans now want everything instantly, like we want to watch a TikTok video that goes for 14 seconds and we want to be able to go out and take that to the golf course next time and play better. And it's it's not. I don't think it's reality. You can learn some good things on those short videos, but learning still takes time. Learning is messy and it's not. There's no magic. There's no you know magic pill where you can do one thing today and tomorrow. You're going to play unbelievably forever Like you might have a good round by luck. But yeah, it's not quick fix mentality, it's a blight. It's awful.

Speaker 3:

Correct and people don't realize that there is a price to pay for excellence. They think, oh, you know, if I just follow this formula, it'll be good and something really hilarious. At the club that I teach when golf digest started running stories of Josh Gankers and Matthew Wolf, I saw old guys trying to do the Matthew Wolf or George Gankers sit and rotate, move on the downside. It's just hilarious. So everyone is just looking for that silver bullet. Yeah, it's actually a process. It's not destination you never, you never, never arrive. It's an ongoing journey and I think if, if people realize how the brain learns, they make this journey much, much easier. And one of the key techniques, one of the key techniques that I love to use with golfers, is using constraints. And that's really how I got to know about you in the mid 2000s the shuggy, the shuggy, the strength led approach.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and you had also this bar stool Memory serves me correct. What do you use to call it the power stool? The power stool, yeah, so yeah, hey, this guy is. This guy is brilliant, because I never had any success with driving my legs. And then you go like, hey, you know what your legs are for standing on, just sit on this and make golf. And I go like, hey, that's exactly the field I was looking for. So what drove you? What drove you to create the shuggy back?

Speaker 2:

then. Well, I was involved in a biomechanical study, a very comprehensive study of a swing, back in 2003, 2004. I got my very small profile here in Australia led me to chatting with a sports scientist, a biomechanist, and he was out of New Zealand. So we went back and forth to New Zealand doing his study. Yeah, and just from that I just had this idea.

Speaker 2:

Well, to back up a little bit, the scientists that I work with were unbelievable. They're still, probably to this day, the best coaches I've ever worked with, even though they were very technical. They kept telling me, cameron, don't become obsessed with the technique. It's not the technique so much, he said, it's in how you coach it. And he says you can't go to the golf course with all this stuff running around your head. And they just kept telling me over and over again and that sort of worked well, with all the natural learning stuff I'd done to that point, but I was still on the edge, I was still teetering on edge. Do I go down natural learning or do I do this? Biomechanicals, golf swing, stuff. And so they really pushed me in the right direction and they found a whole range of ideas, but the Shuggy or the Drive Launcher came about because of the Austrian ski team. So the Austrian ski team had a team of scientists and they presented over in Canada where myself and the other sport scientists presented the golf swing model, and their presentation was just phenomenal. It was unbelievable.

Speaker 2:

And so, basically, to be very quick, the Austrian sports scientists devised all these training drills for the skiers to do during the summer months, and they didn't even look like skiing. There was one where they were sliding backwards and forwards on a plastic mat. They had a strange drill where they had weights on their shoulders and had to jump up. I can't recall the other one, but they had these drills and they did the drills during the summer months and when they came back to winter training camp, all their skiing times had improved over the summer months and that had never happened before. So I'm sitting here watching this going. This is unbelievable.

Speaker 2:

What would happen if I invented some training aids that allowed golfers to do the same thing? So that's how the Shuggy was devised, that's how my swing trainer was invented, that's how the PowerStall was invented, sort of conceptually. I haven't been able to commercially make that that viable at this point because it's quite a big thing and it's expensive to make and the cost of it was astronomical, but I might come back to it one day. So it's just a way of learning a technical part of the swing without thinking about it. So it ties in beautifully with natural learning. I love that.

Speaker 3:

So can we talk a little bit about bio swing? I'm pretty certain that our listeners are each looking to hear your how to smash the golf ball.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so the bio swing came about because of the biomechanical research. So it's a biomechanically optimized golf swing. The idea behind it was to take all this complicated data and I'm talking, there was hundreds of thousands of pages of numbers and I mean stuff that I could not understand, the average person couldn't understand. But I got to work with these really, really smart scientists for about six months and we translated all the complication into a very simple, usable golf swing model and that was bio swing and essentially there's seven principles, yeah, but the really quick, quick version of bio swing is the golf swing is a throwing motion. They prove that scientifically.

Speaker 2:

The term throwing motion is a scientific term in the sports field, sports science field. We all have an understanding of throwing. So if you take your golf club and you get comfortable at a dress and you throw it towards, you throw it down the fairway. If you're right handed, you throw it maybe two or three degrees slightly right of center, that would. That represents almost the perfect golf swing, but it's just basically throwing the club towards your target is a very, very good representation of the golf swing and I'm assuming your listeners will be able to understand that if they get outside. You know in a half an hour or so and try that. Yeah, that represents a very, very good golf swing.

Speaker 3:

So basically throw the golf club in baseball parlance to somewhere in between first and second base.

Speaker 2:

Well, not too much, not more, just slightly right of second base. Yes, if you're right handed, if you're left handed slightly to the left.

Speaker 3:

But even if you're on the second base, it won't be too bad.

Speaker 2:

You've just got to be careful because I've seen golfers throw the club over their heads and for a lot of golfers the club will go straight left. So don't do it inside and don't do it with your first born somewhere nearby. Make sure you're very safe.

Speaker 3:

It's interesting you mentioned this drill right. A lot of people do throw the club, but they throw the club head instead of the entire club. Now, if you just threw the club head, it's a lot of risk work, but you decide to throw the entire club, the entire body will have to coordinate that intention.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I've actually experimented quite a lot with this way back in the day. But, yeah, the club head is also very heavy, so you can get a good sense of that awareness of where that is in space. So I do actually recommend, if you have trouble with the club, you know, filling the club focus on the club head and that can also work. You know, work quite well, but you don't want to overdo this.

Speaker 2:

Again, you've got to keep in mind that the object of the game is to go out and hit the ball in the hole in the least number of shots. So don't spend all your time throwing the club, but just do it to get a feel of it and then go, go hit shots, go play golf, have some fun and then come back to it, you know, in a week's time or something. But yeah, you don't want to do it all the time, but you get out there and experiment it. So essentially, what the scientists found was that the power, the speed of the swing comes from these things your hands. The body is a reactive support mechanism, so the body supports the fast moving hands and arms. If you want to make the golf swing complicated, focus on hitting with your big muscles.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's like me coming to your house for breakfast and then you go like okay, justin, I'm going to scramble two eggs for you, but I'm going to use my big muscles to scramble these eggs. We'll be waiting forever for those scrambled eggs.

Speaker 2:

Correct. Well, we've got amazing ability to control our hands and arms. Like we feed ourselves, like the actual art of picking up food and putting it into our mouth is unbelievable. I don't know if robots could do it, but if you want to make, if you want a really good analogy, really good example to prove to yourself how dumb big muscle theory is is if you hold your arms out straight and don't bend your arms and try and punch someone as hard as you can See how you go.

Speaker 3:

You get punched out please.

Speaker 2:

Well, you'd be, you'd be in a lot of trouble, but yeah, you can't produce any power. But if you bend your arm, even just a little bit, you're able to produce incredible speed and power.

Speaker 3:

Another myth. And stylist, another myth in the golf game.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's a huge one, Big muscle theory. It did the rounds with Leadbetter. I think he wouldn't have been the first one to come up with it, but he certainly made it popular in the 80s and 90s with Feldo.

Speaker 3:

But yeah, big muscle theories that hit the ball of your body, yeah, but doesn't Give me ballad as well, if you remember.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's been a long time since I've looked at a golf book, so I don't go there anymore. My memory might be failing me a little bit, yeah, but again, if you want to make golf complicated, try focus on hitting the ball with your stomach, but to me it makes it almost impossible.

Speaker 3:

The golf ball with the stomach.

Speaker 2:

These are some of the drills that we were told way back in the day. We put the club over our shoulders and we had to do this, oh yeah. Body pivot, body pivot, body pivot. Take your hand down.

Speaker 3:

Turn in a barrel.

Speaker 2:

Turn in a barrel.

Speaker 3:

I guess I understand where these well-meaning folks, I guess, are referring or talking about, but the language wasn't precise enough. I suppose they're talking about rolling with club face shot so they hooked the ball. Yeah, but these days, with so many good golf coaches understanding anatomy, I do feel that the language is more precise than it was in the past.

Speaker 2:

I'll be getting better, there's no doubt, but you hit the nail on the head Our language isn't good enough to talk about it. I work with a learning expert and he said Cameron, describe what a banana tastes like.

Speaker 3:

Tough. If you've got a great vocabulary you might get close, but most people don't have a vocabulary that allows them to get the message across. So, case in point, I was just hitting some practice Practicing. The hit some stingers the other day at the range and this another golf pro was like oh, what are you doing? You're making it look so difficult. So I just asked him so how should I do it? He couldn't answer. He just said well, make it, make it easier. I'm like what does that even mean? Make it make it easier? So that's. The lack of precision in the language and the vocabulary actually retards the success that we could get with our students, and I really prefer your approach instead of saying, hey, let me start reading dictionaries and stuff like that. If we truly understand how the body learns and utilize natural learning techniques like, say, the launch pad, for example, it just makes life a whole lot easier for both the coach and the student.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. Look it's all about. In my opinion, coaching is all about working with the student as a mentor and guiding them and getting them to experience all sorts of different shots, but getting them ultimately, ultimately, at the end of the day, become their own learning machine. Because when you learn yourself and you learn things to the automatic level, you retain it for a long, long time, or much longer anyway, and then the skill is transferable to the course, and that's what. That's what that's in my mind. That's going to be the most important thing. Otherwise, what's the point of it? We all know people that are really good at on the driving range, but their hope was on the golf course. I was like that for a long time. I hated that. I didn't want to be that. I wanted to be the guy that was good on the golf course and you know, I couldn't care less about the practice fairway.

Speaker 3:

Last, last question for me would be let's talk about playing under pressure. How are there any tips that you could give our listeners to excelling under pressure?

Speaker 2:

How should we understand? I could talk all day about this and I've literally written 14 books on this sort of thing and hundreds of blog posts, and I've anyway to answer your question. There's no simple answer, but it all comes back to understanding. You know our human system being a learning machine. So if you approach golf from a learning perspective, you learn the skill to the automatic level. You're able to go to the golf course and focus on the process of getting the ball from point A to point B. You're going to be better suited to playing under pressure. If you go to the golf course and you're worried about your backswing, I don't think you got much chance. And it might not be your backswing. It could be your forearm rotation or your head position, or you're worried about what people think, or you're scared of succeeding. If there's some other mental deficiency, you're never going to play your best under pressure. But if you're able to start with a good model and the model being, I believe, a learning model, you've got. You've got. You've got, you've got. You've got science on your side, you've got mother nature on your side and you're maximizing your chances of success. And I say maximize because there's no guarantees.

Speaker 2:

I've had some horrific bad rounds. I mean, my last major competitive round was the club championships at my home club in Melbourne metropolitan and I completely copped it up. You know I should have won that match so easily and I still today get angry at myself for stuffing it up. There's no guarantees, but I maximized my chances on the day. I just didn't happen, and that's and that's, that's learning, that's life, that's golf. It can be hard, but what I didn't do after that bad round I was. I didn't take my game apart and try and reinvent the wheel. You know, next time I played, you know, and that was really what was that? It was 15, 16 years ago, I think, 15 years ago. I'm still a pretty, you know, half handy player and I haven't destroyed my game. Did I answer the question, justin? I probably went around in a few circles there.

Speaker 3:

No, you did. You did Basically. If you, if you uh, not stop thinking about technique, you have a better chance. If you, if you go to the golf course with your your own swing, as opposed to what someone some well-meaning coach wants you to swing like, you have a better chance because you don't have all these distractions of am I on plane or off plane, my weight shifting or not. If you just think of moving the ball to spot, keep it a target focus game, you got a better chance.

Speaker 2:

Can I just add? I've got a couple of points I need to add. There's nothing wrong with having golf lessons and seeing golf coaches. Absolutely. If you're struggling with a part of your game or your swing or you want to learn something new, absolutely go to the golf coach and have lessons and work on your swing. Just be just be mindful that when you go to the golf course you really should be playing the game, not playing golf swing. And you said what's a good way to play under pressure or coping with pressure.

Speaker 2:

Let me give you three things that that your listeners can take away Um, so they can go out tomorrow or later in the weekend or next week or whenever, and play well or maximize their chances. The first thing is you have to be very clear on your intention. So when you're standing on the first tee, you have to know. You know you have to know where your target is and what club's going to get the ball there. So that you've got to be very clear on your, your intention. You can't be stressed about the people behind you and what they're thinking about your swing or whatever. Be clear on your intention. Two, you have to accept the result. No matter what happens, you have to accept the result. And three, which is sort of related to two, is you got to repeat. You got to do those, those, those three steps over and over until you get into the clubhouse and you enjoy that first beer. So there's a challenge, but you know there's a challenge for your listeners right there. One, clearing your intention to accept the result. And three repeat Wise words.

Speaker 1:

indeed, I would say that is very, very strong. Hey, I have one comment before we, before we, before we stop, coming from a student's perspective. This is coming from a wise student perspective. So for anybody who's listening, and I want you two teachers to comment on it, especially when you're getting a technical lesson.

Speaker 1:

I just had this epiphany the other day about if, if I were to get a technical lesson and I was confused about something in particular.

Speaker 1:

I was thinking what would it be like to ask the instructor how is this going to help me get the ball in the hole? If you're, if you're going to have me do a plane shift, how is this going to help me get the ball in the hole? As far as, maybe accelerating learning, how is this going to so and so, to keep some intertwinement, because we're we're definitely talking about you know you, when you build a golf swing, you create the myelin and this is what Cameron's talking about and then you go and you let it go and you trust that you're not going to lose, that You're not going to lose a myelinated golf swing or putting strength. You're just. It might be a little rusty because you talked yourself into it, but but I was just thinking about that. Like, what would it be like if I asked somebody how is this going to help me get the ball in the hole on Sunday? You guys have any thoughts on that?

Speaker 2:

Well, my advice would be just just just just put it to the test. There's nothing better than putting it to the test. Get out there and see what happens.

Speaker 2:

Fair enough, I also say that from a from a natural learning perspective. I don't care what the technique is. There's a way of coaching it in a way that that won't disrupt the students learning system. There'd be a way to do it and I've proven this so many times. I can again. I could talk. We could do a whole podcast series on this. We could create a hundred podcasts on this, on how to teach a technically sound golf swing in a way that's done in a that's done in a natural learning way. So you know how to learn a better golf swing without complication.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to hold you to it, I'm going to hold you to it. I'll do 100 episodes, justin.

Speaker 3:

Any more thoughts and closing no, no Can you tell us the how our listeners can find you and what products you have available for them?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, my website's automatic golfcom. What I'll do, if you guys are interested, and maybe Jesse the technical guru here can put it in in product post production is we'll put a link on the screen somewhere right now, but we'll put a link and we'll I'll speak to you guys off camera and we'll come up with a little package and then that way, if they're interested in putting, they get the putting. If they're interested in the natural golf swing, they get that. If you're interested in you know, automatic golf is a general philosophy they can get my book on that as well. So well, maybe we'll put a good package together for you guys. So yeah, you're getting some bang for your back.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. And especially my favorite of Camerons is the look and shoot ebook. About putting that I swore by Absolutely. It's no longer an ebook, this is an actual paperback book. Look at that, that's beautiful.

Speaker 2:

It's an ebook, but you can get a hard copy as well. So, yeah, but I'll put a link together for you guys. Yeah, and we can go from there. But the golf swing stuff, I'm actually quite interested in it, but only from a natural learning perspective. Like if you said to me let's talk swing mechanics, I'd probably fall asleep. But yeah, if we start talking about, yeah, natural learning and swing mechanics and a way of learning a swing without complication, then I think you'd be your head of the curve.

Speaker 1:

Amen to that. Gents, thank you for this great, always great talking to you and we'll talk soon, thanks guys Thanks for having me.

Speaker 2:

guys Really enjoyed it, cheers.

Learning Putting With Cameron Strachan
Optimal Golf Swings and Learning Mindset
Golf Swing Technique and Practice Importance
Practicing Failure in Golf
Effective Golf Practice and Learning Techniques
The Science Behind Throwing and Golf
Improve Golf Performance, Cope With Pressure
Ebook to Paperback With Golf Discussion