- Posted by Will Stubbs
- On July 17, 2019
Geek Rating – 3/5
Read Time – 4 Mins
Watch Time – 18 Mins
You only become creative if you seek it out. Innovation and divergent thinking comes from the constraints we experience. Don’t let these constrain our thinking but explore the opportunities in the task. Different clubs for different shots, less clubs in the bag and get the Mullen Mindset.
This TED talk by legendary skateboarder Rodney Mullen highlights how we are creatures of our environment. In so we are shaped by the continually changing aspects of the world. We are adaptive systems in a dynamic and complex world. One of the key messages is his process of creating new moves and skills is from a somewhat melting pot of fundamental skills. Here he has a developed a broad foundation of skills from where he explores how different tricks may fit the characteristics of the environment.
Let’s consider this in respect to developing our skill expertise in golf. The key word here is explore. Let’s consider this from the short game. Take a look at the shot pictured below and put your Mullen hat on. You’re probably already thinking you know the exact shot you’d play, that fine, but that’s not ‘Mullen Mindset’. I want you to think how many different shots you could play from here. Get a piece of paper and list them out. Now next to the type of shot, put what club you would play them with.
Rip the paper in half and then up so into two piles of shot types and clubs you’d hit. Now it’s time to challenge yourself or even better do so with a friend to add a bit of competition element to it. It’s time to put your repertoire to the test. At random select one shot type and one from the club pile. Aim of the game is to get up and down or better with every attempt. Keep your overall score +/- against par.
This isn’t about getting really good at hitting one certain club for one certain shot but building a broad repertoire of shots and learning how to manipulate the loft of the club, it’s motion through the ball, your grip, stance and ball position. It’s about becoming adaptive and exploring the club as a tool just like how an artist uses a brush. From a skill acquisition science perspective, we call this exploring the degrees of freedom in the task. Research shows us that the best players are to utilize these degrees of freedom a lot more when performing. In other words, if you want to get better at shot making and being creative you’ve got to push the boundaries of how you not just perform shots, but in so how you see the opportunities to play them. This is a great way to envision creativity in our golf game. How many ways can I play this shot? This will encourage you to seeing new and novel solutions to the problems you may face on the course and potentially everyday life, this is #TheZenWay.
Here a few more ways to bring challenge into your game to spark creativity:
- Less clubs in the bag
- Long irons for short game (think Seve on the beach with his 4 iron)
- Can only hit the green with odd numbered clubs
- 14 club challenge – Every time you use a club you can’t use it again – How far can you get around the course?
“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” Albert Einstein
Keep us up to date with your development on social media and #ZenYourGame. Use the hashtag #ZenMyGame and tag your videos or pictures of scores, shot and clubs you used for a shout out.