Golf at the service of your personal development: Sculpting your brain and your swing

The swing is built from an intention, that of freeing your brain from any parasite to keep only the essence of the movement in the direction of a target. Beyond the obstacles, be determined to free your body from its gangue. Commit fully to your goal, like Rory flying in the Ryder Cup above the ancient oaks! If the blow falls in the water, nothing serious: put your work back on the loom, you will end up reaching green paradise!

To name this 13th hole, I once again stuck to the terrain: the island in the line of the oaks, explains the creator of L’Albatrossthe architect Hubert Chesneau. It’s not an easy hole, but I like it. You have to know how to place your drive to facilitate your second shot, because the body of water collects its share of balls! When Ryder Cup, Rory McIlroy landed a truly exceptional shot from the rough, during the foursome. His partner, Poulter, had sent his drive to the right on the slope, at the edge of the water. McIlroy had an absolutely unplayable shot, and he managed to stick it 1.50 m from the flag going over the trees! It was extraordinary. I really like this oak island for the aesthetic pleasure of this 2nd shot between the trees, above the water “. A hole that requires a lot of physical and cerebral flexibility.

The brain is a sculpture

The golf swing is a complex motion, like jumping a cat across a table, that uses minimal energy with maximum effect.

To achieve this, the objective is to keep only the essence of the movement, that is to say to eliminate all contractions, tensions, useless solicitations to allow the best possible coordination. By starting by eliminating all the parasitic micro-gestures, often due to a poor understanding of the task to be performed and to parasitic cognitive and muscular tensions.

That’s why I talk about sculpting your swing to keep only the grace.

Your brain should have only one thing in mind: efficiency. What target? What impact?

The latest advances in neuroscience have shown that the brain also sees itself as a sculpture. Indeed, the brain is built not by successive accumulations of material, as in painting, but by removal of material, as in sculpture. But sculpture is one of the most difficult art, where the right to make mistakes is very limited. Therefore, let’s stop messing around with our brains, as Professor Raphaël Gaillard, psychiatrist, head of center at Sainte Anne, explains to us, very interested in the specific health benefits of our sport.

A school of patience with magnificent strokes

Unfortunately, the health benefits of playing golf are not obvious, especially at first. Although club training and competitions take place in teams, like team sports, golf is often perceived as a solitary activity. And when you deign to try, you can quickly lose patience, because you can’t let off steam. “For the older ones, it’s so much easier to sit on the sofa and criticize the results of the best French players. For younger kids, it’s so much easier to do eagles on Play Station that it can be extremely frustrating to do quintuple bogeys in real life.

Professor Raphael Gaillard : “ For teenagers, it is important to follow this school of frustration, because the reality of life is like this, whatever exercise we have. In life, there are plenty of sources of frustration, but you have to deal with them in order to obtain, even more forcefully, the pleasure of successful things. Fortunately, in golf, not everything is about effort, constraint, the necessary wait. This is one of the strengths of the “golf device”: there is, in practice, something that really catches on very quickly. And this something really fascinated me, even on my scale as a mediocre golfer: it’s the fact that, from time to time, including beginners, we make a magnificent shot!

If, as a beginner, we are able to produce such a blow, quite logically, we say to ourselves that by working on it, we will succeed in reproducing it…

Raphael Gaillard

I think that’s a huge part of the interest of the approach: you can clearly see that it’s possible, in fact, and that this perfect balance is accessible, even when you’re not experienced. So if, as a beginner, we are able to produce such a blow, quite logically, we say to ourselves that by working on it, we will succeed in reproducing it. It can become addictive, but it will always be an addiction that takes the measure of time, which is still very different from the immediate adrenaline rush, sugar, fat or cocaine.

I think it’s a very beautiful school of effort, of learning, which requires work.

There will always be something lacking, or almost, we will never play perfectly, but we will regularly have a glimpse of the beautiful gesture, of this pleasure which is not that of narcissism, but of an almost aesthetic pleasure, something beauty thing…

I find that it is therefore a very beautiful school of effort, of learning, which requires work. This successful shot regularly gives us this glimpse of what it would feel like to play really well. It is something intensely motivating. But we can clearly see that it is necessary to be part of a temporality of several hours, several months, even years to progress, always having the possibility, one day, of being really good, since we are already capable of doing very beautiful things.

It is not a question of responding immediately to a request, as we do on a daily basis, or even every minute, with our smartphones, with this kind of constant dependence on the immediate reward which, in fact, completely bursts our attention. This is truly one of the major dimensions of the game of golf. On this point, I tell myself that it would be interesting to cultivate this approach for young people, because there is a real challenge, today, in relation to time among young adults, among adolescents “.

Moving forward with feedback

Golf therefore leads us to address the fundamental themes of personal development, “soft skills”, these human skills essential to the expression of technical skills.

In golf, you learn to better manage the different times of concentration, action and relaxation. We learn to appreciate the deferred pleasures, the benefits of patience (a course is eighteen holes, an event lasts four days, the championships are spread over a season).

To help us last over time, with every production, every move – whether good or bad – we get immediate feedback. This instant feedback on the gesture that we have just made confirms whether or not we are in the right direction, and motivates us to continue. We find in this bubble of relaxed attention, this mastery of time, emotions and energies, this direct and positive feedback of information, the fundamental ingredients of flow, this state conducive to great performance.

We are not born champion, we become one

Being able to act without constraints, without parasites, in complete freedom, without unnecessary loss of resources requires having solid foundations, which are acquired through specific work directed towards a specific objective. A necessary training to better control the situation, to improvise, to excel in one’s field whatever the circumstances.

I would have preferred to tell you that all you need to do is let go, meditate, have a hypnosis session, buy a lucky charm, but that would be lying to you.

We are not born champions, we become one.

Celine Boutier confided: As a child, I was not naturally good at golf, and rather bad at it. So I knew that if I wanted to have a chance to improve, I had to practice “.

The very experienced Glwadys Nocera confirms: All my career, I evolved with a mental trainer. But be careful, it has to be used to improve on a specific subject. Maturity is also important in this sport, as is determination. Know yourself, know what you want, by following these guidelines, we can give ourselves the means to succeed “.

A good preparation for a good decision

I will conclude with mishima : “ The experienced Samurai thinks neither of victory nor of defeat; he just fights like a madman to the death. It is the duration of the preparation that allows the speed of decision. […] To live, isn’t it then to prepare for this moment of decision? […] It is of paramount importance to discipline oneself, so as to know how to act when the hour of destiny strikes. “. Don’t think about winning or losing: practice playing fair.


This article is a digest excerpt from the book The Albatross the course of life*

Whatever your level (from beginner to pro), do not hesitate to contact Jean-Christophe Buchotcoach in strategy and performance optimization, for specific support:

* The Albatross, life course, published by Amphoraby JCh Buchotwith the support of the ffgolf. More info on:


Your progress depends on your strategic and psychological approach on the course, which is why we invite you to consider each golf course as an initiatory journey.

And this trip, we suggest you do it on the mythical course of the National Golf, the Albatross, by finding here the previous episodes:

Episode 1: FORWARD – Gain momentum

Episode 2: LANDING – Finding your mission

Episode 3: LE MÉRANTAIS – Finding your element

Episode 4: CHATEAUFORT — Find your strength

Episode 5: FULL GAZ – Finding your passion

Episode 6: CORN AND RAPE – Finding your roots and your wings

Episode 7: THE CAMEL – Becoming happy with your Game

Episode 8: GREEN-KEEPER — Becoming Competent Unconscious

Episode 9: UPWIND — Play in Safe Mode

Episode 10: LA MARE AUX FOULQUES – Getting better prepared to go further

Episode 11: THE FROGS – Reaping the positive with Patricia Meunier-Lebouc

Episode 12: LE GOULET – Performing on the course and beyond

This article is a digest excerpt from the book L’Albatros, course of life*

Whatever your level (from beginner to pro), do not hesitate to contact Jean-Christophe Buchotcoach in strategy and performance optimization, for specific support:

©JCH.BUCHOT – 2022

Golf at the service of your personal development: Sculpting your brain and your swing – Golf Planète