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Archived Newsletters - Who Are You? The Craftsman?:

Newsletter March 2004
Vol. V, Edition 3

Who Are You? The Craftsman?
By Joan King

This month is a continuation of the description and analysis of the four basic personality and behavior patterns as they relate to golf performance. January began with a description of "The Driver" personality and February with "The Socializer" personality. This month will profile "The Craftsman".

Your peak performance is in large part determined by your personal management of your own behavior. The more you understand your own behavior patterns, the more you can adapt to the different situations that come up on the golf course. The less you understand, the fewer options you have.

As humans, everyone can be included in four basic types of behavioral tendencies. Everyone has some of each of the four basic styles but you probably have more of one type than the others. When you understand your personality, you can then consider the strengths and weaknesses specific to your style and relate them to your behavior on the golf course. Under pressure your strengths could become your weaknesses because without this knowledge you will probably use the behavior that makes you feel most comfortable.

I. The Driver: The "grip it and rip it" player will have an advantage on wide open, long courses and not so great an advantage on tight, placement courses.

II. The Socializer: The social golfer feels very comfortable in a sociable foursome, but less comfortable in a tournament where there is no sociability.

III. The Craftsman: A player who is steady, "on the fairway, on the green, two putts" plans and executes well, but is less comfortable in situations s/he hasn't encountered before.

IV. The Analyzer: This cautious player carefully plans out his/her game, plays conservatively and makes few mistakes, but has a tendency not to take risks and stretch his/her limits.

There is no best style. This is the way you have adapted to your environment and live your life. Each personality style has its positive and negative aspects. What is important, is to know yourself so you can avoid your negative side in stressful situations and then be able to use the best aspect of your personality.

Our lives would be so much easier if everyone was like us and there was no conflict. Since this is not a truism, understanding how people operate their lives differently from the way you do will help you to be more tolerant of their behavior. Your behavior will be influenced by others and by the situation you are in. The best attitude is to enjoy the similarities and accept the differences. If you don't do this, you will sabotage your peace of mind and your golf game.

Your behavior will be influenced by others and by the situation you are in. The best attitude is to enjoy the similarities and accept the differences. If you don't do this, you will sabotage your peace of mind and your golf game.

Characteristics:
The "Craftsman" is the golfer known for their steadiness. These are the swingers who swing at the ball instead of ripping it. They care about correct swing mechanics and practice hard. They appear to be relaxed and play down the middle, on the green, putt-putt. When they shoot "lights out" it looks routine. They like performing in consistent and predictable golf patterns, are very patient, and concentrate on the task at hand and stay with it until it is completed. They plan their work and work their plan. They like routine and rely on their most practiced shots. They use shots that fit the situation and don't like to risk something they haven't done before. These people are even tempered, only rarely showing emotion. They appreciate others and like to be appreciated in return. They are primarily left brain learners and can get fixated by the mechanics of the golf swing; paralysis by analysis.

Tendencies of the "Craftsman":
  • Likes SECURITY and things not to change.
  • Doesn't risk something they haven't practiced or done before.
  • More interested in working the ball than controlling the club.
  • Works hard to develop correct swing mechanics.
  • Practices hard and constantly monitors swing.
  • Wants lots of details before the concept makes sense.
  • Plays at a steady, unhurried pace.
  • Develops specialized skills and uses shots that fit the situation.
"Craftsman" Professionals:
  • Vijay Singh
  • Nick Faldo
  • Tom Kite
  • Hal Sutton
  • Steve Elkington
"Craftsman" Strengths:
  • A consistent ball-striker due to the amount of effort to make the swing grooved.
  • Plays well in all kinds of conditions due to a dependable swing.
  • Fast starter after long layoffs.
  • Concentrates on the task at hand.
  • Can calm excited players.
"Craftsman" Weaknesses:
  • Tends to become stuck in mechanics and details instead of the whole flowing swing.
  • Rhythm and range of motion are second to mechanics.
  • Short game may lack imagination due to the practice time spent on the full swing.
  • Under pressure they will become tentative and leave the ball short.
How to Improve:
The "Craftsman" golfer loves security and will put a lot of time and effort into developing a repeatable swing. They need to play the shots instead of making swings. They need to be more focused on where they want the ball to end up, not on what the swing feels or looks like.
  • Visualize the trajectory and curve of the shot.
  • Use creativity in playing the game.
  • Remember the whole game picture.
  • Allow validation of self-worth by others and themselves.
  • Use a competent coach who has a genuine concern for them.
The "Craftsman" personality is usually an auditory learner. They want to hear how to do something and become overly concerned with the parts. They tend to be left brained and oriented to long term results. They prefer a teaching pro who will give them a method.

In a stressful golf situation, the "Craftsman" needs to:
  • Remember the outcome and the whole game picture.
  • Breathe, using coping skills to free up the mind and body.
  • Use creativity to solve a problem.
  • Validate self-worth and enjoy good shots.
  • Develop a pre-shot routine using rhythm and visualization.
No human quality is good or bad except as it is used. Used properly it indicates a strength of character, improperly used it causes problems.

The Optimist Creed: Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Wear a cheerful countenance at all times, and greet every living creature you meet with a smile.

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