The Breakthrough Golf process was conceived in 1978 as a result of a series of synchronized events leading to a profound yet simple moment of self realization. Ten years later there was another sequence of events pieced together from two separate incidents on the same day:
In the morning I received feedback from my departmental Chairperson regarding my “lack of follow through”. Later that day, while playing golf at Brookside in Pasadena, I found myself slicing everything to the right. When I asked for feedback from my playing partner he pointed to my “lack of follow through”.
It was clear that whatever patterns of unresolved mental/emotional issues were demonstrated in one arena played out in other areas of one’s life as well. The golf course might prove to be an excellent learning laboratory to identify such patterns and experiment with tools to cause a breakthrough in these patterns.
What started as an epiphany became a passionate pursuit. For the next several months I endeavored to play golf three times a week with three people I did not know each outing. At the end of the round I would offer my observations and ask for feedback as to the accuracy of my descriptions. In about 90 per cent of the time what I had observed as patterns in their golf games were indeed descriptive of patterns of behavior or tendencies in other areas of life such as business, personal relationships and other sport activities.
The next challenge was to discover a methodology that could be used to effect a breakthrough with these observable patterns of undesirable processes.
No discernible progress was made until 1982 in which I read: Golf in the Kingdom and the Inner Game of Golf. Several months later I was introduced to Eddie Merrins, head coach of the UCLA Golf Team who challenged me to develop a mental fitness program for his players.
A year later Tim Galloway was delivering a key note speech to the American Society of Training and Development. I approached him after his speech, introduced myself and told him about my Breakthrough Golf process. We exchanged cards and eventually developed a collaborative relationships playing golf several times together, sharing our approaches in order to support each others growth.
Through referrals from Tim, I began working one on one with many people who loved the Inner Game framework. I would then launch into a deeper exploration of issues that were unresolved in people’s lives using our time together on the golf course to track progress in those areas.
Through referrals from many of the UCLA players I had worked with, I began working with members of the PGA tour. However I found work with professional golfers somewhat shallow and meaningless. They wanted that technique they could use to give them the edge. I wanted to explore deeper issues. There was a disconnect.
During the past thirty nine years since these seminal discoveries we at Starquest have used golf as a medium for self discovery and transformation. Whenever my clients indulge me I drag them onto the course and the two of us pursue the miracles that occur through telling the truth and watching the immediate impact on the flight of the ball.
For the past 20 years the Starquest team have been delivering seminars entitled: Becoming Mentally Prepared for Extraordinary performance. WE have delivered over 750 such presentations to executives, senior management teams, sales teams etc. During each presentation we use a putting exercise as metaphor to illustrate the impact that our focus has on the process of performance.
Burton takes any new client he works with out on to the putting green or in the hallways at Microsoft and does breakthrough golf as a way of illustrating the impact of their focus on process and desired results.
In 2001 Burton even took his putter along to the locker room of the Dallas Mavericks just before playoffs and worked with Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki.
He was so effective that Steve Nash actually incorporated what he learned from Burton into his free throw routine. Burton has worked with actors, motion picture directors and even Shaquille O’Neal taking a putter, balls and a paper cut into the shape of a golf hole into their living rooms and offices clearly demonstrating the impact of their focus and spirit on desired outcomes and how to rapidly identify and interrupt patterns of ineffective thinking and behavior.
Burton’s work with Shaq during the 2002-3 NBA finals contributed to a dramatic increase in Shaq’s free throw effectiveness which helped the Lakers win the championship.
Whether on the golf course, in the hall way of your office, or in the training room the Breakthrough golf coaching process enables the client to rapidly view The patterns of thought and behavior that undermine performance, communication, and being present.