1. I will never go to the driving range to work on my golf swing without a Practice PLAN based on using a specific drill after every 6 shots.
Golfers often have ineffective practice habits when they go to the driving range. Remember, the hitting of the golf ball shouldn’t be considered practice.
Practicing a drill to work on a specific area of your swing is effective practice. The hitting of the golf ball should be used to indicate what drill you should practice before hitting your next 6 golf balls.
2. I will never practice my swing or try a new “swing tip” on the driving range before going out to play.
If you ever watched a PGA Tour Player before a round … they don’t practice their swing. They are loosening their swing and warming up their “golf mind”. Yes, they will practice after the round … but they rarely practice their swing before a round.
Go to the range to hit golf balls and find your Pace of Swing for the day … however, “the kiss of death” is practicing before your round.
3. I promise myself never to be concerned with the Golfers in the group behind me. Because whenever I’m worried about other Golfers … I start playing badly.
Your job on the golf course isn’t to stay in front of the Golfers behind you … as much as it is to keep up with the Golfers in front of you. If you always keep up with the Golfers in front of you – the Golfers behind you can’t say anything negative about your pace of play.
Play golf with a clear mind and without worry. There’s enough to think about without being concerned with the Golfers behind you.
4. I will never walk up to my golf ball without first making a specific PLAN to where I want to try to hit the golf ball.
The best Players that play the most consistent golf will walk behind the ball to make a PLAN on every shot. They will not always accomplish their PLAN perfectly … however, by having a PLAN, their worst shots will not turn out as bad as the worst shots of the Golfer without a PLAN.
5. After a bad shot I’ll never say: I wish I could just hit a golf ball with my practice swing.
Taking a practice swing and hitting a golf ball are two totally different tasks. Without a ball … there’s no anxiety … so of course it will always feel smoother.
Plus, in a practice swing, because you’re not seeing the result of how the the golf ball flies … you have no basis to judge how effectively you swung. It may have felt smooth … but that doesn’t tell you if you would’ve hit the ball straight.
6. I will never again complain after I hit my tee shot a couple yards off the fairway and into the rough.
Just because your ball ended 2 yards to the left or right of the fairway doesn’t automatically put your tee shot into the bad category.
Justin Thomas (just won a PGA Tour event last week and over $3,500,000 in 2015) hits just over half his fairways (58%). If a guy good enough to play and win on the PGA Tour misses over 2 out of every 5 fairways – how many should you expect to miss … more or less?
7. I will never let a bad shot bother me for more than 30 seconds afterwards.
The best Players have short term memory loss on the golf course because they know that if they continue thinking about a bad shot while preparing for their next shot … more bad things are going to happen. And this trend will continue to escalate shot after shot until you start to hate the game.
Yes, all that misery over the last 2 hours stems from one bad shot, 8 holes ago, that you couldn’t let go after 30 seconds.
8. I will never – not celebrate a good shot.
Most Golfers spend more energy on their bad shots and not enough energy celebrating their good shots. After a good shot … congratulate yourself.
Too many Golfers have an unrealistic attitude of acting like they expect to consistently hit great shots. Then, when they hit a halfway decent shot, they complain that it’s not good enough. C’mon … you’re not a Tour Professional on the PGA Tour.
Celebrate your great shots and enjoy what you just accomplished. You had to work hard for that great shot … enjoy it!
The Monkey continually repeats the “never’s” … thus is consistently reinforcing inconsistency and frustration
The Player has a thorough PLAN so that they are consistent from the practice range to the golf course
Go ahead, be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life