Why do we call a frustrated Golfer a Monkey? It has nothing to do with one’s ability. It has to do with how a Golfer goes about learning. I’ve seen Monkey’s that shoot in the low 80’s and I’ve seen Players that are just starting to break 100. The difference is that the Monkey will become frustrated because they’re in the same scoring range for an extended period of time – while the Player is excited because they’re seeing improvement every time they step on the golf course.
The Monkey uses the same bad habits over and over expecting to improve. The Monkey continually goes to the practice range without a PLAN banging ball after ball in rapid fire succession expecting to hit straighter shots. The Monkey hits their 3 wood for their second shot on every Par 5 regardless of the situation expecting to get closer to the green. The Monkey tries every new tip and gimmick hoping to find something magical.
The Player on the other hand has a PLAN. They know what the Strengths and Weaknesses of their golf swing are. They know how to practice their Driver. They know how to practice their fairway woods. They know how to practice their wedges to create backspin. They know how to practice their putting for 45 minutes without it becoming as boring as watching paint dry.
What’s the difference between a Monkey and a Player? It’s how they go about learning to play better. The Monkey gets stuck in a scoring range and then will try anything in desperation to start improving again – though often times they become more and more frustrated. The Player sees and feels continual improvement – the Player often has other Golfers asking them how they’ve improved so fast.
For example: when the Monkey wants to improve their Driver; they go to the driving range to hit ball after ball towards the middle of the range. And this Golfer will often hit the ball well enough to feel that they had improved. Yet, the next time on the golf course – reality sets in – and you’re not hitting youir Driver as well as you did on the driving range.
Why does this happen so frequently to the Monkey? Why can the Monkey hit it so well on the range and then when they go to the golf course ….. well, let’s just say it doesn’t go as well. While the Player often hits their Driver as well and in fact, many times they even hit their Driver better on the golf course.
When the Player wants to improve their Driver; they also can go to the driving range. Though, they have a PLAN that they’ll stick with. Part of that PLAN is that the middle of the range isn’t a target. Why? Because the middle of the driving range isn’t as defined as the golf course. When’s the last time you saw a fairway with the middle as wide as the middle of the driving range? Also, when have you ever seen the middle of a driving range include water, trees, fairway bunkers and other assorted distractions such as houses?
The Player hits their Driver to different targets just like they do on the golf course. And the Player that’s really taking their game to the next level is the Player that makes their targets on the driving range – smaller than the targets that they’ll see on the golf course. The Monkey does the complete opposite by making a target on the driving range that’s over twice as big as the target they’ll have on the golf course.
No wonder the Monkey gets frustrated on the golf course!
The Player uses a PLAN to make ‘fairways’ on the driving range. I say ‘fairways’ as opposed to the ‘fairway’ because as the Monkey just keeps hitting to the middle of the range – the Player is constantly changing their targets. Why? Well, is every golf hole straight and over 100 yards wide like the driving range?
You have the talent to be a Player. You know it and I know it. The problem is that you might be going at it like a Monkey.
The Monkey will read the above and say ‘I know what I’m doing, I’m so close to improving – I just need to hit more balls and I’ll improve’
The Player knows that Tiger, Annika, Jack, Lorena and every successful Player has a PLAN that doesn’t include just banging golf ball after golf ball into the middle of the driving range.
Are you happy with your progress? Do you have a PLAN other than just banging ball after ball into the middle of the driving range?
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life