The question each Golfer needs to ask is: “how many shots in a row can I expect to make a good golf swing?”
Is the answer 3? Is it 5 shots in a row? Or do you just need to find the secret to your golf swing so that you never hit a bad shot again?
Most Golfers lump all their ‘not so good’ shots into one bucket – the ‘bad shot category’. Which means that each golf swing is being judged as either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’.
Although counterintuitive … by judging yourself this way … you’re making it more difficult to become consistent. Because if you’re judging your golf game on just good or bad … good often becomes synonymous with a perfectly struck golf ball. And anything less than perfect gets tossed into the ‘bad category’. Yet all bad shots (as well as good shots) are not created equal.
The Golfer that judges his/her level of consistency this way never improves because at least 8 out of every 10 shots you hit will fall into the ‘bad category’. But in reality you should open your mind to understanding that some bad shots are awful … but some bad shots aren’t nearly as bad and still leave you a chance to make a good score.
Use the two shots below to get a better picture:
You have 126 yards to the center of the green. You hit behind the golf ball and it goes just 60 yards and leaves you 66 yards short of your target. Bad shot?
On the next hole you’re 138 yards to the center of the green. You hit your shot and feel as if you didn’t hit it well … as the golf ball flies low and curves slightly to the right. However, it ends up just 8 yards short of the green. Bad shot?
So do both shots fall into the ‘bad shot’ category? Not for the Player!
The Player doesn’t characterize their shots as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. The Player defines his/her shots on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being awful and 10 being perfect). Which allows this Golfer to truly understand how’re they’re playing that day … as well as being more adept to making the proper corrections in their golf swing.
Whereas the Golfer that puts both those shots into the ‘bad category’ starts to get down on him/herself … as well as not knowing what the correction needs to be in their golf swing. Thus the Golfer becomes frustrated with their inconsistency and starts to accelerate their downward spiral by desperately trying anything they can think of to “fix” their golf swing.
The Player is smarter than that … he/she will use a system of rating their shots to make improvements. For example – the Player might have rated the first shot (the one hitting behind the golf ball) as a 2, but the next shot as a 6. “Ok, that was better. Still not as good as I’d like … but that was much better than the swing in which I hit behind the golf ball.”
As opposed to the normal, frustrated Golfer response: “Jeesh, I stink. Why can’t I get this? Why can’t I hit a good shot?”
Now decide which Golfer is going to have a better chance of staying more consistent with their swing throughout the round? Or another way of asking: if both those Golfers had equal talent … which Golfer would have the better score after 18 holes?
I’m not sure if you can put a value on the importance of understanding your swing mechanics – however I do know the value of having a PLAN intertwined with understanding your golf swing mechanics far exceeds the former. Which means – I have seen so many Golfers that have the ability to hit good golf shots … but the inability to put it together for more than one or two shots in a row.
Yet, with a small improvement in their swing mechanics using drills that pertain to their swing inadequacies … along with establishing a PLAN (that includes rating their shots) — these Golfers are able to accomplish great things with their golf game!
The Monkey is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ … but perpetually inconsistent
The Player combines their swing mechanics with their PLAN … to stay consistent
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life