Can I Ask You a Golf Question?
Can I ask you a question? Do you want to hit the golf ball good? Do you want to hear people say to you – “Oh, you hit that ball good!”?
Now I must ask you – Does my poor English bother you?
Or did you not even notice that I should’ve asked – “May I ask you a question?” along with using word “well” as opposed to “good” in the next 2-sentences. Why do I ask this question? Because even though my English wasn’t proper in those questions, you would’ve probably answered my question without hesitation and without any problems. We could have a nice conversation about your golf game. Yet, on the golf course if your swing isn’t the “Proper Golf Swing” – you might always be trying to make it perfect. And perfection on the golf course isn’t necessary.
Lee Trevino once said about the pressures of Professional Golf – “There are 2 things that don’t last long: Dogs that chase cars and Pro’s who shoot Par.”
Now lets adapt that to the normal golfer that plays a few times a month and wants to start breaking 90 more often – “There are 2 things that you won’t enjoy very long: Me trying to sing and you on the golf course trying to always play the perfect swing.”
Why do I say this – Well for one my singing stinks. I’ve been banned from every Karaoke Bar from Florida to California. And week in and week out we see so many golfers that expect to hit every shot perfect on the golf course and when the mythical perfect swing doesn’t happen on every swing – the Monkey turns into a Mad Ape!
This Mad Ape then goes on a downward spiral that gets ugly.
Here’s another example of the Monkey trying to find the perfect swing – A Golfer inquired to us after reading that we haven’t changed anyone’s golf grip in years – “If you guys don’t change my grip at Golf Made Simple, how am I supposed to improve my swing?” Now the sad part of this comment is this Golfer has been totally brainwashed to think by other Monkeys that there always has to be major changes made to your swing to improve your golf. This is so far from the truth that it actually gets me angry! Yet because everybody is talking about getting into certain positions or swing planes or strong grip/weak grip that we believe that the only way to hit the golf ball better is to “Fiddle” with things in your swing.
You don’t need to change everything to get better – you just have to learn what you do well and do it more often and what you don’t do well and do it less often.
And the Monkey says – “Well look at Tiger, he changed his swing and then won the Masters in 1997 and then he changed it again this past year and won the Masters again.” And I reply – Tiger never changed his swing. His swing is the same swing he’s always had. I don’t care what the Monkeys on TV say about him changing his swing – he hasn’t. All Tiger did before he won his first Masters was tighten up his swing – meaning he gained control the length of his swing to understand where the club head was throughout his swing. Therefore this allowed his body and arms to work more together.
And that’s all he did before this past Masters win. He didn’t change everything. He just gained more control with the golf club. Yet because we listen to Monkey’s like Johnny Miller with his “Theories and Assumptions” we start to take what he says and start to believe it as actually being the truth. To be successful in golf, I believe you need to be able to separate the “Theories and Assumptions” of the many Monkeys with the “Results based Approach” of the few successful Players.
Why is it that it takes a Golfer so much time to practice something new in their swing before they take it to the golf course? Why can’t you just practice your golf swing and then automatically be able to just take what you practiced and take it to the golf course? Why is it that some people are constantly going through “swing changes”?
Why can’t golf just be fun?
There are 2-ways of being able to accomplish this transition to the golf course. One way doesn’t work well and the other way works great if you stick to your PLAN. So in the spirit of Golf Made Simple we’ll compare these 2-ways of practicing.
First you have the “Ball Beating Session”. Now as soon as I write “Ball Beating”, you instantly know this isn’t the way to practice your golf game – yet this is the way most Golfers practice. Your intention when going to the golf course or practice range isn’t to get into a “BBS (Ball Beating Session)” – but this is the way it always ends up. And in a classic Marc Solomon say it like it is comment – As much as you don’t want to admit that you ever get into a “BBS”, I’ll wager a large some of cash that 9 out of 10 Golfers reading this have recently been involved in a “BBS”.
Now how did this “BBS” start? It started with high hopes, but because you went to the driving range with one of the following goals – To hit the golf ball straighter, to work on your swing, or to work on a tip you just read about (or saw on the television) – you eventually get distracted and you start to furiously beat ball after ball. But again, it didn’t start this way. It started with you getting to the range very relaxed and ready to have some fun. You start hitting balls and find you might be a little rusty, but by the 10th or 11th ball you’re getting into the swing and hitting it pretty good. “I just got to swing like this on the golf course. Nice and easy” you say to yourself.
Then out of nowhere you hit a shot that isn’t very good – straight to the right. You shake it off by saying “Oh well, I’m human, everybody hits a bad shot once in a while.”
Then the next swing you do it again. “Hmmmm, I wonder what I’m doing differently.” Then the next swing you do it again. “This isn’t good. I need to start thinking about this. I’m probably taking the club too far outside on the back swing. I’ll take this a little more inside this next shot.” Then the next swing you do it again. “Let me take this next swing even a little more inside on this next shot.” Then the next swing you do it again. “Ahh, I know I took that one inside. May be I’m laying off the club at the top of my swing. I’ll try to get this one a little more upright.”
Great, this time the ball doesn’t go to the right – but you hit an ugly hook that goes about 5-feet off the ground. “Maybe I got too upright on that one. This time I’ll try to get a little more flat on my backswing.” This time you almost hit the Golfer next to you. “I hate this game. I absolutely hate this game. I always do this when I go to practice. I’m never going to practice again. It isn’t worth it!”
The better way to get better – You get to the golf course or range with your PLAN. This way, you’re not practicing as you’ve practiced in the past. You have a definate purpose on every swing and your mind doesn’t wander.
You’re really training to get better versus practicing like the Monkey does. You get to the course or range and instead of practicing your swing, you practice hitting to targets. Now the funny thing is that I know someone that is reading this is saying “Well yes Marc, I’m always hitting to a target when I practice.” And I believe you that you’re hitting to targets for the first 15-minutes of hitting your wedges and 9-irons. But somewhere during your practice you begin to just hit to wherever you’re aiming (which most likely happens to be the middle of the range). When you learn how to train with a PLAN, you’ll never just hit to anywhere, you’ll always have a target.
And it’s amazing that when you always have a target on your mind that all the things that you want to do correctly in your swing will just happen all by themselves. Just think about when you hit your best shots on the golf course – what are you thinking about? Usually the answer I receive is “Nothing, Marc I wasn’t thinking about anything except being smooth (or Tick Tock).” When you hit your worst shots on the golf course, what are you thinking about? “I’m thinking about everything. I’m thinking about turning my body and my swing plane and an inside to out swing path and…. everything!”
What caused you to start thinking? You didn’t have a PLAN, therefore your mind drifted!
I think the #1 “Aha Moment” when Golfers are here at Golf Made Simple is on the 1st day when after lunch we go out to hit high, medium and low shots around the green and then finding out which is your strongest shot and which is your weakest shot – then when we start to use “SEE IT, FEEL IT, DO IT.” This is when the big “Aha Moment” happens. You start to learn how to develop the skill of seeing your shot before you hit it. You start to develop a PLAN to hit the shot that you’re strongest at and stay away from the one you’re weakest at.
Yet, it’s so tempting to go back to your old ways of doing things. Don’t go back! Stick with your PLAN!
Marc – Your Instructor for Life
Golf Made Simple!