What is One Good Habit that Players do that you should try to copy so that you get better? Isn’t this an important question?
Let me give you an example of what I mean. And as you read this example, see if you know anyone that has a similar approach to the game.
I know this Golfer who’s been playing golf for 15 years and for 13 of those years he’s been a 21 handicap (Golfer A) – his best score ever is a 91, his average score is a 96 and when he has a bad day he’s struggling to keep it below 104.
I also know another Golfer that has been playing golf for 3 1/2 years and this past October he got down to an 11 handicap (Golfer B) – his best score is an 80, his average score being 86 and when he’s having a bad day he’s limiting himself to a 91.
So how can it be that Golfer A is playing for more than 11 years longer than Golfer B … yet he’s not scoring as well or enjoying the game as much as Golfer B? And before you start to answer – both Golfers spend about 2 hours each week practicing, both take golf lessons each year, they’re both in good shape, both have newer golf clubs and both have a burning desire to improve.
Any answers to why or how this could be?
So how can one Golfer continually be getting better with their game and the other, after seeing improvement early on … be getting worse – more inconsistent?
It can be because of One Simple Habit that they do different – but this Simple Habit will add up into being the determining factor to why there is such a dramatic and I can’t overemphasize the word “dramatic” difference between how one Golfer has improved with the velocity of a rocket and can’t wait to get to the golf course and the other has been like a bear in hibernation for 13 years and hates it!
The main difference between the 2 Golfers is that the 21 handicap is a “Fiddler”. He loves to try new things in his golf swing – which could be a good thing, but if over done, it could be a bad thing. On the other hand, the 11 handicap also likes to try new things with his golf game, but not with his golf swing – he’s pretty settled on his swing.
Do you know anyone that “Fiddles” with their golf swing? They’re always trying the newest tip that they saw in Golf Digest or on the Golf Channel. It’s like an obsession that one of these tips is going to be the secret to hitting the ball great for the rest of their lives. It’s like the guy that quits his job and decides he’s just going to sit at home each week and play the lottery. He says – “One day I’ll hit those numbers and life will be easy.” And people laugh at the idea that someone would spend his life waiting to win the impossible, but there are millions of Golfers that are trying this method with their golf game. How do I know this? Well I think Golf Digest has over 1 million subscribers. And their biggest selling issues usually have the words “The Secret to Stopping Your Slice” written on the cover.
And now I can imagine a Golfer saying – “Well I don’t read Golf Digest for the tips, I look at the travel, equipment and general commentary.”
Golf Digest sells magazines; Golf Made Simple sells Golf Improvement
The Fiddler is and will always be inconsistent because they’re never practicing a consistent swing. “Jack of all swings, Master of none!” If you want to improve like you know you can, become a Master of your golf swing! See, if you stick with one swing, then you can practice that swing and constantly be making it better and better. You’ll be constantly making your golf swing more efficient and that will allow you to hit the golf ball farther and farther.
The Golfer that is always changing everything is always starting over again at the bottom.
So what causes this person to always “Fiddle” with their golf swing? Much of it is based on the same principles of why plastic surgery is so popular these days.
Just as we see all the beautiful people on television and the movies and we envy how good they look and we say that we want to look as good as them – someone might decide to also get some plastic surgery done to look more beautiful. And now-a-days, it’s so easy to get these procedures done and the results are so instant. The same sort of thing happens when Golfers watch Tiger and Annika on the television where every shot looks perfect and we say – “I want to hit the golf ball like that the next time I play.” And the “I need to see instant success and I’ll try anything” approach to golf improvement is the main component of the downward spiral of “Fiddling”.
So one difference between the two Golfers above is that the 11 handicap has stayed with his golf swing and has just been working on making it better and better. While the 21 handicap is trying out new stuff every week looking for that one tip that’s going to be the secret to his success.
Yet someone might say: “But, Marc you did say that the 11 handicap does Fiddle with his game.” Yes he does. He tries out new ways of practicing when he has time to practice. He uses the PLAN we helped him develop and then he comes up with variations of the practice drills we went over. This way he’s always challenging himself to get better and keeping his practice sessions fresh. The difference between Fiddling with your Practice PLAN and Fiddling with your Golf Swing is huge.
The 21 handicap, no matter what, is always doing the same practice – A couple of 9-irons, a couple of 5-irons – then hitting his Driver for an hour trying too many different swings until he finds one that works for a few swings. And then soon after finally finding a golf swing that works (after trying 10 different swings) – without missing a beat, it will then go bad again.
Then he’s on to trying something else that will eventually work for 5 swings, until it goes bad and stays bad as you start to try even more new things and then become so frustrated that you just start whacking golf ball after golf ball in misery until out of nowhere you hit a good shot. And you say – “That’s all I need to do. I just need to swing without any thoughts.” And you do and you hit the golf ball well for about 5 shots until you hit one that is just OK. At which time you start to think – “OK, let me try to get my left hand a little more into this one” …. and then the whole process of Fiddling slowly revs back up again.
While the 11 handicap is taking his time, knowing that he’s on the right track and seeing results.
So the question we always get is – “If I’m not hitting the golf ball well during practice, what should I do? Continue to keep doing the same thing wrong and hit bad shots? Or should I Fiddle with my swing until I find something that works?”
That’s a great question. What should you do if you can’t Fiddle? Let’s ask the 11 handicap what he does. 11 Handicap, what do you do if you’re practicing and all of sudden you start to hit bad shots?:
“I walk away. I walk away and get myself a drink of water or go to the putting green. In my short time of playing golf, I’ve figured out that golf is a game of streaks. The better the Player, the longer the good streak is and the shorter the bad streak is. The Struggling Golfer is the exact opposite – they have short good streaks and longer bad streaks. And because the Struggling Golfer only hits the golf ball well for a short period of time, they have a tendency to start forcing their swings too much when the bad streak comes around. These Golfers get so desperate to find the glory of the good streak – they start to Fiddle.”
“So when I hit 2 or 3 bad shots in a row, I accept it as the end of the good streak and walk away from hitting golf balls for 15 minutes. This way I come back to the golf balls with a clear mind and it seems as if the good streak comes back sooner. And if it doesn’t, I go to the putting green. And you know, I can get a lot more done on the putting green rather than Fiddling on the driving range and messing myself up! I’ve seen that happen to most of the Golfers that I see practicing. They get all frustrated and it gets worse and worse.”
I think that’s some pretty good advice from the 11 handicap. And to think of golf as a game of streaks is a fantastic way of controlling your own golf game. Good shots usually do come in bunches and we all know that bad shots come in bunches? So the 11 handicap has a PLAN to play the streaks. He understands that he’s going to hit bad shots and because of 2 or 3 bad shots, he’s not trying all this new stuff in his golf swing. Instead he walks away and clears his mind so that he can come back and continue to work on what was working. If it doesn’t come back, he goes to the putting green – and the putting green is a place that every Golfer alive could always spend a few extra minutes.
How many of you have ever been to the driving range and hit a bad streak and decided you’re going to work through it by pounding golf ball after golf ball and then left an hour later with 12 different swings you had worked on and trying to decide which one you’re going to play with tomorrow? That’s not the situation you want to put yourself into. It seems that the 11 handicap has figured out that he has his golf swing and it won’t always be in top form. That he’ll have bad days and in case he does have bad days on the golf course, he’ll be prepared with a solid putting game to make up for the few extra bad shots he might hit because his golf swing isn’t as sound as it usually is. So instead of Fiddling with his golf swing until he has nothing but more doubt, he lives with it and makes up for it in other parts of his game.
The Monkey fiddles and fiddles and fiddles
The Player knows how to practice
Go ahead, Be a Player!