In many parts of the United States, Canada and Europe, you’re halfway through your summer Golf Season. You might only have a few months of good golf weather remaining until your golf clubs are put-a-way in the basement, garage or wherever you put them until spring.
So tell me (or tell yourself) – what have you accomplished so far this year on the golf course? Lower scores, more consistent ball striking, a better understanding of your golf swing, or did nothing get better? Hopefully the answers are one of the first three options as opposed to the last.
Yet, year in and year out for many Golfers the answer is “I accomplished nothing. I’m still where I was when I began this year and at the beginning of this year, I was where I was when I began last year. I haven’t improved or answered any questions about my golf game in a couple of years.”
If this isn’t you – excellent! Then you’ve been able to do what over 8 out of 10 Golfers can’t do – which is improve. So if you’re the Golfer that has improved their scores or developed more consistency in your golf swing or now have a better understanding of your golf game – how did you do it? What would you tell a Golfer that hasn’t improved in the last couple of years? What’s the key?
Fortunately for us, we get many emails every week from Golfers from every continent besides Antarctica. And of the emails that speak about improvement – the majority of emails point out one of the four points below (and I’m going to paraphrase because these points are described in many different ways):
Point One – ‘I’ve settled on one golf swing – my golf swing! As opposed to fiddling around and trying to adapt someone else’s swing theory to my swing. One plane swing or two plane swing isn’t important to me – I just want a swing that’ll be more consistent and when I do hit a bad golf shot, I can easily self-diagnose what I did wrong and have a drill to correct it before my next shot. As opposed to going 6 or more holes before figuring what I did wrong on just one golf swing’;
Point Two – ‘My putting and short game have improved tremendously. I now know that I don’t have to be on every green with every shot. I have the confidence that if I miss the green that I’ll be able to get the ball close enough that I could one or two putt every time’;
Point Three – ‘I’m now practicing correctly. I used to go out like every other Golfer and just hit balls to warm up. I’d start with my wedge and progress up to my Driver and eventually I’d lose my swing just before I had to go to the first tee. Now I know how to warm-up my swing. Now I know the difference between practicing on days I’m not playing and warming up on days that I am playing. Yet, before I learned the difference between practicing and playing, I did the same thing regardless of the situation.
Point Four and something you’ve probably seen in Golf Improvement Weekly or heard on our Podcast every week – ‘I’ve stuck with my PLAN. I’m not hitting a golf shot without weighing my options. I’m not hitting my 3 iron to the green just because everybody else is. I know when I can go for it or when I should play a little bit safer. I’m now playing smart by playing to my Strengths and avoiding my Weaknesses regardless of what the others in my group think and do. I now know I need to play for me, not for anyone else!’
If you have improved, would you say that one of those four points includes what you’re now doing better compared to what you did in the past when you didn’t improve?
Though, if you haven’t improved:
Would you say that you haven’t settled on one swing that you can make more consistent and that you’re able to easily self-diagnose? Did you try any of the tips in Golf Digest last month? One tip isn’t as innocent as you may think? One tip a month for 12 months is 12 different swing thoughts. And one tip a month for 2 years is 24 swing thoughts – which is 23 too many. And I know Golfers that have had subscriptions for 5 or 6 years!
Would you say that your short game and putting hasn’t improved? I’m not asking if you already do have a good short game or are a good putter. That’s not the question. The question is – Have you improved? Most Golfers believe that their short game and putting is decent enough or even the best part of their game. And this might be true. But, most Golfers that score in the 90’s and 100’s can still improve their short game and putting in a big way. For example: Is your short game and putting as good as a Golfer that averages 83? No, then you’re not going to shoot 83.
Would you say that you never practice before a round of golf? Most Golfers that struggle are still trying to figure out their swing before a round of golf on the driving range. They’re practicing new golf tips, they’re practicing Swing Drills, and they’re working on their golf swing! And with the anxiety of playing a good round (or for some the anxiety of not embarrassing themselves on the golf course) – many Golfers panic on the Driving Range and get themselves into a bad situation with their golf swing before even walking to the first tee. You should know the difference between going to the range and practicing your swing before a round; and going to the range and warming up your swing before a round.
Would you say that you have a PLAN for every shot as opposed to just ‘aiming down the middle’ on your drive or trying to hit the exact yardage to the flag without processing other important information about the shot or aiming for the flag on every shot to the green or hitting your 3 wood for your 2nd shot on every Par 5 regardless of the situation or trying to hit a high shot over the sand bunker and onto the green every time without considering other shots or etc., or etc., or etc!
So tell me (or tell yourself) – what have you accomplished so far this year on the golf course?
The Monkey is waiting for next year to improve
The Player is continuing to work on the four points above
Go Ahead, Be A Player!