What would happen if you practiced your golf more this year than last year? Would you be a better Golfer? I guess it depends on what your definition of practice is.
To the mass majority of Golfers – practice is the science of banging golf ball after golf ball on the driving range; one after the other until every ball has been hit as far away from you as possible.
Practice is different things for different people.
For the majority of Golfers – it’s about getting your bucket of balls, starting with your wedge, hitting a few balls with your 7 or 8 iron and then making the jump to your Driver. Which wouldn’t be such a bad thing to do if you had a PLAN to practice as opposed to just hitting golf ball after golf ball trying to find a golf swing.
The above group is what we call Range Monkeys. Now before anybody that doesn’t like it when we refer to some Golfers as Monkeys – before you get upset – you must understand what the term signifies. This term has nothing to do with ones skill level – nothing, nothing, nothing!
So as one Golfer wrote that he’d rather be called a Hacker than a Monkey – I find the term Hacker to be more offensive than being called a Monkey. A Hacker is a derogatory term to mean a terrible Golfer – Monkey has nothing to do with one’s ability level. A Golfer that we term a Monkey is just a Golfer that has no PLAN. All they do is watch the other Golfers around them and do what they do – even though the Golfers around them might be as frustrated as you are.
It must be a case of Monkey See, Monkey Do.
Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to watch a Player that has recently broken 90 and is progressing into the low 80’s? Or watch a Player that was once scoring in the 100’s, but is now into the 90’s and progressing towards the 80’s? Or a Golfer that has achieved the ultimate – going from the 100’s to 90’s to 80’s and into the 70’s? These are Players – Players are Golfers that are improving using a PLAN. Monkeys are Golfers that have been stuck for years without a PLAN.
Now, just because someone can score in the 70’s occasionally, doesn’t make them a Player. If the Player that improves from the 100’s into 70’s stops using their PLAN because they feel they’ve ‘made it’ – they may start losing their Player status!
A Player is a term for a Golfer that’s using their PLAN to improve. It signifies a Golfer that’s learning something that’ll help them improve every practice session and every time on the golf course. I’ve seen Golfers that score in the high 90’s that I believe are Players. Why? Because they’re improving from the 100’s and have a PLAN laid out to continue improving.
Though I’ve seen Golfers that score in the high 70’s and low 80’s that I’d call Monkeys because they’ve been stuck there for years – yet continue to do the same things over and over again – instead of making a PLAN based on their Strengths and Weaknesses to get where they want to be – down into the 70’s consistently.
The terms Monkey and Player have nothing to do with skill level!!!!
The Monkey is the Golfer that goes from one tip in Golf Digest to the next tip that’s handed out on the Golf Channel to the next one that they’ve read on an Internet Chat Room Discussion Board by someone that has a nickname such as ‘swing guru’. Yet at the same time – none of these Golf Tips has ever helped you to break 100 or 90 or 80 or 70 – like they were advertised to do. So it’s on to the next swing tip.
Trust me – there’s nothing offensive about the term Monkey – it’s more of a term that you could use the next time you go to the practice range to hit golf balls. After you set your bucket of balls down and before you take your first swing – look around, look at the other Golfers. And study them. Can you pick out any Range Monkeys?
Who’s the Range Monkey?
It’s the Golfer that has hit more than 2 balls without stepping back to make a PLAN. Why is this important? Because on the golf course you don’t have the luxury of hitting multiple golf balls in a row. Each time you walk up to the golf ball on the golf course – you need to make a PLAN for your shot. Shouldn’t you ‘practice like you play’?
It’s the Golfer that’s just hitting to the middle of the range. They don’t have a target, they’re just hitting to nowhere – especially with their Driver. But in their mind, they’re practicing their swing. They feel as though practicing to targets isn’t important at this point – it’s more about their swing than where they’re hitting the golf ball. They believe that they’ll start to practice hitting to a target after they get their swing correct.
It’s the Golfer that doesn’t have a Warm-up PLAN. Their way of warming up is to hit 5 or 6 wedges and a few 7 irons because they have the fear of wasting golf balls. They need to conserve as many balls as they can for their Driver. ‘I mean, if I hit more than 5 or 6 wedges and a few 7 irons – I’d only have about 50 golf balls left to practice my Driver.’
It’s the Golfer that’ll hit one good shot and say to themselves – ‘That’s it!’ Then try to repeat that swing on their next shot. And if that shot is good – they try to repeat that same swing on their next shot and so on. But, whenever they try to repeat that same swing and hit a bad shot – they’re off to another vine (or I should say another swing tip) trying to find ‘it’ again. And if that tip works for a few swings and then leaves them – it’s on to another tip.
And for many Golfers, this routine goes on for years upon years. Maybe that’s why GMS sees over 1,000 Golfers a year that have been stuck in the 100’s, 90’s and 80’s for 3, 5, 10 or 20 years. Why? Because they get into one of the above Monkey Routines – or because they haven’t improved in such a long time, they end up not practicing at all. Now, that’s not to say that they haven’t tried hard to improve or break those barriers. I’m sure the majority of Golfers have tried. My belief is that many Golfers just aren’t trained or taught how to have a Practice PLAN.
Who’s the Player?
It’s the Golfer that uses their Strengths and Weaknesses to formulate a PLAN. The Player’s PLAN is to have a Warm-up PLAN. The Player’s Warm-up PLAN about knowing how to get your golf mind working so that you’re ready to get the most out of your Practice PLAN. The Player’s Practice PLAN is about incorporating your Swing Drills in between the shots that you’re hitting to targets. And by target, I don’t just mean to a green. The Player divides the green into multiple targets, just like they should when they’re on the golf course.
Are you a Player?
The Monkey practices based on nothing more than just going from one swing tip to another while they hit ball after ball
The Player has a PLAN to improve by using a Results Based Approach
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life