As many Golfers struggle to play golf to the level they feel they should play – I understand your frustration. Golf can be frustrating for all levels of Golfers … from the newcomer trying to get the golf ball up in the air to the person qualifying to become a PGA Professional.
And what makes it most frustrating is that you know you have the ability to do better … “but why can’t I play my best when I want to?”
As I’ve written above – this frustration is even shared by many of the guys/gals that want to become PGA Professionals. Now these are Golfers that can regularly score in the 70’s … but often have “blow-up” rounds in the high 80’s during their qualifying tournaments. When all they need to do is just shoot their ‘normal’ round to qualify. Yet, they ‘lose their golf swing’ when they need it.
To make my point on how this relates to you improving the consistency of your golf swing – I will need to digress. So stay with me on these next two paragraphs:
The first step in turning Professional is to pass the PGA’s Playing Ability Test (PAT). All the Professionals’ at your clubs must pass this test. It consists of playing 36 holes in one day and averaging a score of about 76 for those two rounds. Now, for the majority of people playing in the PAT – this is often easily done when playing with friends.
However, when playing in the PAT, only about 3 to 5 out of the 75 participants will shoot well enough to pass. A very low percentage when you consider most of the 75 participants can score 76 or less on any given day. Think about this – these are Golfers that regularly go 18 holes with only one to four bogeys, but will often “blow-up” to go 16 over Par during their PAT.
What’s the point? And how does this pertain to you?
Even Golfers that you look up to … Golfers that you would do anything to have their golf skills – struggle when they put too much pressure on themselves to play their best. You could almost say – “the more you want it … the worse you’re going to play.”
For example: do you know that I’ve found that most people that go to play at golf courses like Pebble Beach or Bandon Dunes (or basically any other famous golf course), play worse than normal. It’s rare to hear someone say they played their best round of golf on Pebble Beach. And this isn’t because the golf course is difficult.
It’s often because we work ourselves up so that we’re putting too much pressure on our golf swing to continually hit great shots. Thus, our golf swing seems even less consistent than usual. And the worse our golf swing performs … the more we get frustrated. And the more frustrated we become … the more inconsistent we become.
Until we get to our lowest point somewhere around the 14th hole where we stop caring … and you hit your best shot of the day on the 15th tee. And continue to play well through the 18th hole. So you walk off the course saying to yourself “why couldn’t I play like that all day?”
So what’s the moral of the story?
To some Golfers, this scenario isn’t reserved for ‘special’ rounds at famous golf courses … it’s what they deal with every time they step on any golf course.
We all want to play our best golf all the time. Yet, ‘best’ is the peak of our abilities. You can not continually hit your ‘best shot’. Yes, you should try to make your ‘best’ swing every time you hit the golf ball. Yet, when the shot comes out only mediocre … you need to accept it as being your average shot and make the most of it.
The best Golfers have learned to accept these shots. Through ‘trial and error’ they have found they need to focus their attention (as hard as it is to do) to playing their next shot. On-the-other-hand, the struggling Golfer will continue to struggle because they’re thinking about “how bad” their last shot was while playing their next shot.
If you find that a difficult thing to do – we have found that a very simple, but effective strategy to use on the golf course is to continually smile and have fun (regardless of how bad you feel). This will allow you to free your focus so that you’re now able to train yourself to move onto the next shot. Whereas when most Golfers start to struggle – they feel the need to get more serious. Yet the more serious they become … the worse they swing.
The Monkey tries to always make their best golf swing, but gets frustrated when it’s not their best shot
The Player also tries to always make their best golf swing, but is happy to hit mediocre shots while waiting for his/her best shot to happen
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life