Golf Made Simple Blog

Who’s On The First Tee?

Why is it that on the fist tee you can always tell who’s a Player and who’s struggling with inconsistency. I mean even before this golfer swings to hit the golf ball – you can tell how good a shot they’re going to make. The Player just has this look about him/her – they reek of confidence that tells you that he’s/she’s a Player that’s going to hit a beautiful shot – to the point that even if you’re not in this Player’s group, you stop everything you’re doing just to watch them swing. Can you picture this scenario? And I’m not talking about how they dress. It has nothing to do with their clothes – but more to do with their actions.

So what are the actions of a Player versus a Monkey? There are so many, yet if you start on the process of making a PLAN to implement these actions yourself, you will become more consistent on the golf course without even physically trying to improve your swing – i.e. pounding balls for hours and hours. Is that possible? Yes it is! Can it really be done? Yes it can! We see it every day.

And yet a lot of what the Monkeys are doing is learned by watching and listening to other Monkeys – meaning other golfers and some Golf Pro’s that think just because they can hit the golf ball well, that they can teach you to play better using their style of play. And in a way it’s almost sad to think of it this way, but some Golfers are doing things exactly the way other Monkeys and other Pro’s told you to do it and it’s not helping and actually it could be contributing to your inconsistency.

For example – I was at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando this past week to see all the new stuff that’s coming out this year. And this year they added and Indoor Hitting area that was phenomenal. I mean absolutely awesome. The best way to describe it is – I could’ve stayed there and hit balls all day trying out all the new equipment we had to choose from and then came back the next day and do it again!

But, back to my point. I’m standing in the Sonartec Golf Club tent waiting to take my turn to hit their fairway woods (that are awesome) and there was a Pro that just finished hitting some golf balls. He comes back to the tent and says “I don’t care what anyone says, I like when the ball goes out on a line drive. The ball goes much father when it goes out like that. That’s the only way to get more distance, not hitting it high like they’re telling us we should!” Now to me that’s arrogance. Why arrogance? Because it’s been proven that the longer the ball can stay in the air, the farther it’s traveling. Yet, this Golf Pro doesn’t believe it, so guess what he’s probably teaching Golfers that are coming to him for Golf Lessons? He’s teaching these eager golfers how not to hit the golf ball as far as they have potential to hit it. To me that’s arrogance meaning this Golf Pro believes he’s smarter than what’s been proven by all the Golf Club companies to be true – the longer the ball stays in the air, the farther it’s going. That’s why many of the PGA Tour Pros are putting away their 7 degree Drivers and replacing them with 9, 9.5 and 10 degree Drivers. But if you were friendly with this one Pro, you’d be going backwards!

I’m also disturbed because I just received in the mail from a great guy – Paul from Kansas City – a clip from a newspaper tip that a Golf Pro says – that you should never use your pitching wedge or sand wedge around the green. And that you need to get the ball on the ground and rolling as soon as you can. Again I find this to be disappointing – the newspaper tip not Paul – because if this is true than Phil Mickelson and the other 100’s of PGA and LPGA Tour Pro’s must be doing it all wrong – because let me tell you – these Touring Pro’s aren’t using their Sand Wedges and Lob Wedges just to get out of the sand. Please, someone show me proof that everybody should get the ball on the ground as soon as possible. I know getting the ball on the ground ASAP is what everybody has heard they’re entire golfing life and I’m not saying you shouldn’t get the ball rolling if that’s your best shot. But, there are many Golfers out there whose best shot is the High Shot. They can just picture the ball going up in the air and landing on the spot they pictured. And we’ve found many golfers that we’ve seen who have had better results with the Medium Shot. To me for this Pro to say that everybody should get the ball rolling as soon as possible is arrogant – to assume that every golfer should play the exact same style as this Golf Pro plays themselves is wrong.

Play your best shot on the golf course – not my best shot! My best shot is my best shot – it might not be yours. Trust me, if I had a choice to play my best shot or your best shot – I’d play mine. And if you have a choice to play your best shot or my best shot – you’d be better off playing yours!

Don’t include yourself in the My Way or the Highway School of Teaching Golf – it will only lead you down a path of inconsistency.

So back to the point I started with of how it’s so easy to tell who’s going to hit the ball well before they hit it. The first thing I see with a Monkey that walks up to their golf ball to hit it off the first tee is that they tee the ball too low. Why, because they’ve probably popped up a few too many Drives and they were told by another Monkey that they need to tee the ball lower. Then I see them stand next to the golf ball take a couple of ornamental practice swings, take a step or two closer to the golf ball, stand over the ball for a couple seconds and then swing.

Ornamental Practice Swings? What’s that? An Ornamental Practice swing is what most golfers do before they hit the golf ball. What it means is that you’re taking practice swings for show for no other reason than to get loose before you hit the golf ball or you do it just because – everybody else does it. So you start to think – if everybody else does it, it must be what I need to do – which is equivalent to filling out an application to get into the Monkey Club.

On the other hand, you can usually spot the Player because they do it almost entirely different. What does it look like? Just watch on TV when the best Players in the world are playing.

Most Players start behind the golf ball and PLAN on where they want to hit the golf ball. They then take a rehearsal swing or two. A rehearsal swing differs from an Ornamental Practice Swing because it has a purpose. It’s used for the Player to say to himself/herself that this is what I need to feel on this swing. And the funny thing is that the rehearsal swings that the best Players in the world are doing before each shot are often not full swings as opposed to the Ornamental Practice Swings the Monkey uses that are Full Swings and sometimes swung with as much power as they’re gong to use on their actual Drive.

Then the Player again looks at his/her target and walks to his/her ball while still looking at the their target so they know how to aim their club face for the shot. They then put their club on the ground behind the ball – take another look at their target, take a deep breath and swing. Now this isn’t to say that all Players do it exactly like this, because they don’t. But 9 out of 10 Monkeys do it very similar to the Golfer with Ornamental Practice Swing and 9 out of 10 Players do it very similar to the Player with the Rehearsal Swing.

So what should you be focused on? – Well, when you can watch the difference between these two different golfers’ – it’s huge! The Monkey is more focused on the …..Golf ball. The Player is more focused on themselves and preparing their PLAN to hit to a target.

This may answer why the Monkey is always battling tension while standing over the ball. This may answer why the Monkey stands over the ball for what can seem like an eternity if you’re playing with them. This may answer why the Monkey has developed so much inconsistency. And this may be part of the answer why you can hit the ball so well on the practice range and so inconsistent on the golf course!

My question is – why does every lesson you take start with your grip and then move on to swing path or swing plane or this or that. My question is why does every lesson you take is based on hitting the golf ball better on the driving range. My question is why doesn’t all these Pro’s focus on establishing a PLAN before you even approach the ball. Because the difference of how these 2-Golfers approach the ball is 180 Degrees different. So I guess what these Pro’s are telling you is that you first need to be able to hit the golf ball better before you need to establish a PLAN for each shot and that you shouldn’t emulate the Pro’s until you can hit it like them. And because this is the method the Monkey is always taught – this is the method that the Monkey always uses!

I say that you’ll never hit the ball like the Touring Pro’s if you don’t learn to establish a PLAN for your game like they do for theirs. Then you’ll be amazed how much simpler it is to learn to hit the golf ball better and most importantly take that ball striking from the Driving Range to the Golf Course.

My answer to why these Pro’s teach the way they do is….I don’t have an answer, except watch the Players and watch the Monkeys and you’ll see as big a difference before they start their swing as the difference is during the swing and thus equaling the biggest difference – how they hit the golf ball!

Watch the best Players in the world establish their PLAN and you’ll be able to get an idea on how to establish your PLAN!

Golf Made Simple!

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