I think we can safely say that one of the biggest challenges for many golfers is the problem of way too much thought, normally the wrong negative type at some pretty inappropriate times. “I hope I don’t chunk this shot in the bunker, but I normally do and I’m really useless at bunker shots, so if I go in there then I’m looking at double bogey! I’m behind here and can’t afford to blow another hole!”
Then of course there are the plethora of swing tips and advice given to the poor old unsuspecting golfer who is just asking, “Improve my golf game please!” And play with confidence. Golf has such big time gaps between shots that it is all too easy for the mind to wander off from the present moment and start thinking about potential problems with certain holes or with actual swing technique.
What with the golf shop racks full of magazines offering in many cases conflicting advice and certainly not designed for the individual reader, given they have never chatted with you let alone seen you play. If you think swing advice or tips work then ask yourself this question. “If there is even more advice and tips now than ever before, and it actually works, how come average handicaps have basically not changed in 30 years?”
Think about how much equipment has improved over the last 30 years. It has undeniably gotten a lot better from the balls to the clubs themselves. Generally equipment does go further and straighter than ever before and yet ask yourself this question. “If the equipment bought off the shelf is so much better how come average handicaps have not changed in 30 years?”
Do you really believe the big brand name manufacturers when they say that this years model hits it ten yards further and much straighter? They seem to claim this every year and in some cases more than once a year as they launch more models. If it was true then we would all be hitting it 400 yards dead straight by now wouldn’t we? After all they have been claiming “Further & Straighter” for years!
Here is some advice you can consider that works well to get you going as a general improvement philosophy.
- Get one swing coach if you want to improve your swing. Choose him/her carefully and then commit to long term goals with them.
- Practice your short game more than any other aspect of your swing.
- Find and work with a qualified Club Maker to build you a set of custom clubs over a period of time that suits your budget. In many cases you will be surprised at how affordable custom built clubs can be. Be picky about finding an experienced and recommended club maker. Note: We are not talking about a little so called “custom Fit” session with your local pro to get you the latest brand name set of clubs. We really mean a qualified club maker who will build you a set uniquely suited to the way you swing.
- Work on your mental game a lot. Either get yourself a sports psychologist or learn by mental game programs. You can safely work with a sports psychologist from a distance. Good practitioners can help you using modern communication techniques so don’t be worried about asking a Mental Game Coach to work with you even if they are in another State or even country. Ideally though it would be nice if you could play the odd round of golf with your Sports Psychologist so they can see your on-course performance.
- Never accept any unsolicited advice from other amateurs. Never follow quick tips, they don’t work long term. Save your money buying magazines and invest it in Mental Training.
- Ask lots of questions and have patience with your learning.
- Enjoy the game of golf every time you go out, no matter how you play. Be grateful you can walk that course and hit a ball in beautiful surroundings with good (I hope) company.
I hope you have found some useful information or food for thought here. It’s a great game and remember if your improvement gets stuck for years and you are feeling really frustrated, you’re getting the wrong advice from the wrong people. Change what you’re doing or you are doomed to keep repeating the results.