Why Golfers Don’t Improve
It’s no secret golf is a game that requires patience and persistence to improve. Obviously, a vast majority of players fail to improve because they don’t play and practice. On the other hand, many players put a lot of time and dedication into their golf game. They practice the full swing, short game and spend hours on the practice green, yet continue to see a lack of improvement.
There are several reasons why players don’t improve. Make sure you don’t fall into one of the following categories.
Poor Fundamentals and Practice
Some players fail to improve because of poor practice techniques. When you practice focus on solid fundamentals that you can count on under pressure on the golf course. When you have poor fundamentals, you are forced to make compensations in your swing. Therefore, your practice sessions are spent ingraining compensations rather than proper fundamentals. While I commend players for working on their game, make sure you practice the correct techniques. If not, you are essentially ingraining poor habits. Take a lesson from a teaching professional, use training aids or work on drills to learn the correct fundamentals to help you improve. As Vince Lombardi said, “Perfect practice makes perfect.”
Wrong Equipment – It’s Really the Club’s Fault!
I recently gave a lesson to a golfer who had been given a set of golf clubs. He consistently pulled every iron. The custom made set ofPingirons were about 5 degrees upright, maybe more if the clubs were lengthened. I gave him an iron that was 1 degree upright, and instantly started hitting shots that flew straighter. He was excited to find it was not completely his swing causing every shot to miss left. This is just one instance of playing with the proper equipment. Make sure equipment contains the proper flex, loft, lie angle and length. Golf is hard enough, make sure you don’t complicate it by playing with equipment not right for your swing.
Poor Mental Approach
Golf is a game of misses. Players rarely hit every shot the way they intend. One of the keys to shooting a good score is maintaining a positive mental approach. We have all had days where we just didn’t hit the ball well. You don’t have to hit the ball like a tour professional to shoot a good score. If you miss greens, there is still a chance to get up and down and make a fair amount of putts. Frustration leads to higher scores.
Poor course management is another form of your mental approach. To score well, you must keep the ball in play. Play high percentage shots, not the heroic shots from the trees you see on TV. A 15 handicap player does not control ball flight or have the skill of a Tour Professional. Play it safe, hit the middle of the green and walk away with lower scores.