I would say that about 95% of golf players throughout the years have told me that they want more “consistency” in their golf game. What does that mean “to be more consistent?” Does that mean they want their scores to be consistent, ball flight, putting?
Interestingly enough, it is the inconsistency that makes the game exciting. Let’s be honest, if you played golf every day and shot the same exact score, would that be any fun or challenging? If you hit the ball the same height, distance, and shape every time you would get very bored. It is the unknown that makes the game exciting. The chance to put up your best score every time you tee it up is exciting. If you knew you were going to shoot the exact same score as always, well that would be a walk in the park, literally.
With that said, nobody will ever be that level of consistent. All golfers need more consistency in one major area and it is not what you would imagine.
Golfers need to be more consistent in their thoughts!
What does that mean – consistent thoughts?
Golfers are “Tinkerers.” A Tinkerer is someone who hits a shot with one swing thought, then will switch to another thought as soon as they hit a bad shot. They may be trying to hinge their wrist on one swing and then thinking about where the weight is on the next.
It is not your fault though; this is what people in my profession have created. It is totally the golf professional to blame. If you pick up any issue of a golf publication you will see “20 more yards instantly,” “solid irons immediately,” “Drop 10 shots in 5 minutes.” BS!!!!
This is so false and frustrating that we keep telling players this because golfers are being conditioned to think you can instantly transform your game. If the player doesn’t get better immediately they want to quit because they feel ashamed they couldn’t get it right away. They believe they are not built to play golf or the blame the advice or teacher.
I have had people come to lessons where I am their 10th coach. There are many times a coach may steer you in the wrong direction unfortunately and you need someone that knows how to help you, and has a history of it. If you decide to work with a professional, please make sure they have a successful background. A busy teacher is a good sign; someone who doesn’t teach much or is inside the proshop a lot is a sign to possibly stay away. More on this topic coming soon.
Tiger is a great example; he was with probably the best coach in the game in Butch Harmon and Hank Haney as well. As he kept searching and switching thoughts he keeps getting more and more confused. When Tiger was in his early domination years, he stated that he threw out 90% of what Butch told him. There was only a small amount of information he would let in and he knew undoubtedly it was right for him. Now, in his demise, he is listening to Billy Hoerschel and Ricky Fowler about his short game. Really??
Back to the amateur golfer, there are thousands of quick tips out there to make you better today. So how does this affect the golfer? Simple, they go to the range with an arsenal of tips and try all of them. In most scenarios, players walk off the range with no idea what they should be thinking of. This usually leads to frustration and discouragement. Now you have to go to the first tee eventually and most people don’t have a clue how to think.
Take Ben Hogan – do you think he threw out his secret after a few bad shots? Ben Hogan stayed true to his plan and stayed consistent with his thoughts when he learned what was right for him. The result, he became one of the greatest players in history.
Tiger Woods was like this when he was younger. Now, four coaches later and A LOT of people offering unsolicited advice, he doesn’t know what to do. I wrote an article for Golficity earlier this year that I believe he will win again and my position is the same because he is getting back to his original thoughts. Tiger is going back to what worked for him in the past. However, Tiger is having a hard time clearing out all of the other clutter in his mind.
A good example, “my glutes weren’t firing!” Are you kidding me?? Golf fitness has become a big fad and they are making people believe it is necessary; however, more people are injured on the PGA TOUR now than ever. Coincidence? There were great players long before anybody knew about your glutes firing and I guarantee Tiger never thought of his glutes when he was 20 years old and dominating the game of golf.
In summary, your golf game can get better consistently, yet gradually, if you stay consistent with what you are working on and try to hit the same shot shape every time. You must have proper expectations for the time and goals you have. Do not throw away what you are working on after a few bad shots or even a few bad rounds.
The more you tinker, the longer it will take you to improve, if you do at all. If you are able to play and practice always working on one, maybe tw, things that you know you need to do your mind will be at ease and you will have a plan when you play. That is what most players lack and where the inconsistency truly comes from.
Cover Photo by Chrisjam2009 on Flickr
- Why “Aim Small, Miss Small” is Not For Everyone - January 22, 2016
- Aesthetics vs. Efficiency in Your Golf Swing - October 6, 2015
- Why You Are Better On the Driving Range vs the Golf Course - September 17, 2015
- How to Find a Great Golf Teacher, Coach, or Instructor - May 28, 2015
- Why Your Golf Game Lacks Consistency and How to Fix it - March 26, 2015
- A Guide to Helping Juniors Excel in Golf - February 19, 2015
- Swing Changes and Stats – The Real Keys to Rickie Fowler’s Big Year - January 20, 2015
- Be Careful of The Model Golf Swing – It Does Not Exist - January 14, 2015
- Why Tiger Woods Will Win Again - December 15, 2014
- The Misleading Nature of Staying Down on the Ball - December 2, 2014