Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Plan to Play Better Golf

I spend most of my days helping golfers analyze their golf swings. We think it is very important to understand the mechanics of your swing to get better. Our Director of Golf says it best, “Hope is not a strategy.” Once you understand your swing, the goal for every player is very simple. We want build a motion we can repeat, so we can predict the results. So step one in any plan is to find a repeatable motion, do the same things every time we attempt to strike a golf ball, and from that we will see more consistent results, maybe not perfect, but more consistent. I have said it many times before, “You can’t fix random.” So regardless of the results, in order to get better, we have to do the same things, along the same timeline, for every shot we hit. It takes routine to become consistent and consistency is the goal.

While you are on this journey of discovery to find a repeatable swing, the last thing we want to happen is that you get so focused on your swing you forget to play golf. How else will we know if we are improving? For each shot, make the necessary decisions, go through your routine to prepare to swing, make the swing, find the ball, repeat. Don’t judge it, just play. No one has ever played a perfect round, and the first one is not likely to come from you or me, so we will just have to deal with our mistakes along the way. This leads us to the next portion of our plan.

When you play a golf hole have a strategy in place on how to play the hole. Ask yourself, “What is the best way for me to play this hole? Where is the best place for my tee shot and how would I progress from there?” Once the plan is in place, make the first swing and go find the ball. Now we make a decision, from this point on the golf course is my original plan intact or do I need to create a new plan for a different score? If the shot was acceptable proceed. If not what you planned, start over. Create a new plan, again with the thought of what is the best way for me to play the hole from my current location. Create a plan to achieve that and proceed. Continue the process until you finish. This strategy forces you to play golf instead of play swing. Now go back to the first paragraph. Doing consistent things with a plan, allows us to use our tendencies to our advantage rather than fight them. Example, if my consistent shot pattern is a slice. I can plan how to use the slice, rather than try to play an unexpected result. Predictable results no matter how they look, will always result in lower scores.

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