The most common request from golfers the world over is this: “I just want to be more… (you guessed it)… consistent.” This also comes in the form of a question: “How do I be more consistent?” There are two responses that I make to this.
First, in order to have a “consistent” golf game, you must FIRST have consistent thoughts. Even if it’s the exact wrong thought, you’re better off trying to do EXACTLY the same thing from swing to swing. For instance: “Head still”, “Head Down” and “Eye on the ball” may on the surface appear to be the same thing, but at a deeper look they aren’t. “Eye on the ball” often translates into a player’s dominant eye focusing on the ball, which if you’re a rear eye dominant (right if you’re right handed, left if you’re left handed) player, this will often create a head back position shifting the low point behind the ball (at the very least). And if you’re a forward-eye dominant player (opposite of the above), that will often create a forward chest position, early rotation in the shoulders, and a steep angle of attack. If you think “head down” you’ll likely create a movement whereby you don’t maintain the same spinal posture through the swing and the head will remain down far too long for the body to rotate properly through the impact frames as the neck will run out of mobility and the brain slams on the brakes in your rotation ahead of contact to prevent injury. The “head still” position is the most favorable of the three as the chest often stays taller through the impact frames but suffers at the behest of your mobility in your neck and shoulders as well. The point in this is not that you should or shouldn’t “keep your head still” but to show you that similar thoughts produce different results as they are translated differently by the brain.
Second, what do you mean by more consistent? The reality is that you are already consistent in what you do. It’s why I can look up any person’s handicap in the world and they will have a range of 10-12 shots from their best to their worst. Occasionally you’ll find rare outliers of a really bad or good round (which are tossed out in the calculation for handicap since they are outliers after all). If the best players in the world have a 10-12 shot range (65-75) with occasional outliers (<65 or >75) then why can’t you? “How can I be more consistent?” is the wrong question. The better question is “How can I shift my average scoring dispersion down X shots?” It’s the right question and should be the focus of your progress. Think of it this way: If you drop your scoring average 10 shots over 6 months then there is a chance you can shoot the same score you did 6 months prior. The difference? This is now your WORST score in your range, not your best or even your average. The right perspective on this topic changes everything.
So to close: Join me in stopping the conversation about being more consistent and instead focusing on lowering your scoring average. It all starts with having the same swing thought (or better yet, feel) on EVERY. SINGLE. SHOT.