As a full time PGA Golf Coach, my job is to help all golfers from the beginner to the elite level understand and achieve their individual goals while going through the peaks and valleys this game presents. The one constant in golf is that the game will not be consistent. If you look at the best in the world, even those players go through peaks and valleys relative to their potential. Sergio winning this weekend is a perfect example of this. So this begs the question “how do we best measure progress and improvement?” You would probably say the obvious answer is the scores we are posting, and I certainly agree. So how do we give ourselves the best chance to perform relative to our individual skill sets? It is my observation through many years of helping and coaching golfers that measured improvement happens with anyone that puts in useful time and effort. I have had this conversation numerous times on the lesson tee. “Coach I saw this or read this and so I have been working on this and what do you think?” There are instances where you can improve from a “tip” but usually it does not stick. Below is a guideline to help anyone that seeks lasting measured improvement.
Goal Setting –
Write down your individual goal or goals. It is an indisputable fact that those that write down and review their goals daily have a much higher chance of accomplishing these goals than those that don’t (see Harvard 1979 MBA Business Study). In short, the 3% that had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them on average earned 10 times as much as the other 97% put together.
So if your goal is to break 100, 90, 80 or win your Club Championship write it down and how you will accomplish it. The how might be “improve driving and minimize 3 putts”. You might take it deeper and ask why are you 3 putting. Is it poor green reading, poor speed management or negative mindset? So now hopefully you see a plan taking place as opposed to just jumping from tip to tip.
Golf in my opinion has 4 areas that need attention. They are the Technical, Strategical, Mental and Physical.
My suggestion on the technical side is to address one area only at a time until you see improvement that is sticking. Might be as simple as bad ball position, alignment or a minor grip change. You might be surprised how addressing a pre swing fundamental can lead to lasting improvement. I have seen this happen countless times.
Relating to strategy it might be something as simple as on a hole that does not fit your eye, take out a fairway wood or hybrid to help assure you get the tee ball in the fairway. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Hitting a fairway and adding distance to the next shot is much better than pitching out from the trees or hitting it out of bounds. Space will not allow me to cover how many ways you can save shots by being aware of the right shot at the right time relative to skill level.
The mental side is so important. You might be amazed how much you can improve your scores by understanding and practicing this area of the game. Just like anything else it takes time and practice but will pay huge dividends at any skill level. “Golf is not a Game of Perfect” by Dr. Bob Rotella is a must read. Dr. Rotella was the first to help PGA Tour players with this area of the game. Practicing positive visualization, positive self talk and applying on the golf course is such a valuable tool in your arsenal. Again, this can help anyone regardless of skill level.
Understanding everyone has different goals and time restrictions, getting a physical assessment from a Certified TPI Fitness Instructor will pay dividends if you put in the time and work. If you can’t or simply do not want to do this, learn how to stretch properly and that will certainly help. The golf swing is a very dynamic and ballistic motion so keep your body in golf shape! It is very important and rewarding.
I hope this helps and please contact the teaching staff if we can help in any way! Enjoy the challenge of this great game!