We’re now coming into November and you know what that means … it’s time to reflect on your golf performance this past season. You should be asking yourself if you’re content with your current level of play. If you are, you should be figuring out what you are going to do to retain this level of play next season. If you’re not content with your game, you should be asking yourself what you are going to do to change things so next year will be better.
Because most people want to improve their game, this article outlines a few things you should do to take your game to a new level. Let’s first understand why you are not playing to the best of your ability:
What The Average Player Usually Does
Once the warm weather nears, the excitement of the new golf season is fierce. Those who have said to themselves that “this is going to be the year” are chomping a the bit to get it done. The first thought is that buying some new equipment will be the answer. This may help a little but shooting great scores is not as simple as just buying new equipment. If it was, you wouldn’t be reading this tip.
Another thing the average player may do at the start of the season, is to go to their local pro for a lesson or 2. Unfortunately, after one or 2 lessons they don’t see any immediate improvement so they become discouraged. Once discouraged, this person starts to think about buying new equipment again looking for that “miracle cure”. This is a never ending cycle that results in no one making substantial improvement.
What the Average Player Should Be Doing
What the average player should be doing is working on their game now, throughout the winter and regularly hereafter. Why now? Isn’t it too cold out? Learning the proper swing fundamentals, short game technique, mental game and physical conditioning takes a little work so starting now will get the average player ready to go at the start of the season. If you start in the spring, you’ll be using prime golf time to make changes. Why not makes changes to your game now so that you can beat your friends next season? If you’re someone who really wants to improve your game here are 10 things you can do:
1. Write down your goals with a timeline so you can track your progress. Goals are very important. If you set your goals well in advance, it will motivate you to accomplish them.
2. Choose a qualified teacher. Different teachers have different theories about the golf swing. My theory is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. I have people copy the 3 elements of the Iron Byron because it is a machine that was modeled after golfing legend, Byron Nelson’s golf swing. Other teachers have different theories about the swing. If my method sounds interesting then visit my other website www.swingmachinegolf.com to find out more or use the internet, golf channel, library or bookstore to find a teacher’s theory that you can relate to.
3. Once you’ve found the right teacher you can: 1) take a few late season lessons to get you started, 2) take some online lessons (some teachers offer this service where you send them video of your swing for analysis) or 3) purchase that teachers books or videos so that you can work on their method through the winter.
4. Set up a practice station at home with a piece of 4' x 4' carpet on the floor with a full length mirror (available at Home Depot under $20). Position the mirror close enough to allow you to watch yourself swing and check your new positions. On the 4' x 4' carpet, lay down some lines of masking tape to indicate your alignment and ball position. People think that you have to hit balls to get better which is simply not true. Remember, you are trying to make changes to your swing. If you can regularly practice your new swing positions towards a mirror, you will have the new swing positions perfected by the time spring rolls around.
5. Set up a putting and chipping station in your basement or garage with a plastic practice hole and a long piece carpet (15' – 20' )that represents the putting surface. Use a piece of carpet ( 2' x 4' ) with a thicker pile at the other end to hit chip shots into the hole. Remember, the short game is vital to scoring. A little practice throughout the winter will go along way next season.
6. Design a golf specific workout program that includes stretches. More flexibility will dramatically increase your distance. There are plenty of programs available on the internet.
7. Find a good software program that allows you to track your stats next season. If you can see the weak areas of your game you can work on these specific areas. Again, there are plenty of programs available on the internet.
8. Continue your instruction. The best players in the world have coaches who they see regularly. When you are first making changes you may have to take lessons weekly. As your new swing progresses, you should have a check up every month to keep you on track. This is important because what you think you are doing and what you are actually doing are usually two completely different things.
9. Consult a sports psychologist or at least read some books by the best sports psychologists in the business. Becoming mentally tough is very important in allowing you to overcome the many adversities this game presents.
10. Have your equipment checked by a qualified club fitter or instructor. Having the proper equipment is vital to your game. Make sure you have the proper shafts, your lie angles are correct, your grips are new and they are the clubs you should be using. A good club fitter will have a launch monitor that will tell you the exact kind of clubs you should be using.
Hopefully, you understand what it takes to become a better player. It is not as simple as just buying new clubs or taking the odd lesson. It takes hard work, determination and a plan. This may not sound like a lot of fun but it sure is fun adding up a 75 on your scorecard.
All the best,