Over the past 25 years of teaching golf, I would say the most common thing that I hear golfers say is that they want to become more consistent. You’re probably shaking your head right now in agreement. The thing I find funny is that people who say this are never serious about it. I say this because as soon as the latest and greatest club or ball comes out claiming to get another 10 or 15 yards they go buy it.
As soon as they get on a launch monitor they try to rip it as hard as they can. And when they go play or practice they swing out of their shoes. If you truly want to become a consistent golfer you have to get serious. Below are a few things that will help you gain the consistency you are after:
1. Slow Down Your Golf Swing
You’ve seen the pros on TV hit a golf ball. When they hit shots they make it look effortless. So why is it that when you go to play, you try to hit every shot as hard as you can? The next time you go to play, try to swing at half speed. You may have to take an extra club on certain shots but swinging slower will make you hit the ball straighter because the harder you hit the more you amplify the sidespin on the ball. If you are off even a little with a fast swing your ball will be gone. If you put a little less into it and you don’t hit the ball quite perfect you will still be able to find you ball thus saving you shots. Plus, confidence breeds distance. If you keep hitting fairways and greens you will gain confidence. As you gain confidence, you will gain distance. So, slow down and you will become more consistent.
2. Practice Regularly
How do you expect to get better at golf if you never practice? I know you’re busy. Everyone’s busy but those who are serious about becoming better golfers make time to practice. One of things I promote, is to do practice swings at home in the basement or backyard while working on the proper positions. I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say that you have a great practice swing but when you go to hit a ball it’s totally different. Well first off, you don’t have a great practice swing. It’s probably okay but it’s not great. If it were great you would have the knowledge to use this very same swing to hit the ball. The reason your practice swing changes when you hit a ball is because you are thinking about hitting the ball. The more you try to hit the worse you will become (see #1 above). What you should be doing is learning the proper positions and repeating them over and over again (in practice swings) until you know no other way to swing. These positions must be precise and must be repeated exactly the same way each time you swing. So, learn the proper swing positions. Set up a practice station in or at your home and get serious about how you are supposed to be moving your body. Forget hitting golf balls for a while. Once you master the movement the ball will just get in the way.
3. Practice ONLY One Method
There are many teachers out there who all see the golf swing differently. These teachers have all studied the game for a long time and probably know a lot more about it than you. So try to find a teacher that you like and religiously follow this person’s instruction. This will help you to master the positions and develop a consistent golf swing because you will stop trying all those different tips and tricks that have done nothing to help you become a consistent golfer.
4. Get Your Clubs Fitted
Equipment is very important to playing consistent golf. If you are using equipment that is not fitted to your body, you will have to make compensations to your swing to hit perfect shots. Some days you will make these compensations perfectly and other days you won’t. For the sake of a few dollars, have your clubs checked. If you do, you can rule out using the wrong equipment as the cause of your inconsistency.
5. Use the Same Brand of Golf Balls Each Time You Play
Okay quit looking for balls when you play. I know you just saved yourself $3-4 dollars but using a ball that has been in a pond for a year is not going to do your game any good. Also, not all golf balls are made the same. If one day you play one brand and the next day you play another how are you going to become consistent? There is a lot of feel in golf especially around the greens. If you are always using a different ball how can you possibly develop a consistent feel.
6. Develop a Routine
This last point is vital to playing great golf. You must have a routine. From the moment you leave work or home you should almost be able to put your game on autopilot because you have done the exact same routine each time. Your routine should encompass your arrival to the course, your practice, your approaching the first tee, your set up routine and visualization, attitude on the course etc. There are many different areas in the game of golf. Try to develop a consistent routine in each of these areas then you will be able to get yourself into a comfort zone when you go to play.
It’s finally time for you to get serious about this game. This means you have to forget distance. This will come with consistency. Hopefully, you can incorporate some of these ideas into your golf game. If you do, you finally gain the consistency that you are after.
All the best,