You’re like most golfers – you flit around from swing theory to swing theory, searching for that magic secret.
In an attempt to find that elusive “answer”, you’ve probably even take advice from your 15 handicap golfing partners. Let’s face it, this is the blind leading the blind, and the equivalent of taking a swimming lesson from an Anvil.
Don’t take swimming lessons from heavy objects, and don’t take golf lessons from your playing partners who can’t hit it
You rarely stick with anything long enough to actually ingrain it – after all, you are the modern man (or woman) and used to getting your desires fulfilled instantly.
How’s that working out for your golf game?
The One Thing
What if you had a philosophy shift?
What if for the last X number of years of playing, instead of going through the tens of different methods you had stuck with one?
Quite possibly, instead of spinning your wheels for the last few years and arriving…. right where you are with your current game….. you could have actually mastered that one thing/method and seen the benefits.
So, What Is This “One Thing”?
The reality is, the “one thing” could be almost anything that would improve your game.
This is the whole point. Just pick something, anything that you know will guarantee better golf shots, and work your ass off on that – as opposed to flitting around from one snake oil tip to another like a 6-year-old with ADHD on a sugar high.
Become a master of this one thing.
But, What Do I Choose?
I’m not a massive fan of swing methods or models. Anyone who has followed me knows that.
Not that there aren’t some good ones out there. If you find one that you like the philosophy of/believe in, go for it.
However, I got a lot better (and so did my coaching) when I started to look for the common denominators between all methods. What do all professionals do?
More importantly for me (which saved me a lot of frustration in my own game) was to ask the question,
What guarantees a better shot”?
The good news is, there are a few things out there. For example, improving your;
- Face strike
- Ground contact
- Swing path and clubface relationship
- Strategy and understanding of your shot patterns
I discussed a lot of these, as well as how to train them and improve them in my best-selling book “The Practice Manual – The Ultimate Guide for Golfers”, which you can pick up on Amazon.
The Perfect Example
Let’s look at an example of how you can lower your handicap significantly in a year.
By far, for the average golfer, the biggest bang for their buck will come from improving strike quality – in particular, ground contact (location, depth etc.).
The position of the low point and depth of arc are critical keys to professional strike quality – as discussed in detail in The Strike Plan.
Imagine the scenario of a player who contacts the ground, on average 4 inches behind the ball. Believe it or not, this is pretty common.
Sometimes they strike this point with a very shallow divot and get away with it. Occasionally, they make a deeper divot (as above) and the ball goes in the water, short of the green. On tight lies, wet lies or out of rough, they are basically useless.
This player then tries to improve their ground strike.
- Player A tries it for an hour. They get some success, maybe a couple more better strikes, but nothing ground breaking. They decide to move onto the next “swing tip” in the hope that the secret lies there. A year later, they are still in this cycle of swing tips – and haven’t improved one bit.
- Player B understands that improving his/her ground strike is going to have a big effect on their level of play, so they dig their heels in (metaphorically) and do everything in their power to master their quality of ground strike. Over the course of a year, the player goes from striking 4 inches behind the ball on average, to striking just 1 inch behind the ball on average. Their playing partners start to comment about “how much more consistent you have become”.
Mastery Takes Time
This is not to say you can’t make significant strides in shorter periods, however.
Hell, I’ve helped some golfers shoot their lowest scores ever in just one session using some of the drills in The Strike Plan.
But you have to be dogged about your approach. Set your mind on a specific goal and do everything in your power to get it. Given enough determination, persistent focus and the right approaches to learning, you will get better at it.
Don’t feel that working on one thing is going to limit you. You can still look at many different ways to achieve that one thing.
For example, you could try to improve your ground strike by
- Improvements in arc height control
- Improvements in low point control
- Variability training
- Differential training
- Adding constraints
- Better understanding of strike concepts
- Improved awareness via specific exercises
- Improved technique which relates directly to ground contact
All of these things I discussed in my book, The Practice Manual – The Ultimate Guide for Golfers.
Also, if you want to get better at strike quality, I focused on “one-thing” for a year and put together the most comprehensive program on this single topic in my video series “The Strike plan”.
With strike improvements being the biggest “game-changer” for the vast majority of golfers, this program really provides a lot of lifetime value. Click the image below for more info about the video series.
- Stop chasing your tail – pick one thing and master it as well as you can
- You would be best served if that one thing actually related to better shots and lower scores, such as mastering strike quality.
- Find every way conceivable to improve that one thing. However, some simple, tried and tested exercises (such as those in The Strike Plan) can speed up the process to mastery.
- Slap yourself for wasting the last few years