Why is it that traditional Golf Instruction over the last 50 years has yielded very little change in the Average Golf Score attained in playing golf? Well, we feel it is because predominate thinking is focused on buying your way into a better game with the latest equipment such as Drivers and Putters, and relying on basic “Golf Swing Mechanics”.
This has to change if golfers are going to really enjoy playing the game with Better Scores that are in the 70’s and 80’s! What do we have to do to realize a dramatic change in the existing system to accomplish this task?
Well, after many years of playing the game, purchasing professional lessons, videos, books, and gadgets - - - and along with many hours of research on the subject, we have developed the following 8 STEP METHOD with strategic tactics for making these changes:
You must know at what level you are playing currently, in order to plan for improvement. Set a goal for the number of strokes you plan to drop, along with a date in the future to realize Golf Scores that are lower.
Play five 18-Hole rounds of golf, keeping detailed data on each hole as you play. You will need to monitor all of the traditional “benchmarks” of the playing effort. After playing and monitoring the five rounds, evaluate your data along with obtaining the appropriate totals and averages.
(See Custom Golf Score Card below)
Make a list in priority of the “Flub-Stroke” items which caused the highest gain of strokes during the five rounds.
Locate a registered PGA or LPGA Pro near you. Usually you can find a Pro at your home Course. Take your priority list of “Flub-Stroke” items with you for your first lesson, and discuss it with the Pro. Tell the Pro you want to take the first two “Flub-Stroke” items on the list, and begin working on those during the first Golfing Lesson. Remember, the object is to obtain Lower Golf Scores.
There is a good chance you have taken lessons before this, but now you have a “shopping list” from which to design a lesson plan based upon statistical data gathered from playing five consecutive 18-Hole rounds.
When you have practiced these first two items until they are under control and on “Auto-Pilot”, return to the Pro for another lesson. Have the Pro evaluate your progress, tweak if necessary, then proceed to work on the next two items on the priority list. Continue this process until you have conquered all the items on the “shopping list”.
Any golfer who wants to lower their Golf Scores must practice diligently on those items which are keeping the scores higher!
First, begin with the first two priority list “Flub-Stroke” items worked on in your Professional Lesson as noted above.
Create a specific practice plan and routine to work on every week until you have the new techniques under control and on Auto-Pilot!
We have designed a series of Golf Drills and Golf Practice Games for all phases of your game. (See Putting Practice)
We also have Golf Practice Tips for a variety of situations and time constraints, even during off-season.
If you’re a serious golfer, you probably would love to have a Golf Handicap in the single digits. Right? What do advanced golfers do that you don’t? Are they just naturally gifted players? Could be, but chances are they probably have a level of fitness that positively affects their ability to play better golf.
A “Scratch Golfer” for instance, I am sure goes well beyond “Golf Swing Mechanics” and maintains a high level of Golf Fitness which allows him/her to bring their “A” game to the Course. They have developed a golf fitness routine that ensures their bodies are capable of great golf.
You too can increase your fitness level and obtain golf scores that are lower!
Being in good physical condition is essential for playing golf at a higher level, but it requires strong discipline to follow a structured stretching and exercise program.
A strong flexible body makes it a lot easier to repeat a Proper Golf Swing, especially from about the 12th Hole, when many out-of-shape golfers begin fading.
Staying in good physical condition will definitely result in Golf Scores with which you will be happier. (See Golf Fitness Tips)
5. Course Management
Golf Course Strategy or management is primarily playing the golf course within your mechanical, mental and physical limitations. It’s all about ball placement on each shot, minimizing damage, but primarily control of your mind and emotions.
Whatever level of technical skill you have reached, learn what your chance of success is for each club in your bag and plan your golf shot selection according to your skill level. You must have a good understanding of average distances you can manage for each club in your bag.
Be more conservative and safe with difficult shots beyond your capabilities. Be realistic and play within your limitations.
A superb golf shot happens when you are "Playing-In-The-Zone”. You think more about where the ball is going, rather than the mechanics of the swing to get it there. That means your swing mechanics were on “Auto-Pilot” and your focus was on the target! “Trust your swing” and let it fly.
6. Mental Game
The mental game is definitely a controllable variable if you know how to manage it. You need to understand that your mental state effects the cell chemistry of your brain, which subsequently affects your ability to physically perform the “Swing Mechanics” related to the golf game and hence; your Golf Scores!
It then becomes a matter of programming your mind to utilize your cell chemistry to play in the “Zone” with your “A” game!
State of mind and attitude are the two most important of the mental aspects you can control. You can decide what your State of Mind is going to be prior to “Tee Time”, or any other time during the round of golf!
A positive attitude allows you to remain confident and in control. If you can reduce these variables, you will have more fun playing golf and shoot Lower Golf Scores.
What we are thinking just prior to the club “Take-a-way” has a significant effect on the success of the Golf Shot. If we have the “Swing Mechanics” on Auto-Pilot, focusing on the target should be our primary thought. This means you must have a technically good and consistent golf swing.
"Live-In-The-Moment". When you are living in the moment you are actually in the “zone” where performance levels will be significantly improved. Being aware of your body, mind, and spirit is the key to success.
When you become aware of your “Golf Swing Thoughts” and your body behavior prior to and during your basic golf swing, you are on your way to becoming a better golfer. Having great “Golf Swing Mechanics” by itself does not guarantee success.
A great admonition is to thoroughly “Learn Golf”!
Continually upgrading your knowledge of the game will instill greater confidence.
confidence and peace of mind will increase with just having a
greater understanding and appreciation for the
Rules of Golf!
Spend time researching the internet About Golf; you will be surprised what you can learn in a very short time. For instance, study Golf Terminology for a more complete understanding of the game. Your friends will look at you with greater respect. (See Golf Terms A-thru-B)
You need to play the part of a more advanced player if you are going to score like one!
Having the right golf clubs for your level of play is very important. It doesn’t mean buying the latest Driver and Putter as they come out on the Market! What it means, is that you should evaluate your existing clubs when you have gotten your game under control to see if any changes in equipment in the future will affect your game in a positive manner.
Remember, it’s not your clubs . . . it’s the way you swing them!
Just to give you an example: My clubs are 25 years old. In the last 2 years I have dropped my average score from 105 down to 83. (Same old clubs)
I asked one of the staff at the Pro Shop (he gets carts and bags for members) to hit a few balls with my driver. He is a "scratch golfer".
He is five foot five, one hundred forty pounds. I am six foot one at 225 pounds. I average around 230 yards with my old driver, he hit 5 balls in-a-row with my driver, 280 – 290 yards straight up the middle of the driving range!
So you see, it’s not my driver that’s the problem, it’s the way I swing it! So before you pay $350 for a new driver, remember my example. (See The Right Equipment for more on this subject)
Hope this article helps you to become a better, happier golfer!
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