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8 Ways to Become a Better Golfer
Written By: Steven Gribin on Nov 13 2008
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How do I become a better golfer? 

This is a question I ask myself every time I step on the course.  So here are a few suggestions that I believe can assist in getting this done.

1. Make the decision – We all talk about getting better, but honestly, most of us just don’t mean it.  We think we want too; we believe we want to, but we never start to pay the price.  So the first step in getting better is making the commitment.  Take a minute and write a contract with yourself.

“I make a commitment to spend ___ hours a week working to improve my golf game.”

Sign this and put it on your bathroom mirror.  One other very important aspect of this letter, you must add a second paragraph pertaining to your goal.  Do you want to make it to the tour; do you want to break 90 or 80?  Want do you want from your improvement?  Please be honest.  Take into consideration the amount of time you are willing to give to the process and how that will relate to your goal.  Example – lets say you currently have a tough time breaking 90 but your goal is to play scratch golf.  When considering this goal, take into account that to play scratch golf could take a couple of years of practicing 10 – 15 hours a week and that does not count the two or three rounds you will need to play.  If you are a mom or dad with two kids, a job and a life, ask yourself, “Am I willing to change my entire lifestyle to reach my goal?”

2. Find a teacher -  I know we all think we know everything about the swing, but we know nothing.  To get better, seek professional help.  Take the time to interview three or four candidates for the position.  Just like you would for a family doctor, this person will be in charge of your golfing time; you need someone you can learn from and who understands what you want from the game. 

3. Swallow your pride – To get better at this game you must be willing to admit you know nothing.  You must be willing to put your entire being in the hands of your PGA Professional.  This is much more than just learning a swing.  You must forget your current swing, your current stance, your current grip.  Go to the beginning.  Each time your mind floats to, “Why am I doing this?” slap yourself on the face and focus on the task at hand.  In order to get better, we must first admit we are flawed.

4. Keep to yourself – This is extremely important.  Everyone wants to help.  It always happens.  You must…you must nicely ask these people, friend or foe, to “stay the hell out of your golf swing.”  Working to improve you game is a marathon, not a sprint.  A good teacher will move you – step by step – through the process of making you a better golfer.  Average Joe, standing in the next stall has no idea where you are in the process.  I know this is difficult, but for your own good, you must ask everyone not to give advice.

5. Keep the Faith – This is a long process.  At times, it will get very discouraging.  This is a “glass is half-full” situation.  Enjoy the baby steps and they will be baby steps.  There will be plenty of bad shots; there will be lots of questioning, “Why am I doing this to myself?”  The end goal is all that matters.  Stick with it; I promise it’s worth it.  Playing better golf is so much fun.

I have been going through a major swing change for 6 months.  I make myself and plenty of people around me crazy.  One week it works perfectly the next I can barely break 80… but I keep reminding myself there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

6. Be courageous – There will be times you want to quit; there will be times you’ll want just to use the old swing.  Try to remain in the present.  Be strong; you can do this.

7. Play with better players – As you begin to improve, search out better players than yourself.  You will be nervous, but you will begin to understand the goal.  You’ll give yourself opportunity to see how the other half lives.  And one more point, remember they went through this too.  It makes it easier on you.

8. Most importantly, love the game.  Golf is life.  As you get better in golf… as you begin to understand the steps you have to take to improve, magically these steps will begin to become a part of your entire life.  Because getting better is contagious.  It will consume you… it will make you enjoy life more.

Hope you have a great weekend...

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LoneWolf said:

Wonderful advice Steve.  I feel that #1 and #8 are probably the most important on the list.

#2 is a tough one for some of us though.  It is hard enough to justify the money we spend on equipment and green fees to add lessons on top.  However, I would love to be able to have a swing coach someday.  It is important that they are able to adapt your swing to you though, and not try to force you into some other mold.

I'm glad that I came across your blog.  I'm hoping to find more interesting articles as I work though the archives!



November 14, 2008 7:31 PM

About Steven Gribin

Steven Gribin is one of golf’s premier analysts. His work for ESPN Radio, Yahoo Sports and XM’s PGA Tour Radio has led him to receiving a number of broadcasting awards including the International Network of Golf Radio Show of the year in 2007 and the PGA Bob Galt Media Award for Broadcast Excellence.

For 8 years, Gribin has brought a distinctive, professional and entertaining approach to golf. After a successful career in the radio business, Gribin chose to change his career path and move behind the microphone hosting a local golf radio program in Dallas/Fort Worth.

“I never thought I could make a living playing the game, as I am nowhere near good enough. But with over 20 years of radio background, I thought I could create an entertaining golf show,” Gribin said. “I also thought the metroplex was in dire need of a “real” golf program.” “Out Of Bounds” the golf show began airing in April of 2000.

In 2003, Gribin moved his show to ESPN Radio in Dallas. Over the last 5 years, “Sunday Tee Time” has grown from a local golf broadcast to being aired on over 350 ESPN Radio stations throughout America. Gribin brings his listeners the best in golf interviews including exclusive time with Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam and most of golf’s Top 50 players.

During the last year, Steven Gribin has brought his entertaining approach to golf to numerous new venues. He writes a weekly newsletter read by more than 25,000 golfers. He writes and creates video streaming for Yahoo.com/sports/golf and does a weekly 20 Q&A with different tour players.

For more than 20 years, Steven Gribin worked in radio sales and management. He spent the majority of his career in the area of sports marketing.

In addition to talking and writing about golf, Gribin owns The Golfers Home. The Golfers Home operates the radio shows as well as a golf membership program and a golfing division that takes over 3000 listeners to play golf annually.

He is married to CBS Entertainment Reporter, Sandie Newton. They have two boys that both play junior golf; Douglas, 18 and William, 13.

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