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...