From time to time, I end up at a dinner, party or other gathering with people I don’t know. When they find out that I am a golf professional, people always have lots of questions for me. Some want to know why they hit a slice, other want to know if I have played famous golf courses like Augusta National (no), Pebble Beach (no) or St. Andrews (yes). My favorite question however, is the most simple one. My favorite question is…
“What is the biggest problem you see with average golfers?”
My answer always surprises people. I tell tham that the biggest problem I see is that the majority of golfers are unrealistic. Let me explain some of the ways that golfers are unrealistic.
- Golfers set unrealistic goals. Setting a goal (or goals) is the most important thing a golfer can do. Many do not take the time to set goals, and most others set unrealistic goals. Your goals need to be consistent with the amount of time you have to practice, your understanding of your golf swing, your understanding of ball flight laws, and your overall level of commitment to your goals. Be realistic and set a series of smaller goals that you can track. When you meet one of your goals, celebrate it! If you set an unrealistic goal and don’t have success, you are going to give up more easily.
- Golfers are unrealistic about the amount of time the need to practice. You can’t practice before you play, and you can’t practice as an afterthought. Practice needs to be consistent (almost daily) and you need to put in an appropriate number of repetitions during practice.
- Golfers are unrealistic in their expectations for practice. Practice needs to be focused, deliberate & have a specific purpose. “Hitting balls” is simply exercise, and not very good exercise at that, because it won’t raise you heart rate very much. Let’s use the example of a golfer trying to fix a slice. They probably know that the slice is a result of a clubface that is open to the club’s path at impact. But most do not know what is causing that to happen, and even less know how to fix it. So they spend their “practice” testing a fix they saw on Golf Channel or read about in a magazine.
Your practice needs to isolate your faults and correct them. If you can not identify the specific fault(s) and isolate them in your practice, then you are just exercising.
To help you get started with setting realistic goals, click on “Instruction” at the top of the page and then “My Game Improvement Plan”, and fill out the form. Take your time and really think about your answers to the questions. Then give me a call and let’s get started!