Many of us say we are going to play golf. Many of us think that “playing golf” simply entails traveling to the course, paying for our round, hitting some balls on the range, hitting shots and adding up the score after. But most of us aren’t actually playing golf, instead, we’re playing “golf swing”.
One of the biggest challenges I find with my clients is that they are playing Golf Swing when they come to me. They come to me often because they are not playing well or as well as they think they should.
Thousands of times I have been told “I hit it great on the range. I think I have a great swing. But I am not scoring on the course.” Or they say “I play great in practice rounds and unimportant rounds but when it matters something is wrong and I score much higher.” Or some version of these comments.
One thing I know for sure. There is a golf swing if learned correctly that holds up under pressure and repeats.
This swing is highly efficient and extremely fluid. Another thing I know that very few players know how to make this extremely efficient and fluid move. Many less know how to coach it. I was lucky I was taught it from the start of my golfing career. To tell you how lucky I was. I estimate that probably only 1 out of 100 golf instructors know how to teach this swing. I went from around a 20 handicap to scratch in 18 months.
You practice a lot. You hit lots of balls working on Swing Keys and Drills. On video your swing is looking better to you and maybe an instructor who can’t or never could break 75 in a tournament. On the range your ball striking is really pretty good. Then you go to the course and it is not so good, or good for a while and then not. It varies.
The problem is, it is not supposed to vary. Your shots are supposed to be Fairly consistent. You work so hard in practice to hit the same shot over and over. Your muscle memory is supposed to get really strong with all the balls you hit in practice. Problem is it's a timing based move.
You are religious about doing your routines just so. You are emphatic about making sure your swing keys are remembered. You monitor your swing to make sure your club and your body are what you think are in the right positions. Every routine is a carbon copy of the one before. Yet your swings and outcomes are not consistent through the round.
Why aren't your swings and outcomes consistent through the round?
- First of all this game is diabolically difficult
- Second, you have been practicing your swing probably not a fundamentally correct or efficient swing and not playing golf. How often do you get to hit the same shot over-and-over on the course?
- Third, you are not a machine. Most teachers teach like you are a machine with the videos and precise attention to alignment and body or club positions. Ok what about feel visualization and tempo ?
- Fourth, you work on the range with perfect lies and hit the same shot over and over with no worries about scoring.
That does not necessarily prepare you to play golf well.