How to Practice Golf: Establishing the Key Performance Indicators that Drive Your Golf Performances Up and Your Golf Scores Down
Top PGA Tour golfers such as Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy must keep identifying ways to stay competitive on tour which is not an easy thing to do when you already have a very low competitive score average.
The challenge facing all serious amateur and professional golfers alike is to continually identify ways to improve your golf skills and then find the time to go to work on them. So with this in mind, how do top class amateur and professional golfers keep getting better?
Continuous progress in golf requires an active goal setting mind-set followed by a strategic process that guides you towards your improvement goals.
Highly specific goals drive your performance upwards and your scores downwards.
"Highly specific goals drive your performance upwards and your scores downwards."
Just for illustrative purposes, think of golf performance as a simple linear progression (It isn’t but just imagine it was) and imagine that somewhere along the pathway you decide that something has to change about the way you practice and perform your golf skills to generate improvement.
In the illustration you can see that golf performance over time is steady and constant, even after you make a decision to improve.
Simple physics tells us that an object in motion (your golf game) will remain on a relatively constant path until it is acted upon by an external force such as the idea to improve one or more of your golf skills.
This decision to improve a golf skill once made is the beginning of the process. Then you will need to turn your idea into action to boost your performance upwards. So you will need to apply consistent and deliberate effort (force) for it to change direction.
Key Performance Indicators
And the key to boosting golf performances has a lot to do with the performance indicators you establish along the way.
Performance indicators (Also called Key Performance Indicators or K.P.I’s) are a type of performance measurement tool that helps you to assess the success of a specific golf practice activity you are employing to boost the direction of your performance in a positive way.
Key performance indicators outline a set of standards or values that you use to measure your performance against. These standards are monitored closely and analysed to determine which of your practice strategies is having the most positive influence on generating improved performance.
6 Score Boosting Outcomes
At Pro Tour Golf College our K.P.I’s center around what we call the 6 Score Boosting Outcomes that we have discovered has the most positive effect on improving your golf scores. These K.P.I.’s re not in any order because we will use one or all depending on the golfer we’re working with.
HIGHLY SPECIFIC OUTCOMES
Boosting golf performance is not a vague or general concept but a highly specific and strategic process that requires careful thought and planning.
As you become a better and more effective golfer you need to really become more focused on being specific with your decision making process about how you will take your game to the next level and beyond.
There’s an old saying that goes; “what you measure you can manage and improve,” and this is exactly why you have to carefully measure your golf practice and performances on the golf course.
If you don’t measure what you’re practicing then how will you know whether it’s working or not?
When you establish goals or objectives you need to make them achievable with a stretch. What this means is that it takes real skill to manage continuous improvement and there is a fine balance between establishing benchmarks that are achievable with ones that are not.
Your outcomes ideally require you to practice in the uncomfortable zone for a time to make steady progress. If it feels comfortable in the beginning then it is likely that you haven’t changed anything.
GOAL DIRECTED OUTCOMES
No golfer ever achieved a high level of performance without setting goals that fuel their passion, drive and dedication.
Goals give your daily practice effort purpose, and continuous progress requires continuously setting little goals to give you something to always aim at.
It is extremely difficult to change an aspect of your golf game without establishing performance goals that help you to stay on the improvement pathway.
PRACTICAL AND RELEVANT OUTCOMES
There are many pathways to improvement, and some are simple ideas that you can put into practice easily, and some that are a little more complicated.
The key to continuous improvement for us is built around the idea of reducing complexity to increase competency.
We know that the more factors involved in the change process the longer it takes and the more complicated it becomes to manage. Identify one or maybe two score boosting factors and start there.
Any more than that and it becomes less practical and relevant as it relates to improving skills and reducing your competitive score average.
QUALITY CONTROLLED OUTCOMES
At Pro Tour Golf College we are almost fanatical about controlling the quality of the practice experience of our students. Why? Because every golf ball hit with care will accelerate your improvement as long as the information you’re working with is relevant to your needs.
Again if we can reduce practice effort down to just the critical factors that have the most influence on improving performance then we have achieved one of our key objectives.
So basically your golf KPI's provide you with the critical to performance data that helps you to understand whether the practice techniques and routines you use are helping or hindering your performances on the golf course.
You need to design specific practice routines that improve your performance on the golf course. Then you need to be able to monitor your practice effort to determine whether the work you're putting into your game is actually working or not.
We find that that many of the elite golfers we have worked with won't put the extra work into tracking, testing, measuring and monitoring their effort. This makes it almost impossible to determine whether your game is on track or off.
There are many statistics programs on the internet that will help you to track your golf course results but unfortunately there is very little for tracking and measuring your golf practice results.
Next week I'll show you how to assess your practice to design appropriate practice routines so that the information you gather can help you to improve your golf skills and lower your golf score in competition.
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College
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