The Real Reason 97 Percent of Elite Golfers Fail to Improve and How You Can Be The One Who Succeeds (Part 1)
For most golfers the thought of making a change to some part of their golf swing is daunting and precarious. You can be as confident about it as you like, but you need to understand that there is nothing easy about changing an aspect of your technique so you can ultimately play better golf.
Every day at our golf college and golf schools we go through a process of introducing change to some aspect of our student’s performance, from swing changes to changes in how our students think and react when they compete in golf tournaments.
It’s what we do. We coach our golfers to make changes that ultimately lead them to play better and more consistent golf - whether they are starting to play or are seasoned performers.
So we have a really good idea of the learning process from start to finish and in today’s article I’m going to explain this learning process and how you can benefit from it with your game.
The starting point of game improvement is a simple four step process;
1) Assess your game currently
2) Predict the outcome you’re looking for
3) Prescribe the process you will use to make the changes
4) Monitor these changes until you arrive at your destination
Assess Your Game Currently
How do you know where you are with your game currently? It’s a very important question if you’re genuinely interested in generating improvement in your game. This is not the same as having a bad day on the golf course and deciding that your driver slices too much!
We need to determine where your game is now so we can work out where we can take it to. This will also help us to work out what part/s of your game need to improve to lower your golf scores.
Our A-B-C method is a very simple way of determining where your game is right now. It goes like this;
A. Determine your current stroke average from your last 10 competitive rounds of golf?
B. Break down your competitive score average and look for the 3 to 5 key golf skills that have the most effect on keeping your score average higher than you want it to be.
C. Choose the weakest-most important golf skill from the key skills you have identified that has the most effect on keeping your score average high and go to work on improving it.
Predict the Outcome You’re Looking For
Now that you have assessed your average golf score and identified your weakest-most important golf skill you need some idea of where you will end up once you undertake the work to improve your skill. This makes a lot of sense I know, but you would be surprised at how many golfers will undertake changes to their game without being clear about the outcome they desire.
They get so wrapped up in the change process that they lose sight of their goal. Whether you’re improving an aspect of your golf swing technique or something else, the key is to know where the finish line is. With no finish line, your golf swing changes become the unfinished symphony, where you just go on and on and on never really coming to a conclusion.
The key to your success in making changes successfully is to have a scoring destination to get to and some stepping stones along the way. For example, if you have a competitive scoring average of 78.5 strokes you project into the future 12 months and decide realistically what you would like your competitive score average to be then and this becomes your destination.
So if you wanted to improve three strokes in the next twelve months then your destination would be a competitive score average of 75.5. Now to make it easier to achieve, break that 3 stroke challenge down into 12 bite sized improvement chunks - each chunk represents improvement of only 0.25 strokes. Now I’m sure you’ll agree that this looks a lot easier to achieve than the 3 strokes doesn’t it?
Prescribe the Process You Will Use to Make the Changes
Ok, this is where the rubber meets the road, in other words this is where the change process begins. You need a method or vehicle that you will use consistently to facilitate the changes required for you to alter what you have to what you want. For instance, if you are going to change some part of your golf swing technique you need a method to do this as precisely as you can for the length of time required.
Changing a motor pattern requires repetition-a lot of repetition! So you need to be prepared to sacrifice the time required to make the changes to your golf swing technique. You also need to consider that the type of change you make will determine the length of time the change will take. For example a high level of complexity will add hours and repetitions the total time spent on the change.
The simpler you make the change component the sooner you will introduce it into your technique. The more complex the change that is, the more parts you have to change in order to facilitate the swing change process and the more complex it is, the longer it will take. To change one component in your golf swing is relatively simple, but to change three components in your golf swing at the same time is at least nine times as difficult to change.
Ideally you will change just one part of your golf swing at a time with each change moving you closer to your ultimate goal. The key to successful change therefore is to understand a very important aspect of it that is broken virtually all the time by novice through to expert golfers. You cannot master both the technical aspect of the performance and the targeting aspect of the performance at the same time.
In other words you cannot try to hit your golf shot accurately to the target and at the same time try to perfect the movement. You will fail at one of them and more likely both!
Next Week Part 2 of "The Real Reason 97 Percent of Golfers Fail to Improve and How You Can Be The One Who Succeeds"
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College