There have been many great searches in history.
Perhaps the most futile search in history is the search for golf’s “secret.” You know what I mean–the “it” that will unlock the inner golfer that hits every iron pure, hunting down every flagstick like a cruise missile, and sending drives long and straight down the fairway as if launched from a cannon. But here’s the thing…
It doesn’t exist.
This endless search and thirst for perfection is what is wrecking so many of you from getting better at golf. It’s not to say that you can’t be better than you are, but the problem with so many players is that they believe that there are short cuts…and that simply isn’t true.
Many people I have taught come into a lesson wanting a quick fix or believe they should be hitting the ball so much further than they actually do. In most cases, they know that a one hour lesson isn’t going to cure all of their ills, but put them on the right track to better golf.
Many times I can get them hitting it a lot further and much better in one lesson. I often see big changes and know that the potential is there, but the key is to practice with a purpose and not allow the “search” to start to eat away at your progress.
Play Like a Kid Again
Too many golfers look to You Tube, Golf Digest, and Golf Channel for the next best tip that will unlock their games. As a result, many golfers end up with swings that are slower, less athletic, too technically oriented, and lacking in any freedom at all. If you think back to your youth, what other sports did you play?
So many of us remember spending all day at the golf course, hockey rink, basketball court, or baseball field just doing one thing: PLAYING. And let’s be clear: you played A LOT of whatever sport it was; all day sometimes just having fun and getting better at it without ever really thinking about the process of improvement.
Here is where the bridge between your youth and your golf has burned down. I see so many players that don’t view their golf the same way.
They think about positions, nearly obsessing about a certain “look” that they think will make them efficient and better. Practice becomes about technique and less about the target, which in the end is ALL that matters. The freedom of their youth is all but locked away as the search for the elusive “secret” continues.
Don’t get me wrong here, it’s important to have some technical proficiency to swing a golf club. But that technical proficiency only has to be at a certain level that matches your athletic ability and allows you to access that athleticism to swing freely.
How to See True Improvement
The point here isn’t to tell you that all hope is lost. Quite the contrary. But in order to really improve at golf you need to stick to a few things.
First, find someone you trust to teach you, then turn off all of the other distractions.
No friends telling you their swing theories at the range, no You Tube searches at 2:00 am, no infomercial purchases that have 42 straps on them. Just you and a coach who has your best interests at heart and a good idea of your athletic potential and background. Once that is in place you need to stick with the program and free up your brain to let it happen.
The root problem with most golfers is they think golf is a different sport than others they have played and it isn’t. Most basketball players would never think about where their elbow is when shooting a free throw, nor would a baseball player think about the positioning of his hips as he swings at a 95 mph fastball. Yet most golfers don’t want to equate golf to those “reactionary” sports and thus create too much tension, too many thoughts, and as a result, too many bad shots.
So here is your challenge. Get to work practicing correctly and creating an environment where you can swing freely and engage the target. Will you need to work on some technique at times? Probably. But then switch that off and do what you did when you were a kid running around with all of your friends.
Swing without a care in the world and just play.