Several times a day, I hear golfers mention the same word, and the frustrations that go along with it: “Consistency.” This word is the bane of most golfers, including the Tour players you see every week.
The first thing I hear golfers say they would like to hit the ball “straight, consistently.”
If you’re trying to hit the golf ball straight on every shot, that is a formula for disaster. Golfers need to have a “predictable curve” to their shots. Of course, the smaller the curvature of the shot pattern, the better the golfer will usually play. My students should expect their shots to fall into a “shot cone.” Their shots are usually small push draws that start a few yards right of the target, and turn back toward the target. The “bad” shots are the ones that start a few yards right of the target, and don’t turn back toward the target.
Essentially, the worst shot they’ll hit is a STRAIGHT shot. But they know their ball won’t spin to the right, out of the cone, and past the target line, to the left. Additionally, if you are trying to hit the ball straight, how do you plan for your miss? Your miss is ALWAYS working away from your target.
Golfers look to the Tour players and mention their consistency.
First off, these are the best players in the world, practicing and playing golf as a full-time job. They work-out, work with their coach regularly, have the best equipment in the world, and have played great golf most of their lives. But let’s have a look at some stats. At the time of this post (just before the U.S. Open), the top-3 players in the world are Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, and Rory McIlroy.
- Day: 56%
- Spieth: 60%
- McIlroy: 61%
Greens In Regulation:
- Day: 67%
- Spieth: 64%
- McIlroy: 69%
Those are the top-3 players in the world.
As you can see, they hit a little more than HALF of their fairways (taking it a step further, they miss about the same number of fairways to the left as they do the right. Not so “consistent”). They hit a little more than half their greens in regulation. This is AFTER they practice all those hours a day, with the best equipment and instruction in the game!
So, I cherry picked some stats. We know they are great putters, hit the ball a long way, have good short games, etc. With some instruction and practice, you could easily hit half your fairways. You might not hit 2/3 of your greens in regulation, but I’d bet you’d hit more greens, if you hit more fairways!
If you’re trying to hit the golf ball straight on every shot, that is a formula for disaster.
Now we get to score. These guys always light it up, right? Well, not always. Jordan Spieth’s career low round on tour is 61. Spieth’s scoring average for that year was over 69. That means he had a lot of scores in the 60s, and a lot of scores in the 70s. 74 is a long way from 61, it’s nowhere near “consistent”. My point, Tour players have ups and downs, just like the average player does.
The thing to remember: Tour players are better at handling the inconsistencies than the average players.
Embrace the good rounds, and realize that bad rounds don’t mean you’re terrible. Take lessons, practice, and figure out how to get things into predictable shot patterns and scores. You’ll enjoy the game a lot more!
Had a golfer tell me the golf club will do all the work. I took the club and laid it on the ground. Still waiting for it to work… 🙄
— Bruce Dowell (@BruceDowellgolf) June 4, 2016