If your golf game is getting the better of you and you desperately want to end the frustration, I recommend the following action. Yes, it is full on but it will make a difference.
Throw away ALL technical golf instruction that you have: This means all those books and magazines that you have stored around the house and office. They don’t help and if you rely on them for success you’re in big trouble. Read them for entertainment value but don’t think they’ll improve your game.
Stop having golf lessons and searching for a miracle cure: This is related to the one above. If you’re in a golfing slump and want to get out, the chances are you’ve been having lessons and trying everything you can think of. If you’re still in the slump then obviously this hasn’t worked. So stop it. More lessons and searching won’t help – you’ll only get worse.
Remove those golf clubs that you can’t hit or rarely hit well: If you can’t hit your driver and 3 iron take them out of your golf bag immediately. If you’ve hit them well a couple of times but you’ve been playing golf for years still take them out. Delusional or wishful thinking will not help. Only keep the clubs in your bag that you have confidence in hitting.
If this means that you remove all the woods and long irons then you should do it. You can always put them back in when you sort yourself out.
Stop focusing on your score or handicap: I know this is difficult to do but if you want to start playing better golf you need to put thoughts of results and score to one side. Play a round or two (for starters – and without those hard to hit clubs) and see if you can let go and swing freely. Instead of counting your score, count the number of free flowing swings you can make. When this idea clicks, you’ll unlikely go back to the self obsessed and emotionally evaluated way you’ve been playing.
Spend some time on your chipping: I know you’ve been told this many times, but when you truly understand the importance of the short game you’ll make an effort.
I don’t expect you to spend hours each week. Chipping for a few minutes each week on the carpet or in the backyard will work wonders. Get a favourite club and see if you can chip hit high and low. Close your eyes and repeat. Forget about your technique – thinking too much is boring. Chipping technique is best learned naturally. Focus on hitting the ball gently into the air and allowing it to roll towards the target. Easy – you will work out the minor details yourself.
There. This should allow you to remove the straight jacket and swing the club freely (without fear). You’ll have to change your mindset. It requires that you shift gears – if you don’t you’ll be stuck, unlikely to get out.
The end result? You’ll discover your golf game. You will start to experience confidence and little self-doubt. This leads to mastery. Mastery makes the game fun. When it’s fun, remarkable things start to happen. Remarkable can be off the scale! Better than you would ever think possible. Bad remarkable is way better than good.
To be successful you may need to take a step back and give yourself a chance to learn. Hitting irons from the tee. Laying up when you think you can go for it and generally taking the conservative approach is the price you’ll have to pay. But it’s worth it. Much better than any quick tip or fix.
One last thing. It gives you a golf game for life. Definitely worth aiming for if you ask me.