It’s the most common improvement golfers ask for when discussing a lesson program. “I just want to be more consistent.”
Let’s dig into this a little bit.
|synonyms:||evenness, steadiness, stability, constancy, regularity, uniformity, equilibrium, unity, orderliness, lack of change, lack of deviation; More|
The second doesn’t really apply unless you’ve been with George Gankas in Cali and you’ve taken his emoji to a real level. The first part is what we’re talking about, and look at the synonyms: regularity, uniformity, lack of deviation. LACK OF DEVIATION is a bit harsh but probably the closest to what golfers are looking for. If there is a belief that the golf swing just gets to a “good place” and you just go on repeat then show me another part of life where you can get to some place and go on autopilot. Even autopilot type APPs need backend support, so perhaps the idea is that golfers just need to get better. A few months ago with a new client, he expressed the same concern – lack of consistency – and he described a few things.
Player: I hit my driver straight right or it curves left. The 2 way miss is killing my consistency.
Me: Ok, sounds normal. What do you normally shoot?
Player: My last 4 rounds have been 94-95-94-96. I just need be more consistent!
Me: It sounds like your tee shots do 1 of 2 things and you seem to shoot within 2 shots every time you play. You couldn’t be more consistent.
Player: Then why do I play 3 good holes and then hit one sideways into the woods?
Me: First, you’re human and we make mistakes. Second, people that shoot 94 will do that sometimes. In order to avoid those shots, you need to get better at golf.
The reason that a player can have a streak of good holes and something sideways is mostly due to a brief lapse of focus, sometimes beverage cart related, but rather than beat yourself up over it, just accept that those things will happen. Did you really show up to play thinking it would be bogey free and you would stripe it better than Moe? Of course not, so give yourself a Bad Shot Handicap and don’t worry about anything until you get to that number. Maybe its 4 shots per 9 holes. Imagine your attitude if you only had 2 shots on the front. That could be a game changer on the back 9 for you.
In order for golfers to get better, they need to better recognize what they’re doing on the course. In my player above, he started with “I hit my driver straight right or it curves left.” If you know the ball will do 1 of 2 things, you can create strategies around that by taking your shot cone and aiming it appropriately. This is a major portion of the #MYGAME playing lessons. From a geometry standpoint, the math behind the swing, a shot that goes straight right for a right handed golfer is considered a push or a block meaning that swing path went right and the club face pointed the same amount right creating a straight shot. The ball that curves left has the same path but a club face that points a little more left, something that can easily happen since the face angle could the the variable with the widest “consistency”. “A push right and a draw are cousins” as an old pro used to tell me in college. I figured this also mean that a pull and a fade are also cousins. These 2 statements give us some correlations which again, we can use for our strategy to play the course.
Recognizing your shot flight tendencies will help you navigate the golf course using YOUR shots as one way we lose shots playing golf is trying to shape the ball like the shape of the course, ie. hitting a left to right tee shot on a left to right shaped hole. This brings in INCONSISTENCIES because most players have their 2 shots, but when they try to draw it when their normal is a fade, their dispersion doubles and their tendency to miss strike it goes up about the same. So there’s a 4 times a better chance for a bad shot! If you’re looking to be consistent, do consistent things with your ball and strategy. Trying to shape the ball both ways because you think tour pros do that, I’d recommend actually going to watch tour pros play because that’s not the tour golf I see.
On a final note of consistency, think about how you “train” for this sport. I know everyone reading this is a super athlete in top physical shape and you don’t need to warm up… How do you warm up? Do you get to the course about the same time before each round? Do you eat the same food or even eat on the course the same way? Do you warm up with the same clubs? Do you even play on the same day, same time, same weather, same course with the same hole locations with the same people with their same happy demeanour? No, and there are 100 more examples of how nothing about golf is consistent so stop expecting it to show up. Just recognize where you need to be better to score better and practice it.
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