How have you been playing? Is the work on your game resulting in better shots and lower scores? Have you been able to take your range game to the course?
It is always exciting to see so many players on our driving range working on their golf game. Yet so many players that I talk to are still struggling to turn that practice into better shots and lower scores on the golf course. These players often tell me that they hit great shots on the range but struggle to reproduce that when they head out onto the course.
These players will then tell me that they just need more practice. But they already hit the ball great on the range so how is more practice on the range going to help them play better on the golf course? I just don’t understand that logic. We are all tempted to look for salvation in technique, and I am very supportive of the search for a better swing. Yet, too many golfers struggle to bring their range game to the course. Clearly, for these players, there are aspects other than technique at work that are hindering performance, aspects like how they respond to the on-course environment or the mental processes they are using. As well as working on your golf swing, work on these three non-technical areas of your game. Improving these will help you to transfer your range skills to the golf course.
Learn How to Deal With Bad Shots
Hitting poor shots is a normal part of playing golf. It is so easy to fall into the trap of working harder to eliminate the poor shots yet the reality is that even the best players in the world hit poor shots occasionally. The difference between the average player and the great player is often how they react to those shots.
It is too easy to get down on yourself and allow that negativity to influence your next shot as you start questioning your swing technique. Without being fully committed to the shot it is very easy to hit it poorly and then you question your technique further. Thus you fall into the loop of searching for a technical solution and before you know it you have shot a high score.
The skill of acceptance is critical to breaking this process. You are human not a machine and as such are not able to perfectly repeat your swing time after time. Golf is a hard game and you will hit bad shots. Work to accept these as part of the game and focus on making your best effort on your next shot
Train Your Attention
When you prepare to hit a shot there are several things that you don’t have a lot of control over. The technical skills you have that day aren’t going to change during your round, your strength and flexibility and your equipment will also not change during your round. However, you do have control over your attention and it can change dramatically during your time on the golf course.
Attention can either be on a body part or motion (Internal focus) or on the club or even the ball flight (external focus). Each player will respond differently to each type of focus and thus will have more success with one over the other.
To find out which one works best for you, invest some time hitting shots where you use an internal and then an external focus to work on the same move in your golf swing and see which one produces the best results for you. For example, if you are working to stop slicing and thus get your swing path more to the right (for a right hand player). An internal focus would be to feel the arms fall to start the downswing, while an external focus would be to see the club path to the right through impact.
You will find that one of these focuses will work better for you than the other and that is the type you should stay with on every shot.
Practice Where You Play
Too many golfers struggle to take their range game to the course simply because their practice environment does not accurately represent the golf course. There is value in hitting balls on the range, but there is also a lot of value in practicing on the golf course. The course allows you to play from uneven lies, practice decision making, work on your reactions to shots and do all this with every club in your bag. So if you only have an hour, playing 5 or 6 holes can be more valuable than hitting a bunch of balls on the range.
If you are tired of playing poorly and would like to learn more about working with Derek and how he can help you with your own golf game click to read this article