“Golf is a game you can never get too good at. You can improve but you can never get to where you master the game.” – Gay Brewer
By Ian Hardie
At the beginning of the article Are you determined to play better golf? I suggested that the game of golf can at times be likened to riding a roller coaster – you start with the expectation that you will have complete control over the way you are going to experience it
In much the same way that most golfers approach their first tee shot of the day
“This will be fun, I’m excited, I can’t wait to do this”
Then at some point during the ride – you suddenly realise that you have absolutely no control about what’s going on at all – which triggers in most people an inbuilt survival instinct that humans have had for very long time
That brings with it a bunch of thoughts and feelings that are similar to what most golfers experience in the middle of a bad round
“When will this end, that’s not what I meant to do, why did I decide to play today?”
Surprisingly though, this roller coaster like experience of the game of golf is not limited to newer players who may be still developing their skills and knowledge at the game
It can affect any golfer, regardless of their skill level and experience at the game
As I covered in that first article the usual reaction that golfers have to this – is to decide that “they would like to play better golf” by improving one aspect or another of their golf game
Which although it seems like a good idea – actually falls a little short of what’s required – as in reality the idea of playing better golf has very little to do with any single part of the game
It’s about improving the ability of the golfer to be able to control everything to do with their golf game – their mind, their body, their golf club and of course their golf ball – as often as they possibly can
But while both of those online programs can provide the information that you need to play better golf – there is of course one thing missing that I am not able to provide you
As once you begin whichever one of those programs that suits you best – you need to find a way to convert your new found enthusiasm for playing better golf – into actual lasting improvement because for most golfers that’s the critical difference between
Those who do actually go on to play better golf over the long term and those who don’t
In other words, most golfers who say that they are going to ‘play better golf’ only keep those thoughts going for a few days before going ‘back to normal’
I’m pretty sure that if you have read this far – you don’t want to be one of those golfers!
So here are a few suggestions based on my past successes and failures to help you along:
Make a real commitment to yourself
In the extremely busy world that most of us live in it’s easy to say to yourself “I’m going to play better golf” but then let yourself off the hook when things get tough, you get busy or stressed
This is where most people would suggest that the best way to keep you on track is for you to make a big and public commitment to others – friends, family, other golfers or workmates – about your plan to ‘play better golf’
So that they can ‘hold you accountable’ if things start to slide and you get off track
I’m not going to suggest that you do that all – in fact I want you to do the opposite!
Let’s face it, golf is a fairly small part of most people’s lives and if we are honest – it’s a fairly private and self-indulgent part at that
Announcing to everyone that you know that you are really focusing on ‘playing better golf’
Will get pretty much the same response and level of assistance from them that you would get if you told them – ‘that your actual dream is to become a famous lion tamer, be the first person to set foot on mars or become the famous poet that you thought you might be when you were a kid’
They will look at you like you are from another planet, shake their heads and go away thinking “wow, they’re really losing their marbles now!”
There is only one person on the planet who can actually guarantee that you will end up playing better golf
You and you alone
Sure some people that you know may be a little supportive and of course you may be able to get help from others a little along the way but the bottom line is that
If you want to play better golf – it’s up to you and you better get used to that idea quick
Set up a daily routine
Almost everyone starts with a burst of enthusiasm and a big focus on making changes
But what happens to that focus when your enthusiasm wanes after a few days or weeks?
The only true way that you can maintain that focus is to create a habit through doing it daily
Now I’m aware that you may not be able to fit much to do with golf into every day that you have but if you can find 10 minutes every day to do something towards your game
You’ll be surprised as to how much that continuation of focus throughout the week helps
Think about how most golfers proceed through a week and it becomes pretty obvious
Play a game, dissect where they went wrong the next day, have a few days where they don’t think about golf, practice the day before, have another game – then repeat the cycle
Frequency of focus is a noticeable trait of golfers who create long term improvement
You might want to read that bit again by the way!
Consider something that you may do once a year – are you really good at it?
What about something that you do every few months – are you more confident at that?
What about something that you might do each month or week – I expect you are probably more confident still?
However, something that you do every day becomes almost second nature as you do it automatically – right?
I’m pretty sure that’s the sort of focus that you are after when looking to play better golf
So, there are my first two suggestions that you need to take on board to help you keep your determination going to play better golf
Make a real commitment to yourself and Set up a daily routine
And if you haven’t already done so and the idea of ‘playing better golf’ is something that interests you – you might want to make a start today by signing up for a bit of assistance to do that with one of my online programs:
I’ve got some more suggestions that I think you will find helpful coming in ‘Are you determined to play better golf – part three?