Are you sick of playing bad golf?

bad golf

“A bad attitude is worse than a bad swing.”Payne Stewart

By Ian Hardie

A while back I gave a series of golf lessons to a fairly good golfer

Not quite as good a golfer as the newly pronounced world number one golfer Adam Scott

Who I wrote about recently in this post but a pretty handy golfer in most people’s eyes

At least they used to be – as according to the golfer during our first session

They were ‘absolutely sick of playing bad golf!’

Something that I have heard golfers say plenty of times before over the years

Like many good golfers who come for lessons, this golfer wanted to spend some time

Going over all the fundamentals of technique that made up the shots they played in a game

Convinced, like most golfers are – that the problem lay in faulty technique

Which when they took it to the course was resulting in bad golf scores

Over the course of a couple of months, we looked at every part of the golfer’s technique

All the way from putting, sand shots, chipping and pitching through to full shots

And ultimately spent a couple of sessions working on the golfer’s driving

Using the ideas that are in my book How to drive the golf ball as far as you possibly can

Which resulted in the golfer picking up about 30 yards in driving distance

Something the golfer was extremely happy about – as you would be too, no doubt

So click here and grab a copy of that book if you don’t already have one!

It would be nice to say that the golfer’s bad golf was gone at that stage but the

Trouble was that after all those sessions on the practice area

Where the golfer was hitting some extremely good golf shots

A lot of them that were – in the golfer’s opinion – better than they ever had hit

The golfer was still playing bad golf when it came to actually playing on the course

I had a hunch as to why that was so I suggested that we should make the next lesson

A playing lesson on the golf course so I could see what was going on

Fairly early on in the playing lesson – the real reason for the bad golf came out!

Anybody observing from a distance would have told you

That there was just me and the golfer on the golf course

But in reality there were three of us out there……………

That’s right, just as I suspected the golfer had someone else with them

Well ok, not a real person – probably better described as more of an extra voice

That seemed to reside somewhere deep in their mind

Just waiting for an opportunity to come out and tell the golfer

‘What a talentless jerk they were’

As well as other similar but not quite as pleasant criticisms about their performance

At the first sign of any golf shot that wasn’t hit perfectly in the golfer’s opinion

Take a moment here to read that again – as it was the important bit!

Do you have a similar voice that follows you around the golf course while you play?

It turned out that the golfers extra voice had been created a long time ago

When the golfer was playing at the peak of their abilities

Back then the golfer didn’t have that many shots that weren’t hit perfectly

So the extra voice had helped (in a way) back then as a sort of motivation

To get them to focus on the next shot that had to be played

But many years had passed since then and the golfer had been playing a lot of bad golf

This meant that the extra voice was getting pretty loud and frequent in the golfers head

“How frequently were they hearing it during a game?” – you may be thinking……………

Which is exactly what I wanted to find out, so I set the golfer a task

Without telling the golfer any more about what I thought

Was going on in their head while they played, the task was

To take a little notepad with them during their next game of golf as

I wanted the golfer to track a few things as they played

The first two of which were quite simple things;

I wanted the golfer to note down what club they hit for each shot that they played

And whether they judged it to be a good shot or a bad shot

The next two things I wanted the golfer to do were a little harder;

If the shot played was judged as good – what did the extra voice say – if anything?

If the shot played was judged as bad – what did the extra voice have to say about it?

I knew it would be something but I wanted to see how many different things came out

The final thing I wanted the golfer to do I’m going to talk about soon

In the post ‘Are you sick of playing bad golf – part two’ which will give you a little bit of time

If you have an extra voice in your head while you play golf

That probably isn’t helping you – as you may have guessed by now!

To take some notes as I have described above the next time you play a game

I’m sure you will be very surprised at what your extra voice is saying to you

Play well


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What’s your golfing identity?


Why don’t we listen to that little voice?