Stop practicing your bad golf shots – part two!


“There is no such thing as a natural touch. Touch is something you create by hitting millions of golf balls.”Lee Trevino

By Ian Hardie

In the post Stop practicing your bad golf shots! I pointed out that those of you who have been reading Golf Habits for a while now will be aware that quite often the things that I write about or the suggestions that I give

Are a little different to what most golfers think should happen on the golf course

In fact, the reality is that most of the time they are almost directly opposite to what most golfers think or have been told over the years by other golfers

But when you take a moment to consider that most golfers seem to struggle with their golf using the ideas that ‘everyone knows are right’

There might be something useful in doing the opposite of what most other golfers do!

Which is what the idea I introduced in that first post was all about – a method that I successfully used a few years back to reduce a golfers handicap from 21 to 14 over a period of four months without looking at the golfer hit a single golf ball or giving them any ‘traditional’ golf lessons – or in other words a method that was based on doing

The opposite of what ‘every golfer thinks they should do’ to improve their golf game

You may recall that the reason I came up with the idea of doing that for the golfer in question was that as I wrote about in the series of posts Do you really need golf lessons?

The various different types of golf lesson that are given around the world are useful for golfers at specific times in their development

Which is really a way of saying that there are times in a golfer’s development that in order for the golfer to really improve

They need to go out there to put it all into practice and find their own golf game

The golfer I was talking about in that first post had started golf around two years earlier, gone through a series of beginner sessions as well as having some individual golf lessons

Which is how they had managed to get to a 21 handicap in a reasonably short time

Like a lot of golfers that play the game at that level – the golfer’s rounds were generally made up of some extremely good shots – good enough, that if the golfer was able to string a bunch of them together it would have allowed them to play to way better than a 21 handicap

But like most other golfers that play at that level – there were also a lot of ‘other shots’ during their game – that led to the golfer racking up some pretty big scores

The traditional approach in this situation is that in order to improve – the golfer would head out to practice ‘their bad shots’ in an effort to ‘get rid of them’ and balance their game up

Which is what you would logically expect to be the right way to improve your golf game

Keep your good shots as they are and work on improving the bad areas of your game

But as you can guess – that’s not what this golfer did – they did the opposite!

It was an experiment for both of us based on a simple hypothesis that the golfer (who was an extremely effective business consultant) used in the business world

Instead of spending a lot of time and effort ‘balancing up’ the weak points of a business so that they became more similar to the strong points – creating a balance at an average level

The golfer focussed their time and effort on making the strong points of the business so good that the weak points became almost an irrelevance – therefore creating

A business that performed so highly in some aspects that the weak bits didn’t matter

Now I must point out that as what I have written about above is definitely outside of my area of expertise – you must immediately read my disclaimer before going any further, rushing out to change the way your business operates on the strength of those words or calling Donald Trump to tell him that you have discovered the secret and you are going to be ‘bigger than him’ in no time

However, if you are looking to improve your golf and you like the idea of practicing more or you already do a reasonable amount of practice on your golf

You might want to consider how working on the strengths of your game and ignoring the weaknesses – could work for you

Yes, you did read that right – improve your golf by ignoring your weaknesses!

Think of it this way, in other areas of your life you will have experienced situations where whatever you focus on starts to become a bigger part of your life – as the more attention that you give it – the more likely it is to turn up and at the same time any other options or alternatives just simply fade away

I know I’m heading off in a metaphysical direction here but just bear with me for a minute or two:

Let’s say that your car starts running badly, you consider getting it fixed but then the thought pops into your mind that maybe it’s time for a new one and even though you may not immediately have the money available for a new one

You start thinking about a buying shiny new car

With more and more frequency over the next few days, weeks and months you think about all aspects of getting a new car – how it will drive better, be more fuel efficient, have less maintenance costs, you will feel better about yourself and it may even go faster (if that’s of use to you)

All the time that you are spending focussing on how good a new car would be – means that you are effectively ignoring the fact that your existing car is running badly – in fact it doesn’t really matter to you at all as ‘you know you are going to get a new one soon’

Eventually, all that focus culminates in you one day, spotting ‘the new one’ and not too long afterwards the new car is sitting in your driveway

I’m going to leave you with this thought about that:

In the example above, if you had focussed on getting your existing car fixed – you would no doubt have got it fixed and continued with it operating on the level it was on – meaning the new car (and the new level of your life) probably wouldn’t have turned up

So what would you rather do at the practice area?

Spend a lot of time and energy focusing on your bad shots – which will ‘mentally’ make them a bigger part of your golf game or spend the same amount of time and energy

Focusing your efforts on making your good shots a bigger part of your golf game?

Look out for ‘Stop practicing you bad golf shots – part three’ where I’m going to give you one more reason why practicing your good shots and ignoring your bad shots can be an incredibly powerful thing to do

To improve your golf scores with very little extra effort required on your part

Especially if you happen to suffer from either the shanks or any form of the yips

Until then

Play well


Related Posts

Stop practicing your bad golf shots!

Practice golf for better results, not a time period

Practicing in the elements

When to practice your golf (and when not to)

How to deal with the discomfort of improving your golf