“Sudden success in golf is like the sudden acquisition of wealth. It is apt to unsettle and deteriorate the character.” – P.G. Wodehouse
By Ian Hardie
In the post How to get the most out of your golf lessons – part two I suggested that one of the main reasons that sees golfers buying new clubs to fix their problems instead of taking golf lessons – is an extremely powerful one that a lot of golfers won’t have considered even exists but it does in all of us
The emotional basis of the decision to take a golf lesson or two can actually only happen when we admit to ourselves ‘that we don’t know how to do or improve something’
A feeling that none of us ever likes to have – in any area of our lives
Which is why I suggested that the first thing that needs to be done to get the most out of your golf lessons – is to make the conscious decision to improve, solve the problem or learn
That conscious decision to override all of your thoughts and fears about what may or may not happen to your golf game after your lesson is something that leads to the second of the three things that need to happen before you even get to booking your golf lesson
Which is to make the decision that once you have had your golf lesson – you will set aside some time over the next few days or weeks
To actually implement what it is that you were told or shown during the lesson!
Making the commitment to set at least some time aside in the days or weeks after the golf lesson is one of the main distinguishing factors that I have observed over the years that separates those golfers who really go on to improve after a golf lesson and those who either don’t get better or in some cases – get worse after a golf lesson
In that last post I used the example of a friend going to the doctor to see what can be done about a health problem, returning elated that their problem is easy to fix and then not doing anything more about it
My question for you at the end of that example was – what would you say about that?
If you are like almost every other person on the planet you would be stunned that your friend had not made the effort to solve their problem after having the solution outlined by the doctor
Yet in almost every minute of every day – somewhere around the world a golfer will head away from a golf lesson and do nothing more about what they were shown or told
If you asked them what happened a few weeks later – their answer will almost always be
“I had a golf lesson but it didn’t help my game at all, in fact now I’m playing worse”
Just as a doctor is unable to help a patient who doesn’t take the pills they prescribe
A golf teacher generally isn’t able to help a golfer that turns up for a lesson then does nothing to apply what they were told or shown to their game afterwards
Read that part again as it was an important bit to understand!
The third thing that needs to be done to allow you to get the most out of your golf lessons is even more critical than the first two things and in actual fact it’s probably going to sound a bit odd to you but if you have been reading my stuff for a while now – you should be used to that
It’s related to an idea that I wrote about in the post ‘What’s your golfing identity?’ where I discussed a game of golf I had a while back when one of the group I was playing with made an interesting statement
“My handicap is my golfing identity – no matter how I play I seem to come back to it”
The golfer was puzzled as to how it didn’t matter whether they had a good start or a bad start to their game – they always seemed to finish with basically the same score
They certainly aren’t alone in experiencing that as most golfers do exactly the same thing every game – its cause is something that is deeply ingrained in the human brain – the self-image which when it comes to golf is effectively the image that you hold of yourself as a golfer (or not much of a golfer as the case may be)
It’s been created by every thought you have had, everything you have experienced, every result of every shot and game that you have played, every practice shot you have ever hit and every word or statement that you have ever made about your golf
Just take a moment to consider all that – as it controls your entire golf game!
‘What does that have to do with getting the most out of my golf lessons?’ – I can hear you thinking
Well, it has an awful lot to do with the quote at the start of this post and more specifically how you will play and think after your golf lessons
If you aren’t mentally prepared for the better shots and performance that will more than likely be the result after your golf lessons
You’ll probably shrug them off as a fluke because “I’m not that good at golf” and continue on your golfing career expecting to play badly and getting exactly what you expect
That was another important bit by the way!
However, if you are able to take some time to sit quietly for a few minutes before you book your lesson and entertain the possibility that you may be able to be a better golfer than you are now after you have had your golf lessons
You will be somewhat prepared for those good shots when they turn up, which will help build your confidence and allow you to hit more good shots – which I’m pretty sure is why you are going to take lessons – isn’t it?
So the third thing that you need to do before you go and book your golf lessons is to:
Spend some time getting ready to accept a better level of performance afterwards
It’s not an easy thing to do as your golfing self-image will have been created through a lot of negative words, thoughts and events but I’m sure you can understand now
That getting ready to accept a better level of performance afterwards – is one of the most important things that you can do to get the most out of your golf lessons
Look out for ‘How to get the most out of your golf lessons – part four’ where I’m going to take a look at the things that you need to do – after you have booked your golf lessons