“We must take change by the hand or rest assuredly, change will take us by the throat.” – Winston Churchill
By Ian Hardie
I wrote about the fact that most golfers around the world
React to a game where they played worse than they expected to
Or had a score that was much higher than usual
By trying to work out what they ‘did wrong’
Which generally means they think about the mechanics of their action
Resulting in them trying to then change something in their action
To make sure they don’t play like that again
By the way if you are new to Golf Habits and wonder why I call it an ‘action’
Take a look at this post before you go any further
So even though messing around with your action in response to a poor round
Seems like the logical thing to do, it’s not always what’s needed
I went on to suggest that more often than not
The cause of a poor round is normally something that may have happened
Prior to you having the bad game or score that affected your performance
Which meant that the first thing that you should do
When you have a round of golf in which you score poorly
Is to take some time to sit for a few minutes and consider everything
That would have contributed to that performance in the 2 weeks leading up to your game
Did all the other things you have to do in everyday life contribute to your score?
Like helping someone move house, chopping and stacking firewood
Neither of which are going to help your golf action
Did you have great preparation?
Or were you out on the town the night before
Was the weather poor – cold, raining or windy?
Which affects almost every golfer
Did you play at a different time than normal?
Which I wrote about in the post
Were you in top physical state?
Or have you been carrying a niggling injury
How about your mental state – were you ‘ready to play’?
Or did you rush to the course and jump on the tee?
Without warming up sufficiently as I talked about here
Maybe you just hit a bunch of shots that day that were ok but not great?
Nine times out of ten
Your poor round will be a result of a combination of some or all of the above factors
Some of which you will be able to control
And some of which you probably won’t be able to
But most of them wouldn’t indicate a need to change anything in your action
As they are all either to do with either your preparation, your mental state
Or an outside factor like the weather affecting your performance
If however you find upon reflecting on your round that there
Were significant ball flight or consistency problems like
Shanking any shot that was played off a tee or a good lie
Why only in that situation I hear you ask?
A single shank can be caused by factors like a poor lie or a hidden tree root
Or even a reaction to something happening on the golf course around you as you hit
So if you have a random shank during the game and you can pinpoint a potential cause
Ignore it as it’s just a game of golf during which sometimes shanks happen
If however you realise that you had a good lie, that there were no other contributing factors
Or you had way more than one shank during the round
That is a signal that something needs to change in your game
And like it or not you need to seek professional help quickly
As the longer you play with shanks being a part of your game
The more the problem changes from being one with your golf action
To one that ends up being psychological
At which point you will probably give up the game!
Oddly enough, if you talk to a good golf teacher
Most agree that sorting out the mechanical cause of a shank
Is a relatively simple thing for them to do
As long as the golfer seeks help early enough
If left too long though it is more likely that not only will you require
Quite a few golf lessons to get rid of your shanks
But the services of an exorcist will probably be required as well
Look out for ‘How to know when to change something in your golf game – part three’
When I will discuss some more types of shot results that would indicate a need
To change something in your golf game