Tag Archives: playing golf

Are you playing often enough to improve – part two?


“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results” – Albert Einstein

By Ian Hardie

In the article Are you playing often enough to improve? I took a look at whether it is possible to play well and maybe even improve by playing only one round of golf a week – while doing absolutely no practice

As from what I can tell, that is pretty much what the average golfer around the world does

Something that makes sense when you consider that golf is simply a game / sport / pastime for most golfers, with a relatively small percentage of players really being in the high performance level of the game

Interestingly enough though, while the bulk of the world’s golfers may only play once a week (some a lot less than that) and put very little time into their game in between

Almost all of them still seem to think their scores will improve over time!

If that applies to you – take a good look at the quote at the top of this article

In that first article (which was written some time back) I attempted to test the theory by going from playing 18 holes at least twice a week with a couple of one hour practice sessions as well – to playing once a week with no practice sessions at all

You can see the result here if you are interested but that’s not really want I want to talk about today – instead I’d like to give an example of how doing the exact opposite can possibly help your game

I need to go back in time somewhat to a summer holiday in my teenage years, where over a period of about 6 weeks I cut my golf handicap in half from 22 to 11

That’s right, in half in 6 weeks!

You are probably wondering how that happened so quickly and no doubt you will be thinking that it was the result of something like an intensive series of golf lessons or the acquisition of newer and more technologically advanced golf clubs

It was neither of those two things

In fact, I can’t remember doing, thinking, being taught or buying a single thing that was any different to what I had at the start

The one thing that made it possible to cut my handicap in half over a six week period (not that it was my intention before I started in any way) was playing golf

A lot of golf

Over that 6 week period, I played almost every day – probably missing about 5 days

Something that a lot of you would no doubt love to be able to do

“If I could play every day of the week I could…………………..finally attain that single figure handicap……………..be on scratch……………………get down to that 18 handicap”

Well, maybe but also maybe not

You would be surprised to learn that there are a few golfers around the world who actually do play almost every day of the week – without getting any better at the game

Thinking back, the real deciding factor that allowed me to drop my handicap by half over that 6 week period was playing golf at an even higher rate than once a day

On most of those days, I played at least 36 holes and on occasion 45 holes

That’s right 2 to 2 ½ rounds a day for about 4 of those 6 weeks – was the key to it all

Well, that’s what I’ve always thought…………………..

Thinking back, I believe that there were in fact actually four things that contributed equally to that dramatic transformation as a golfer

The first was obviously the building up of my ‘golf muscles’ through hitting thousands of golf shots in a short period of time – something that could in actual fact be duplicated by spending a much shorter period of time on the practice tee – back then though, like most golfers I wasn’t that interested in spending hours on the practice tee

I was much more interested in playing as many holes as I could

The second thing that made the difference is that in that short period of 6 weeks – I played the equivalent amount of golf to what most golfers would play over one or two years – which allowed me to effectively gain a massive amount of course management experience in a very short time

That’s probably what made the most difference to my scores

The third thing was something that I wouldn’t have been aware of back then but I spend a lot of time talking to golfers about now – when you are playing a lot of golf – you stop thinking about how to hit the golf ball and just get on with hitting it

Any frustration over poor shots is dissipated as your focus is simply on playing the next shot, the next hole and the one after that

In the end you simply figure out a way to hit the golf ball that works for you, then you get on and do it – you don’t think about golf swings at all

It’s just you deciding on where you want the golf ball to go

Which brings me to the fourth thing – another point which I would have had absolutely no idea about back then – that sounds pretty good to me these days

Over that 6 week summer holiday, as a teenager I had very little to do but play golf

Think about golf, then get up the next day and play some more golf

Nothing to do after the game, nowhere that I had to be, no mobile phone or emails to answer

Just golf and lots of it

Sounds pretty good to me

Play well


Read more

Are you playing golf often enough to improve?

Play or practice

Do you Ambrose enough?

When to practice your golf (and when not to)