Setting Goals And Succeeding In Golf
Chances are incredibly high that you’ve been frustrated while playing golf. Unlike most sports, which are some variation of easy-to-learn but hard-to-master, golf has the incredibly disheartening ability to always be hard no matter what. There's no set course and it seems like everything is meant to penalize or challenge you. So, many people quit golf before they can even really give it a true shot. But, no, that’s not you! You’re here to learn the moves that will let you quickly and efficiently conquer the evil, sneering game that keeps you up late and gets you up even earlier, right?
Well, unfortunately, it’s not that easy. It will never be that easy. Golf is never easy. The better you get, the more the game evolves. The more you stop just hitting the ball as hard as you can and focus on the smaller details of your game, the more you’ll struggle. That’s the silent brilliance lurking behind golf, isn’t it? Golf is a constant push and pull between masterful and forgettable, each round more different than the last.
No matter what level you’re at, or what experience or ability you’re chasing, you can always get better. CoachUp has put together a simple list of potential goals for you to set every time you’re on the course.
Be Competitive, Challenge Yourself
As any aspiring athlete knows, you’ve got to challenge yourself to get any better. Being on the course and just going through the motions will never help you, for better or for worse. Try challenging yourself to new goals, specific shots, or imaginative attempts. For example, challenge yourself to hit six out of ten balls from the bunker onto the green, making successive putts from one to ten feet in a row, or nailing eight out of ten drives between two target poles. Practice with someone else of similar or higher skill and have contests. See who can hit it closest to the cup, best in line with the flag, or least amount of strokes up and down.
Create Realistic Situations
It might be easy to fudge the numbers or kick your ball to a more beneficial spot, but don’t! Don't always take preferred lies and play balls where they land. Hit shots from uneven lies and out of the rough. Practice the full swing by playing a shot with one club, then another club and then another, as is done in a round of golf. Don’t cheat yourself out!
Practice As You Play
Sloppy practice habits will produce sloppy play on the course, it is wonderfully that simple. This takes a lot of discipline, but treat each practice shot as though you were in a tournament. That means picturing or visualizing the shot, completing your routine, swing, and then assessing the result as accurately as possible without overreaction. Remember, a level head is key anytime you play!
Isolate + Examine
While working on changes, it may be more effective to not take the whole swing, but rather work on the part that's defective. Whether it’s a motion, hitch, or slide, don’t just hastily take your shots and move on. Slow it down, walk through your swing step-by-step and address your mistakes. Isolate and repeat it over and over until you can blend it naturally into the entire movement.
(Related: Read about three helpful keys that will help you improve here.)
In the end, being a better golfer doesn’t always translate to simply having lower scores, so remember that throughout your training. Often, learning a new technique or defeating a tricky hole is a better victory than any score will show. Golf is challenging and frustrating and it will probably always be that way. Once you’re accepted that -- the frustration, difficulty, and impossibility to master -- you’re already well on your way towards becoming a better golfer.
Slow it down, take a breath, and set goals for yourself the next time you’re out on the course, you might surprise yourself. If you’re still having trouble, consider booking one of CoachUp’s private trainers. CoachUp is home to the trainer that will remedy your struggles, no matter how big or small. So what are you waiting for?