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Why most golfers aren’t improving as fast as they should

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Improvement happens when our current skillset is challenged to adapt and expand to a new level. So, in order to improve, we need to learn to embrace the challenges that will lead us down the path of improvement.

Unfortunately, most of us have learned to fear challenges. It makes sense. Challenges often led to failure, which can lead to humiliation and embarrassment. They can make you feel lousy. If we can get past our egos that are trying to protect us from failure, however, we can come to see that challenges are the only route to improvement. From there, we have a chance to enact real change and long-lasting improvement.

When you’re practicing golf, you need to look beyond the results or the awkwardness of learning a new technique or skillset. Coordination in the golf swing is everything, and sometimes the changes that are needed are not all that big. They may feel like enormous changes, though, because there is a difference between feel and real.

Golf is a game of improvement. In this video I share my thoughts on how you can get started in your process of improvement. Please enjoy, and feel free to interact with your comments and thoughts.

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Adam is a PGA Professional and TPI Certified Fitness and Medical Coach. He enjoys working with golfers of all ages and levels of expertise, and his approach is to look at every golfer as an individual to try to help them achieve their goals as effectively and efficiently as possible. He is also the author of two books: The Golfers Handbook - Save your golf game and your life! (available on iTunes and Amazon) And his new book, My Mind Body Golf Please visit the links below to find out more about Adams books. http://mymindbodygolf.weebly.com http://www.golfers-handbook.com "The golf swing may be built from the ground up, but the game of golf is built from the head down" - My Mind Body Golf Aside being an author, Adam is also a public speaker, doing workshops and lectures introducing concepts of athletic movement for golfers of all ages and levels of expertise.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. namthan

    Sep 24, 2018 at 3:15 am

    This article has inspired me to golf and also some minor deficiencies. See more at golf to be more complete

  2. A. Commoner

    Sep 23, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Of course he’s just trying to make a buck; but with such drivel!? Harvey Penick, Jackie Burke, et al come back and educate some of these “pretenders.”

    • ogo

      Sep 23, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      Adam is a PGA Pro and a TPI Certified Coach. His knowledge of golf and the golfswing is scientifically based. Penick’s only good observation was: “Golfers are gullible.”.. Little Red Book, page 72. Burke, et al are obsolete.

  3. engineer bob

    Sep 23, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    It’s scientifically documented that your game will suffer once you try to change your golfswing. It takes at least 90 days of intensive practice before you engram your neuro-muscular system and your brain operates automatically. That’s why most golfers refuse to “improve”. They are stuck in their incompetence because change doesn’t “feeel” good.

    • Johnny Penso

      Sep 23, 2018 at 6:59 pm

      I offer my own anecdote as evidence this is true. I took at much more serious approach to the game starting last year but my goal was to do it with the same swing I always had, only better. Although I did have marginal improvement of 1-2 strokes on average it wasn’t good enough for me. I knew I had to change my swing on all shots from small chips to the driver. I studied a lot of instructional stuff online, made a ton of changes and it took 3-4 months to kick in but it’s finally coming together. I’ve only broke 80 on a 6000+yard course once and that was 2 years ago. My last 5 rounds have been 80, 77, 76, 80 and another 78 today. Most importantly was the consistency and my late round strength Today for example I was 7 over (par 71) going into the last 2 holes. They are two of the toughest holes on the course at a combined 850 yards from the whites. On 17 I pushed my drive into the rough and lost about 20 yards and had to hit a 5 wood onto the green. I crushed it and ended up about 20 feet away. Easy 2 putt par. 18 plays about 435 and I hit a good drive up the right side and sat 195 from the flag. I hit a solid 4 hybrid that took a bad bounce and ended up in a depression to the right of the green. Tough chip out of thickish rough, about 45 feet, to a slightly elevated green that ran away from me the whole way. Put it up to 5 feet and made the putt.

      Key thing was, as I stood over each shot I had the confidence to make the correct swing and execute the shots because I had spent so much time analyzing my own swing all year. I’d been in that situation several times with my old swing but it never held up under pressure. Now it does. It’s a tremendous feeling that only comes with lots of practice and being realistic about your tendencies and your limitations.

      • ogo

        Sep 23, 2018 at 11:22 pm

        You are a fantastic golfer with an amazing kinesthetic ability to control your body. It took Faldo 2 years with Leadbetter to overhaul his swing, and then his career took off. You were able to make your changes in 3-4 months!!! Wow!!!!

  4. dj

    Sep 23, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Well… you can skip the first 40 seconds and the last 20 seconds. I can sum it up in a few words. Be prepared for change to improve.

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WATCH: How slow-motion training can lead to more power and consistency

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Eddie Fernandes has made big changes to his swing (and his power and consistency have gone up) by mastering the key moves in slow motion before he speeds them up. Everyone should use this kind of slow motion training to make real changes to their swing!

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WATCH: What you really need to know to control the direction of your shots

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In this video, Top-100 Teacher Tom Stickney shows you how to better control the direction of your shots by understanding how both the club face and swing path determine where your ball goes.

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Stickney: There are many ways to pitch the ball that work

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While surfing through some old swings, I found a great photo of two players hitting pitch shots at Augusta. Both are great pitchers of the ball but use differing techniques. It goes to show you that there is more than one way to get the job done and in fact it reiterates that there is really no “law” when it comes to what shot to play under certain circumstances.

Note: I did NOT say that one was better than the other; I said both work, but you must decide which style works better for you in the end.

In the photo on the left, the player in the white sets his wrists fully, but as we look at the player on the right (in the blue) you can see no wrist hinge at all. So, which is more correct? Both are!

The player on the left hits his pitch shots with more of a driving of the leading edge, which relies on a steeper angle of attack. The golfer on the right uses more of the bounce of the club and thus will come into the ball more shallowly. Not setting the wrists as much helps him to do so.

So, remember that you must experiment with both styles to find your best way…but don’t forget it’s nice to understand and learn how to use both!

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