One day your swing is great. The next day it seems to fall apart. Inconsistency is the number one complaint I hear from golfers, and can be the single biggest cause of diminished enjoyment.
Those of you who are facing another hard northern winter and forced hiatus from golf would probably like to maximize the time you have left in your golf season. If you got off to a bumpy start this summer, there’s still time to salvage your pride and your game by instituting some easy strategies to align your thinking with success, which will lead to better rounds.
There’s no simple answer for why your golf game has peaks and valleys.
- It could be that you haven’t fully integrated some new swing changes.
- Perhaps you’ve never done the work to develop the right thought habits that lead to consistent play.
- Or maybe you’re setting your expectations too high, resulting in extra tension and pressure to post a “respectable” score.
The worst thing you can do when things take a slight or dramatic turn is to panic, yet that seems to be where many golfers go. They head to the practice range for a 2-hour grind. They try 5 different approaches to “fix” their swing. They stress about whether or not this new trend is going to follow them for an extended period of time. They turn what is probably a temporary setback into a long-term issue.
If this sounds familiar, now’s the time to change your approach to get more out of your game than further pain.Instead of contemplating worst case scenarios on the days your golf swing just isn't feeling the same, try for once to just relax and go with what you've got. #golf #golftips #golfinstruction Click To Tweet
Relaxing about the fickle nature of the game is your best opportunity to play through the rough patches. You know that the more anxious you become mentally, the more your body will respond with tension physically, making a simple glitch even worse.
The following tips will help you take a proactive approach to relaxing in times of trouble –
1. Recall the great moments — Just because your swing feels a bit off today does not mean that you’ve somehow “lost it.” Remind yourself what it feels like to swing correctly. Work on reengaging that feeling off the course, and on the practice range without a ball. Sometimes you just need to take the ball and the outcome out of the equation in order to redirect your focus and your thoughts to your process. Replaying the bad shots in your mind is just as bad as physically hitting them over and over.
2. Don’t forget to breathe — The tighter you get, mentally and physically, the harder it will be to swing with fluidity. Calm yourself with some simple breathing in and out while imagining yourself hitting the shots you desire to create.
3. Avoid taking an all or none approach to your game — Golfers who see their game in black and white — everything’s good or everything’s bad — find it very challenging to play consistently because they’re often on the hunt for the “perfect” shot. There is no perfect in golf, so approaching your game with this rigid standard simply sets you up for defeat. Start to take note of the gray area between good and bad, and change your terminology from bad to less than ideal. The point is that no matter where a shot lies, you have to play it. So why not look at a less than ideal shot as an opportunity to see how creatively you can get the ball back in play.
4. Take a day off — If you are the type of golfer who tends to work harder and harder, especially when things aren’t going well, perhaps the best course of action is to simply take a day off from the game. And when I say take a day off, I mean completely. During this time you won’t talk about your game, think about your game, watch golf on TV, or read about it. Instead, you will completely switch gears and do something else you find fun and relaxing, so that you can return to your game with a fresh perspective.
If you struggle with consistency on the course, but hit a lot of good shots on the range, your challenge is with your mindset, not your mechanics.
Consider investing in developing your mental game skills to unlock your best game, especially under pressure. You can now train with me online through my new program, How to Improve Your Consistency from Tee to Green. For more information on the next enrollment period, CLICK HERE.
The next time you are faced with a challenge in your game, take an approach from a place of patience and acceptance. Remember that it’s through failure and adversity that we often learn and grow the most.
Got questions about your game?
Leave me a comment below and I’d be happy to help.