Please note: The following first appeared as part of a seven-part email series. You can see the full email sequence below.
When I surveyed 3500 golfers the one thing, above all others, the majority wanted was consistency. This far outweighed things like fixing a slice or hitting the ball further. But the million dollar question is,
How does one play more consistently?
In the rest of this email series, I want to show you a simpler and more effective way of approaching golf. I’m going to did deep into the world of coaching, science and if you’re ready, highlight some principles that come from the business world.
But don’t worry. This is not going to be complicated or confusing. And I promise you’ll get some insight that will help you on a path to consistent golf.
Before I get into the nitty gritty, I want to answer one more important question.
Why should you listen to me?
I have been studying golf, learning and researching human performance for 25 years. I’m sort of obsessed by it because traditional teaching never worked for me. When I was 16 my game was destroyed, by a well meaning, but ultimately hopeless golf coach who only knew one way to teach...
... bombard my little brain with every bit of technical advice he could think of.
At first, I thought this was great. I had plenty of things to think about and all sorts of drills to do.
And I was his best student. I worked hard. Really hard. I don’t think I’ve ever hit as many balls as I did that summer.
But things didn’t work out too well. Before long (it only took a few months) my once natural and artistic game was in ruins.
I couldn’t take the club from the ball because I was too worried about my swing path.
I was too scared to hit the ball because I was fearful of all the bad things that could go wrong.
I forgot to play. I was too busy thinking about my swing and spent all my spare time analysing and trying to hone my technique.
I stopped doing all the things that made golf fun. I destroyed my game, simple as that!
I was far from a consistent player and I cringe thinking back on all that wasted effort.
But I did turn things around. I stumbled onto natural learning (I now call this Automatic Golf) and reignited my instinctive flair for the game. Eventually, I was good enough to turn professional and embark on a career of golf and coaching. I was certainly, by this time, able to play consistently.
But then I found another problem. The mainstream golfing body weren’t ready for me.
My boss, an absolute stickler for traditional golf concepts, wouldn’t have any of my ideas and forced me to adopt regular teaching ideals - even though he knew they didn’t work for me.
I was frustrated, confused and angry. And I just couldn’t force myself to coach others in a way that I knew didn’t work that well.
My solution? I walked away and started my own golf coaching business the next day.
This is still the bravest (and possibly craziest) thing I’ve done. But it’s also the best. Because along the way I’ve done some pretty cool things. Here’s just a brief list,
- Commissioned a major biomechanical study into the golf swing and wrote a book on those findings (BioSwing)
- I have written over 700 articles that have been viewed by over 250,000 golfers.
- Have been credited with teaching Aaron Baddeley his amazing "look and shoot" putting technique. (have written a book on that too)
- All up, I’ve written a dozen books on golf
- Have helped 1000’s of golfers all over the world, from tour players to weekend warriors play with less complication and more enjoyment
And perhaps, most pleasing of all, I’ve proven my concept. I’ve been able to play to a scratch handicap for over 20 years. There have been some hiccups along the way, but nothing has kept me down for long. And I’ve done this by breaking most of the so called fundamentals of golf. I’ve challenged the status quo and came out on top. I feel I’ve mastered golf for my talent and dedication.
Why consistent golf?
"Why" is an important question. If I can ask you to do anything from this point on it would be to ask more questions.
Traditional coaching (actually, I call it teaching) is outdated. The theory is the teacher stands out front and tells you what to do. And for the most part, it’s not questioned. We blindly follow. We do as we’re told, even if sometimes we’re not sure or things don’t feel right.
Science says this is the worse way to learn (I’m going to cover better ways later on). There’s no flexibility and individuality is beaten out the door. It’s all about conforming and dates back to the start of the industrial age where the factory owners needed large numbers of workers to obey. To work mindlessly without question.
And this mindset has stuck. It’s prevalent during our school years and continues into adulthood. We are not encouraged to question "why". We have all become sheep, too scared to do our own thing.
But your golf game is YOUR game. You must play how you want. You have every right to do things in a way that suit you. So ask questions and don’t be afraid to walk your own path. I’d go as far as saying that learning to play in a way that satisfies you is the most important thing you’ll do with respects to your golf game.