[Part 2] The Path To Consistent Golf

Note: This is the 2nd email in this series. If you missed email #1 you can read it here.

Honestly, things have gotten out of hand. While the internet is an amazing technology, it has created an absolute bombardment of ideas, theories and God knows what else.

But is any of this really helping you?

I call it the golf instruction merry-go-round. You are going around and around but are you getting any closer to where you want to be? And now might be a good time to revisit that “WHY” question again.

Why are you doing the same things if they don’t work?

Look. The typical golf learning model is wrong.

For a start. There’s way too much bias on golf technique. We think that the answer to better golf is to fix our swing. We believe that we’re just one tip from a better shot/round/handicap.

So we’re always searching. Looking for the magic bullet that gets us from point A to Point B.

But it’s madness. And it’s mad because you’re always on the lookout. You’re never really playing the game. You’re always fixing something or wondering why you hit the shot into the trees, missed that putt or duffed the chip.

And the problem is this:

The worse you play (and you will play worse) the more things you’re forced to think about. Let me explain it this way.

Say you’re working on keeping your head still (an oldie but a goodie) and you hit three bad drives in a row. Only a madman would continue with that tip.

So, on your fourth drive you remind yourself to “swing slowly”. If that works great. If it fails (and it will eventually), you’ll need another.

This constant tweaking and thinking is a battle. It’s really hard and tiring. You can walk off the course feeling like you’ve run a marathon.

And let me tell you, I know how this feels. I spent years working my swing and trying to figure out how to swing properly. I had an arsenal of swing tips at my disposal and I was a master of saying,
“Yep. I know what I did wrong on that one! I was off plane and got trapped on the downswing, that’s why I blocked it!”

But this is bullshit. I was playing with fear and I was way too dumb to realise (took me a few years to see the error of my ways). I was too scared to own up that what I was doing wasn’t working and I was wasting my time.

It’s like this. You tell the stories (like getting trapped or swinging off plane or playing too quickly) because it’s an excuse. It makes you feel better in the short-term, but it’s ultimately letting you down. It’s not a very good way to play golf.

Here’s the story.

We perform so many day to day tasks that are every bit as complicated as golf but we don’t worry about them. We perform them perfectly and we don’t give them a second thought.

Typing on a computer
Opening doors
Throwing objects

For some reason, we like to complicate golf to the point of craziness. This has a lot to do with the adult brain and in particular the adult male brain, but it can be changed for the better.

If you’re the analytical, professional and hard working type you’ll have a hard time to let go. You probably get off on telling your workmates (or wife) why you slice and how you can fix it. But I can tell you, none of it is helping you.

I thought I could left-brain my way to better golf. I believed if I thought long and hard and studied swing technique enough it would help me become a better player. But it didn’t. I persevered foolishly until I made another very interesting discovery.

The real reason all this swing stuff fails

I’m just going to come out and say it.

The part of your brain responsible for understanding language (read golf theory) has no input into the part of the brain that performs the motion.