Practicing serves one primary purpose: to improve your competitive performance. You need to ensure you are doing whatever you can to be able to transfer your improvement to the course. Continue Reading→
After four terrific years with Golf Queensland it was with great sadness that I have resigned from my position of Program Officer recently. While I am leaving a role which has helped me to develop both personally and professionally I am excited by the many new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead within the golf industry. With each change comes opportunity and I am excited to announce I will be focussing more of my energy and time coaching at Victoria Park. Continue Reading→
Pace of play manual – it’s about enjoying the game.
You probably know the feeling of walking into a bar full of members who are grumbling because of a round of golf that went horribly over time. And there’s worse to come with the last two groups to finish in the dark. Continue Reading→
I hear this all the time from average golfers and even struggling tour players: “I hit the ball great on the range, but I’m a different golfer on the course. I don’t have the confidence to make the same swing when I know a bad shot will get me in trouble.”
Confidence comes from controlling the ball, but how do you go from hitting solid and accurate shots on the range to producing those same shots on the course? It’s helpful to understand the four stages of becoming a confident player:
First, you are unconsciously incompetent. You have no idea what to do in your swing or how to get there. This is the stage in which you learn the basics of the swing.
Second, you are consciously incompetent. You know what you want to do with your swing, but you can’t do it. You use drills prescribed by your teacher. It’s helpful to place rods or clubs on the ground to set up a “learning station” to check your alignment.
Third, you are consciously competent. On the range, you hit balls to perfect your swing, but you have to think mechanically to make the shot happen. Because you’re using verbal cues and thinking of positions, you often lose your tempo and rhythm.
Fourth, you are unconsciously competent. The best golfers compete in this stage. On the course they think about the conditions, select the right club, and play shots from point A to point B by focusing on the target. They no longer think about positions but feel how to use the club to create shots.
So how do you get from the first stage to the fourth? As Jack Nicklaus once said, “I practice mechanics and play by feel.” Remember that practicing and warming up are two different things. When good players practice, they break the swing down into mechanical parts and then put those parts together to control the clubhead–and the ball. This is the only time these players think about swing mechanics. When they warm up before a round, they forget mechanics and rehearse hitting shots to various targets, creating playing situations. Seve Ballesteros would “play” entire holes before his round: Replicating a par 5, he’d hit a driver, then a 4-iron layup then a wedge approach. When he got to the first tee, he felt he’d already played a few holes and was in the rhythm of the round.
A strong picture can override a flaw in your swing to produce a playable shot. On the range, practice visualizing the entire shot, the ball curving in the direction you want, then landing where you intend and rolling to your target. Use the same visual technique when you hit real shots on the course. You’ll be on your way to playing your best golf ever.
IT’S pretty rare to see anyone hit every green in regulation. But it’s a useful attitude to bring to the first tee. Bagging a ton of GIRs has as much to do with how you’re thinking, as how you’re swinging.
Most greens today are big. Play the correct tees, and it’s possible to hit every one with less-than-perfect approaches.
The key is mental discipline. At the end of a round, you should be able to say you had an exact yardage to the centre of the fat portion of each green. Even if your distance control isn’t that precise, the odds are in your favour when you make this extra effort.
Fire at flags only when the time is right. Be smarter and see the benefits. Continue Reading→
Most golfers think that course management is what you do to get out of deep trouble. It is more than that. Course management comes into play on every shot with some shots being more important than others.
A good mental game includes good course management. Efficient course management is your ability to play around the golf course the way it was designed by the architect, avoiding the trouble and placing each shot in the best position to hit the next shot. It requires you to plan and concentrate before every shot.
The golf course is set up so you will make hundreds of decisions. Course management is smart golf; thinking positively to avoid mistakes. The game of golf is about managing imperfection. Golf is about managing yourself around the golf course without letting your ego take over (Tin Cup experience).
When you change the way you see the world, your world changes. When you change the way you see the golf course you can see opportunities. You see the obstacles and make plans to avoid them.
Your course management depends upon a myriad of things including your skill level, your personality, course conditions and the pressure of the situation. It is important to have a strategy for playing each hole so you will be prepared ahead of time to handle the feelings that might arise to deter you.
You can be a genius at course management if you are confident with your wedges and putter. Then it won’t matter if you miss greens.
You have learned from experience how to manage your home golf course well because you know your plan. When you play a new course, you need to concentrate on creating the shots you want.
Golf is a game of manoeuvring the ball around the course and having fun doing it.
When you miss a fairway you are confronted with a number of options as to what you will do to extricate yourself from the situation. You might have to hit a golf shot with a hook or slice curve, or hit it higher or lower than usual.
If you practice hitting straight shots on the driving range most of the time you again will find yourself in a difficult position to bounce back if you cannot competently shape your shots to get you back into play or better.
Without exception top class tournament professional golfers are experts at controlling ball-flight and our students practice curving shots into small targets on the range so they are completely confident at playing these important shots when they arise.
How about you? Can you hook and slice when you need to?…