Over the last 60 years technological advances in clubs and balls have helped golfers hit the ball farther and straighter than any time in history. The science of bio-mechanics has identified the perfect swing for every body type and improvements in error detection equipment help professionals pinpoint exactly where a golfer’s swing deviates from the ideal. How much have golfers, as a whole, improved their ability to score. According to the USGA, nothing! Both amateurs and professionals alike still score, on average, exactly the same as their counterparts of six decades ago. Not to minimize the great strides a small percentage of golfers make in their own journey, one would expect that these advances would lead to lower scores. They haven’t. In fact, USGA statistics show, that as a whole, golfers don’t improve after the third year in the game.
So what’s the answer. Experts from a variety of disciplines inside and outside of golf, including teaching professionals, Sports Psychologist, Sports Vision Specialists, Sport Nutritionists, Fitness Specialists and more have tried to solve this perplexing dilemma. While each can provide assistance to specific golfers, none provide across-the-board relief. Even if a golfer improves every area listed above they still may not score any better than they do today. So who you going call to help you improve your scoring ability?
I have identified a number of factors that affect performance. They include:
* the way we train
* the way we live our lives
* the differences between practice ranges and golf courses
* a lack of understanding and skill in overcoming the effects of pressure
* physical conditioning, nutrition, and dehydration
* pre-round preparation
* improper fitting clubs.
All of these factors affect performance directly and indirectly through state of mind and attentional focus. Very few professionals ever consider attentional focus, especially when practicing physical skills and those that do never direct it properly. When hitting balls, the only place to focus one’s attention should be on the target. This has tremendous impact in how, how much, and how often we train. In upcoming articles I will address each of these factors, highlight the problems they cause, their effects on state of mind and attentional focus and offer solutions to help your improve state of mind, attentional focus, and ultimately your performance.