Tag Search: Consistency


Practice to Play-Article by Jim Flick

In Tactical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

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.Jack Nicklaus

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.

Source – Golf Digest 2012


Crowd Your Chip Shots

In Technical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

If your chipping is inconsistent, the fix could be as simple as standing closer to the ball. This will encourage you to swing the club more straight-back, straight-through instead of on a rounded arc. A mental image that works great is to think about swinging the clubhead as if it were a Ferris wheel, straight up and down.

When you stand too far from the ball, the club starts at a flatter angle, which causes it to move quickly to the inside. An inside swing arc can be desirable on full swings, but there’s no need for it on a simple chip. With such a short swing, attacking the ball from the inside makes it difficult to hit with a descending blow, so it promotes that bad instinct of scooping the ball. How close should you stand? The first time, get close enough so it feels a little uncomfortable, like you’re crowding the ball. Then you know you’re doing it about right.

Source Golf Digest



In Mental , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

Have you ever heard someone say, “He had a great round today, he was really focused?”  When a professional is playing very well, the adjective that is often used to describe his mental state is “focused.”  What does it mean to say that someone is focused?  Focus is defined as “a point at which rays of light appear to diverge, or the clarity of an image rendered by an optical system.”  Of all our different senses, focus is associated mostly with sight or the eyes.  It is the ability of our eyes to zoom in on an object, or, in the case of golf, the target.  For example, look at an object such as a book.  Focus on the book.  Now focus on the book with an increase in intensity.  Next, focus on the book with an even higher increase in energy.  Notice what happens when you increase your intensity.  You get more absorbed into the object, and you may notice more details.  The energy from your eyes to the object increases with greater fervour  and all the other senses move to the background as you eyes become primary.  The more you see with your eyes, the less you think with your brain.  Let me repeat this truth, the more you see with your eyes, the less you think with your brain.

We know from a variety of studies that athletes performing at a high level have very little chatter in their brain, and their focus is extremely high.  What happens when you are nervous or struggling on the golf course?  Often you begin to increase the self talk and thinking, while decreasing the energy available for focusing.  In an attempt to think through the struggle on the course, one often makes the problem worst by increasing the thinking, and diminishing the focus.  I am not saying that thinking is bad,I am simply saying that lots of thinking during actual performance is usually detrimental.

How can you increase focus during performance?  Continue Reading→


Costly Mental Mistakes

In Mental , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

One of the Most Costly Mental Mistakes in Golf is the Easiest to Eliminate. Here’s How…

Golf is a game that is played mostly from within, and for this reason, it is important to know when you are putting too much pressure on yourself to perform. Having too high expectations of yourself is one of the biggest causes of a loss of self confidence and not playing to your potential. But by simply re-framing your mind-set and being more disciplined in your approach, you can easily eliminate this pressure and play better, more enjoyable golf.

Expectation is a self-created pressure we need to eliminate if we want to become better golfers. It demands that we should play in a certain way, and if we don’t, something is wrong, leading to frustration and self-doubt. The general opinion is that expectation and confidence are one in the same thing. If we expect to win a tournament or expect to hit great golf shots, this will increase our confidence. But in fact the opposite is true. Confidence is how much self belief you have in executing a given shot, not trying to continually meet expectations.

Whether it be your performance relative to your pre-round driving range session, your playing partners or your last round, continuously measuring yourself will you make you frustrated and further remove you from the process needed to execute good golf shots. For example, let’s say your last round was one of your best and you are getting closer to becoming the player you always knew you could be. Then during your next round you find yourself quickly several shots over your new expectation (target) of yourself. Thoughts of “what am I doing wrong?” and “this is not how I know I can play!” will result and you will quickly find yourself becoming frustrated and losing focus over the ball.

The opposite can occur if we are playing better than our expectations. If we go into self-assessment mode and measure our performance vs our expectations, we will feel out of our comfort zone and the result is likely to be a quick retreat back to our usual level of play.

Success in golf is playing each and every shot as best you can. This sounds obvious, but your score is an aggregate of all these individual shots. We need to focus on the execution process of each individual shot (THE PRESENT), not the target of a good score (THE FUTURE). I like to tell my students to focus on the steps of their shot routine and make that their goal for the round instead of going out there to shoot their best score. As hard as it is to do, mark your score card, but don’t think about your running total. At the end of each hole write down the number of shots that you felt you successfully stuck to your routine. Total these numbers and make this your target for your next round. If you can make this a habit, I’ve no doubt you will start to see the results and get more enjoyment from the game whether you shoot your best score or not.

Believe that your ultimate success in the game relies on being “in the zone” for every shot and making the best decisions you can for the shot at hand. Your best golf will come when you are in the present moment for each shot and truly enjoying the experience of the game.

Source Golf State of Mind


“What Really Sets Great Young Golfers Like Rory McIlroy Apart From the Rest?…”

In Technical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

“Top PGA tour golfers like 2011 US Open and 2012 PGA golf champion Rory McIlroy have highly developed, highly specific and very high paying golf skills which help them to produce a consistently low competitive score average when they compete on one of the PGA or LPGA tours.”


In every golfers game there are three or possibly four golf skills that would guarantee improved golf scores by developing and improving them. The eighty-twenty principle helps us to understand that approximately 20 percent of your golf skills accounts for eighty percent of the results you produce in every round; so it’s important that you identify these critical to performance skills if you want to move to lower golf scores faster.

If you need some help in identifying your critical to perform skills come and get tested.


How Did He Hit That?

In Technical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

Here are a few thoughts on Rory’s bunker game and what you can learn.

1. Make a ‘normal’ swing
Many of the students I see impart far too much slice spin onto their bunker shots, often because they have been taught to do so. They aim their bodies way to the left, set the clubface quite open, then cut across the ball to excess. This makes it difficult to get the ball started on the intended line. The ball will also spin to the right once it hits the green, again reducing the chances of the ball tracking toward the hole.

I find that all this effort does not seem to add that much loft to the shot, and it also presents a challenge in controlling distance when such a glancing blow is applied. I don’t see tour players doing so except in extreme situations. The average player would do much better by setting the body and clubface only slightly open, and then making a normal-feeling swing.

2. Take dead aim
If your goal is to get the ball out of the bunker, that is likely the best you’ll do. If your goal, however, is to hole every bunker shot, you’ll likely do so quite rarely, but I guarantee you’ll hit a lot more stiff. It’s the same idea as when sport psychologist  Dr. Bob Rotella asks his tour players to hole every shot within 100 yards. It doesn’t happen that often, but setting high standards and narrowing your focus can significantly tighten your shot dispersion. A great short-game practice drill is to hit a routine greenside shot until you hole it, be it a chip, pitch or bunker shot. You’ll be amazed how quickly it can happen. If you are a higher handicapper, make your goal to get the ball within a grip’s length. Before long, you’ll be holing out shots in practice and taking your increased confidence onto the golf course.

Source Kevin Hinton


The Nine Shots

In Mental , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

Hank Haney recently said that when he was teaching Tiger Woods he would continually practice “The Nine Shots” on the driving range, a practice drill that is highly effective in mind and body synchronization and increasing your repertoire of shots, which are crucial in lowering scores.

So what are “The Nine Shots”? Haney would have Tiger hit a high fade, a mid-height fade and a low fade and then do the same hitting a straight shot and with a draw, making a total of 9 different shots (not necessarily in that order).

This forms the basis of a great practice or warm-up session. Over time this will give you heightened mind-body awareness in that you are instinctively aware of what your body needs to do to play a shot you are visualizing. There is no conscious control of your swing. The more you can learn to play and practice using visualization and feel, instead of having technical thoughts and letting negative interferences in, the better you will become.

 Being able to control both the trajectory and shape of the shot is integral to a good scoring game. In windy conditions it helps enormously to be able to hit the ball low into the wind and high when it’s behind. There are obvious advantages for being able to shape the ball with a drive or approach shot. Realizing that there are several ways of getting to the ball to the target and some are more effective than others, is a big part of improving your golf game.

Next time you are on the range, work on The Nine Shots. In addition to increasing your visualization and feel, it will tell you a lot about your swing. E.g. If you are having trouble hitting it high, or hitting a fade, try to figure out why.

Give this drill a try this instead of working on numerous swing drills and hitting to the same target and I’ve no doubt you’ll see the results on the course.

Source Golf State of Mind


Simple Swing Fixes

In Technical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

There are no shortcuts to getting better. You’re going to have to put in some work. That’s the bad news. The good news is: If you follow my advice, the things you have to do to improve–and make that improvement last–can be fairly simple. I’m a big believer in working on one thing at a time. So to help you get started, I’ve broken down the swing into five segments. Within each segment I’ll give you a single element to focus on. If you work on any one of them, you should begin to see positive changes in your swing.  Continue Reading→


Swing Technique

In Technical , posted by Virginia on - Leave a comment

Biggest Practice Mistakes ….and what to do about them

Practicing only swing technique
Solution Use other types of training: competitive, routine, shot shaping, and mental skills.

There is nothing better than the feel of a well-struck shot or the sight of a drive soaring through the air. Striking the ball correctly is one of the most impressive aspects of the game, especially when you are the one doing the striking. Perhaps this is the reason for such a preoccupation with the golf swing with both players and coaches.

A constant focus on swing technique, no matter how justified it may seem will be detrimental to the overall development of your game and the ability to transfer your practice to the course.

In order to create a more seamless transfer Continue Reading→