I believe the feeling of growth is one of the major factors of happiness and fulfilment. From my own experience, if you feel like you are improving, you tend to be a much happier golfer.
Of course, you can be fulfilled by just enjoying this great game…so if this is you, then great.
But I believe most golfers want to keep shooting better scores, they want to keep improving their swing, they want to feel calmer and more confident on the course.
And I believe, the key to this constant improvement all begins with a mindset…
A growth mindset…A mindset I wish I knew about when I was 14 years old.
Before we start I just want to outline one problem with growth.
More often than not, you can barely even notice it…
You won’t wake up one day and have your entire game figured out. You won’t have a few lessons and all your swing troubles will cease to exist. You won’t spend a few hours on a new putting drill and have your stroke transformed.
Growth is just small often miniscule and most of the time barely noticeable daily/weekly improvements which just add up over time.
The great thing about this mindset is that golfers who understand this path of growth will always succeed over the golfer who veers off.
The golfer who leaves the path and goes looking for eureka moments or instant results will only take themselves further away from their desires and very often, only succeed in keeping themselves in a cycle of frustration.
A big problem with a lot of golfers is they get so infatuated by the end goal that they actually completely ignore what is required to get them there.
Let’s use an example of someone who is struggling off the tee. Let’s use you… so you may be losing far too many shots to the right which is causing a lot of frustration in your game and hurting your scores badly.
You have tried to fix it on your own, but your guessing and it’s just made it worse. Even your mate who plays off 21 has given you a few pointers, but as expected, these things haven’t helped either.
So, you do the right thing and have a lesson. You find out that it’s a few main issues – Your swing path is too much from ‘out to in’, your posture is poor and your grip is weak.
These technical glitches are all contributing towards your poor performance from the tee.
And to compound to this, your confidence is rock bottom.
Being great off the tee now feels like an eternity away and It feels an almost impossibly long-winded path. It feels like it will be months of hard work to start seeing ‘results’.
And it’s this long path that sends golfers several ways…
– You give up.
– You carry on looking for that miracle cure.
– You settle for a standard that is less than your capabilities.
– Or you get on the path and ask themselves…
How am I going to be a better golfer in 7 days time?
Golfers who experience constant growth and fulfilment from this game have a completely different mind-set to the golfers who ‘want it all now’.
Golfers who grow do not seek to be hitting every tee shot perfectly tomorrow, next week, or the week after. They just want to be edging towards that end goal, week by week, month by month, year by year.
How Can YOU Keep Growing
Having a growth mindset is just about you – how can you keep growing as a golfer?
It’s not being as good as your mate who has been playing 20 years longer. It’s not about ripping it like Rory who started at the age of 3 and has played every day since. It’s not about impressing everyone in the bar after your great round.
It’s about Small miniscule daily and weekly improvements which are constantly keeping you moving in the right direction.
So, you have your lesson and instead of feeling overwhelmed about tackling all your faults at once, ask yourself:
How am I going to be a little better in 7 days’ time?
This stops all the need for instantaneous miracles. The goal is not to be hitting it beautifully off the tee in 7 days’ time – it’s just to a better golfer in 7 days.
What if, in 7 days’ time your new grip felt a little more comfortable and your posture has improved. The ball may still be veering off to the right too often…but have you grown as a golfer in this area of the game?
YES. Job done (for this week)
Now I am going to answer the question:
How am I going to be a better golfer in 7 days’ time…
#1 I am going to hit 50 fully focused balls into a net at my golf club solely working on my ‘figure of eight’ drill.
Performing this will edge my faulty ‘inside swing path’ a little more on plane by the end of the week. It won’t be perfect but it will be better.
I find hitting balls into a net takes the outcome of the shot out of play and enables me to be 100% focused on the new position I am trying to create.
#2 I am going to hit 50 balls in a completely random manner on the driving range. I’ll will never hit the same shot in a row. Practising in this way is proven to increase your learning ability and will aid in taking my range performance to the golf course.
#3 I am going to perform my highlight reel for 5-10 minutes per day. This is where I go take myself to a quiet place and imagine all of the best shots from my previous round.
This is going to improve the control of my imagery which will help my confidence and visualization on the golf course. Again, I won’t be as good as Jordan Spieth mentally by next week, but I will be better than I was today.
#4 I am going to spend 45 minutes performing my lag putting exercise. I will hit putts from all sorts of different positions whilst going through all of my pre-shot routine, mental process and post shot acceptance.
#5 I will spend 45 minutes practising my chipping in the exact same way.
#6 I will play 18 holes whilst only focusing on improving on-course processes.
With the goal of improving my pre-shot routine, my reaction from poor play, my thought process between shots, my tension control whilst in difficult times in the round.
Score is not important, improving these processes is all that matters. Improve these processes and score will take care of itself.
That 1% Better…
With these two practice sessions, one round of golf and about an hour spent visualisation, I am 100% confident, I will be a better golfer in 7 days time.
I have covered all the areas which require the most improvement and although I won’t warp into Dustin Johnson in 7 days time, there’s a great chance I will be 1% better.
This doesn’t mean that my rounds will improve week on week either. Golf isn’t like that. There are so many variables as to why you didn’t shoot as well as last week, but over a period of time, scores will move in my favour.
Now I never used to be like this…
I wanted instant results. I wanted that swing secret. I wanted that putting secret.
I was the golfer that completely ignored the small steps and was just infatuated by the end result.
My improvement was often so lop-sided that I never actually got any better.
I would have a lesson, see my faults on camera and then put every single ounce of energy into perfecting this new swing. I would hit ball after ball until I was there whilst neglecting everything else.
And was I a better golfer each week?
No, In fact my game digressed. I never asked this question. To be honest, I used to just think once I got into this new position, I would be the golfer that I always wanted to be (a PGA tour player)
Which of course never materialised.
I never spent a few minutes a day practicing my mental skills, so my mental performance slowly declined and as did my confidence.
I never practiced randomly, so although I thought I was improving rapidly in my sessions, I wasn’t.
I neglected my short game, so although my long game was maybe that 1% better, this was being offset by an either bigger decline in this area.
I never spent a few minutes each week writing down my daily/weekly goals, so my improvement had no direction.
I always went out on the course and just cared about the score. Sod the processes, It’s the score I care about.
– My pre-shot routine was hopeless to non-existent.
– My thought process between each shot was exhausted by ‘what am I going to shoot’.
– I got overly tense and had no idea how to control it.
– I used to throw clubs far too often.
I had a bit of early success which enabled me to become a low handicapper but after that It turned into a bit of a nightmare…
So, if this resembles anything like your state of affairs…
Ask yourself, this simple question.
The more you ask this question, the better you’ll become at answering it.
- Start taking stats after every round so you know exactly what to work on this week in order you to improve that 1%. Without this crucial step, it will be next to impossible to improve optimally.
- Start learning more about your own swing. You won’t know everything by next week but you’ll know more than today.
- Put a little time aside to learn about different practice methods. Beating balls aimlessly will not improve you.
- Start some visualisation skills, if it makes you feel more comfortable over just one shot next week then it’s worth it.
- Start just writing down things you want to improve each week and just get it done. I believe and science agrees that putting pen to paper is far more effective than having stuff floating around in your mind.
These are just a few idea’s but what it comes down to is a mindset shift. Break everything down and aim to improve each part in bit size proportions.
Most golfers are always after that huge change, quick swing fix, mental thought that will propel their game forwards….
THESE THINGS DO NOT EXIST.
One of the huge reasons for me writing this blog, is because I don’t want to see golfers like you making the same mistakes as I did.
Without blowing my own trumpet, I was a talented young golfer. Often people would stop and watch me hit balls. I could hit any shot I wanted to a pretty high level.
But talent means shit when you were stuck with the mindset I had.
I am not proclaiming to have it all figured out now but a growth mindset just makes total sense to me.
I think if you start asking this one question once per week, then you will put yourself in a much better position to achieve more success and fulfilment from this game…
How are you going to be a better golfer in 7 days’ time?