Training for golf is an ongoing process in my house. If I am not practicing or playing, then I am physically and mentally training. It is my passion and how I like to fill my time. Over the years, I have come to realize that increasing my knowledge of golf can happen when least expected. In today’s case, my inspiration for this article came from “8 Things You Should Do During Every Workout” by Zack Zeigler. (MSN) After reading the article, I quickly realized that the main topics apply to golf and make total sense for improving my game.
I have added a 9th thing because it is something I think all golfers should do to improve their game and we can talk about that later in the article. All of these themes are addressed in previous posts at The Grateful Golfer, but I thought it would be good idea to gather the information in one spot. Here are the main themes of the Zeigler’s article adapted to golf:
USE DYNAMIC IMAGERY. Using imagery to see your shot before attempting any movement is very important. Conceive, Believe, Achieve touches on using imagery as a tool to create a good golf swing. I am strong proponent of this mental technique keep it at the forefront of my preparations.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS. Tracking our progress is inherent to avid golfers. The use of stats is important, if the right stat is used to improve your game. I track GIR, putts, saves, putts, and handicap index throughout the year. Track my progress in various areas is important as a report card as to how my game is going.
LIMIT DISTRACTIONS. On the course and while practicing, it is important to limit distractions. Distractions can include talking, listening to music, having no practice plan, life, or basically anything that empowers your mind to wander. I try to stay focused by following a pre-shot routine while playing or practicing and having a goal.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Sometimes my body is not ready to play competitive golf. I am tired or stiff and I am just not feeling a solid swing. On those days, either practice my short game or go do any number of other hobbies. Injuries are something that many players try to ignore or try to play through them. Unfortunately, if the injury is serious enough it is possible to cause more damage to our bodies. So, listening to our bodies is important.
REMEMBER THE FUNDAMENTALS. Every player has a unique golf swing. Regardless of how you swing your clubs, it is based on some fundamental rules. For many, these fundamentals drive their game and in my case it is very true. I have worked diligently over the years to engrain the proper fundamentals while driving, hitting irons, chipping and putting. Sticking to the basics and hitting shots within my wheel house are very important to my low golf scores.
CHANGE THINGS UP. I am all about routine within my golf game. However, every golf knows that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. There for it is important to change up your practice routine. Additionally, I like to create a golf plan that gives my preparation structure, but not so rigid that I get into a rut. Changing practice drills or course management strategies are just a couple of places to start.
PEOPLE WATCH. Watching better players is important to find new ways to improve your game. I continually watch and try to learn from better players. I have learned new techniques from all players. This past summer, I played golf with a 15 handicap player who reminded me that being aggressive while chipping is very important to a great short game. I know that I normally follow this tenant, but sometimes I need a kindly reminder.
DRINK UP. Staying hydrated is very important to great golf. Additionally, eating properly while playing helps keep up our strength down the home stretch of a round. This is especially true during the hot days of summer. Playing golf and walking the course in 30°+ C requires more fluids than normal and drinking up is very important.
These are the 8 important tips I gleaned for Zeigler’s article. As you can see, his points for training properly also apply to golf. It is interesting how fundamentals of other sports can be applied to golf. Knowledge and understanding can be found in different places, we just have to keep our eyes and minds open and see there it can fit.
My 9th thing that every golfer should take to heart if they want to improve is:
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!