Following The Conventions of Golf Can Hurt Your Golf Scores

Coming from an avid golfer, this title might seem a bit odd. Of course following the instructions of great players is key to lower golf scores, it just has to…..or does it? As a student of the game, I believe that there are basic conventions that most aspiring golfers must follow and I had/have to become a 5 handicap player. However, following the instruction or guidance of great players blindly is not good for your golf scores! Let me explain.

If you research the “best way to ….” anything in golf, you will find an abundance of answers, yet most will not be of any benefit for you. As an example I asked the question: “what is the best golf grip for me?” I had 9.2 million possible responses in less than a second. So now what? (on a side note, no article of The Grateful Golfer landed in the top 5 pages – the search tool must be broken – 😉 )

I am not going into the proper golf grips, but there are only 3 basic grips. However, given the size of your hands, wrist mobility, and hand strength (to name just 3), there are likely a 100 different variations to these basic grips. So, if this is the case, why would I box myself in and only stick to this limited number without experimenting with what grip or variation of is best for me.

I find that the biggest draw limiter to any golf swing boils down to one specific thing: the physical ability of the person. We all come in different shapes and sizes; some are more flexible than others; eye to hand coordination is a factor; and how our body moves all factor into shaping our golf swing. I have given up trying to emulate players like Rory McIlroy or Dustin Johnson because there is no way I will develop their swing I am not built like them, nor do I have their physical ability. So, I must adjust my swing to take advantage of what I have!

In the past, I found that staying too rigid in how I approach an new skill can have detrimental affects to my score. By deciding to be more open-minded on how to implement that new skill has really helped propel my game forward. For example, my recent woes with chipping. I followed Phil Mickelson’s approach of almost all my weight on my lead foot and it does not work…..for me. My swing is not like his and therefore my success rate was very very low. So, I went back to my old style of a more balance approach and things are steadily improving. Mickelson’s weight distribution (and it is not just his) convention does not work for my game.

You can see how some conventions do not work for some people. Physical ability is a very important factor as to how your golf swing develops. I recommend you watch the 80% solution and then figure out what best works for your game. I think talking to your local professional is a great place to start and explain that you trying to find your true swing that works for your game. I am sure they would be able to help.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

4 thoughts on “Following The Conventions of Golf Can Hurt Your Golf Scores

  1. Jim, good points about the grip and consulting a professional. The grip for a golfer is like a good set of tires for a car. It’s the only part of us attached to our equipment. If you have a great swing and a poor grip, things can go wrong in a hurry. Inevitably, I usually discuss some aspect of grip with my instructor in every lesson. I want to ensure I’m holding the club correctly for every shot I’m being taught.

    Thanks for the reminders!


    Liked by 1 person

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