Moving The Yardsticks in Your Golf Game

If you’re serious about improving your play, be brutally honest with yourself.

Greg “The Shark” Norman

I think Norman’s quote is one of the best pieces of advice I have read in a long time. It really cuts to the chase about how I want to approach my golf game. Without going into more details (we have talked about this plenty), understanding that being brutally honest is as much about finding root causes than symptoms.

An abridged definition of “root cause’ as a failure or fault from which a chain of effects originates. Basically, sometimes an suspected something causes the problems which results in a ‘duck hook’ or ‘wild slice’.

For example, my grip shifts slightly to a strong position. As I pull the club back the face stays closed more than normal. As I move the club face towards the ball my hands release early. My follow through is lower than normal. All of this causes my ball to start left and ‘duck hook’ into the trees. The above scenario is real and I have had problems with this in the past.

The challenge is figuring out what was the root cause because any of the steps in the chain of events could have resulted in a ‘duck hook’. So, to figure out the ‘root cause’ I have to really focus on what I did and pay attention to all the actions during the next few swings. This can be a very frustrating process and I have to be brutally honest that I failed with my grip and focus on rectifying that problem.

Of course my example is a very simple one, but I think you get the point. The point to my diatribe was that being brutally honest with yourself about what needs improving in our game is difficult, but is really the only way to be a better player. It is hard on our ego (Your Ego and Golf), but sometimes our ego needs to checked.

Are you brutally honest when assessing your golf game?

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

7 thoughts on “Moving The Yardsticks in Your Golf Game

  1. Hi Jim, I agree. However, I use mis-hits to check how in-the-zone I am. I have mental, emotional and posture cues for that. I also check swing path by looking at divots, and work on coming more inside out if I’n chopping it. The main thing for me is the in-the-zone though. Thats where my great golf flows from. I accept mishits happen, and don’t see it as personal failure so much as that is a barrier to being in-the-zone on the next shot. That’s not right or wrong, it’s just how I like to play the game. Everyone’s way of playing golf is uniquely their own. Everyone’s journey is their own. All the best Jim, Leigh

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  2. Hi Jim, I have a personal take which is a bit different in the way it interprets the brutally honest comment (which I agree with). If it was me hitting that duck hook, I would have a bit of a giggle and then check in on how “in the zone” I am. I would look to get back “in the zone”. I have breathing and posture and mindspace cues for that. My goal is to have the best feelings I can have on the golf course. Shotmaking and scoring follows from there. Of course I have technical swing thoughts as well, but they are minimal. So thats my version of brutally honest – I’d say its gently honest. And in terms of admitting failure, well I recognise my failed shots but try not to personally attach to the feeling of failure. For me, that feeling gets in the way of enjoyment and prevents me being “in the zone”. That having been said, you are a better golfer than me with more precise goals. Everyone does it differently! Everyone’s personal relationship with golf is uniquely their own thing. All the best, Leigh

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  3. Jim, here’s where the assistance of a professional helps in a big way. The pro will help identify your anti-patterns and how to correct. So when you’re on the course and hit a stinker, you have a much better idea of what happened and don’t have to search for root cause. You just keep working what you’ve been working on all along and chances are you’re addressing the correct issue. At least, that’s been my experience of late.

    Thanks,

    Brian

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      • Jim, I hope you are getting some good reps in using your net. What a benefit to have in the off-season! I’ve been hitting the gym regularly and it’s been quite mild here this winter with no accumulating snow. Have actually gotten to either play or practice on most weekends in January. Hope it holds for two more weeks so I won’t have to go to Myrtle Beach with excessive rust to bang off.
        Thanks,
        Brian

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