Taking A Step Back In Golf

Have you ever found yourself so focused on a specific aspect of your golf game that you forget to stick with what works? As a player who continually is trying to find golden nuggets in my game, I sometimes forget that I have built a foundation that works and should be at the forefront of all my adventuring. However, this is not always the case and the only real way to address this wayward path is to take a step back and refocus. It is not a bad thing, just part of the improvement process.

There is one important aspect of improving our game that many beginners overlook. To play better golf, everything boils down to one thing and one thing only: CHOICE! It really is that simple. We only have some much time or money to devote to lowering our golf scores and chosing wisely is a critical part of the process. I can honestly say that I have learned this lesson through many ‘I will just give this a try experiments’. I have wasted some of my valuable time through the years by using Thomas Edison’s words: “I have not failed, I have just found 10000 ways it does not work.” Of course, some of that is true, but I wasted the most time without actually thinking about the process and where any change might lead.

Over the past 15 years of so, I have choose to be more selective with my time. I do still try to make changes, but I now have an end goal that is measurable and achievable in a reasonable amount of time. I develop a plan for success by choosing everything from specific goals to the drills I believe will work to make this happen. Fortunately after 45+ years, my experience helps me discard the aspects of my plan that immediately show zero promise. This process, as I have discussed before, is proven and works.

Unfortunately, there are times when my desire to be successful overshadows my process. My mind immediately jumps into change without thinking through all the possible ramifications to the rest of my game. For example, about 15 years ago, I decided to change to a stronger grip. I did it on a whim without trying it out on the range first. Yup, I was in the middle of around and thought it was a great time make a change. What a mistake!

I was stubborn and refused to believe that I could not make this drastic change to my fundamentals without success! Well, after 2 weeks of my worst scores in years, I decided to step back and actually focus on what I was doing. I realized that changing my grip was easy, but changing all the other aspects of my golf swing to account for my new grip was not so easy. I failed on so many levels that I switched back to my neutral grip and stop tinkering with my swing. It still took 2 weeks to get my swing back. Man, what a waste of a month of golf. Now, being the optimist that I am, I understand that this process taught me a valuable lesson that I use today. However, I wish I had not waste 1/6th of my golf season on a whim.

Choice sets the stage for everything in our golf games. It is a powerful tool when used properly. I realize that making uninformed choices can hurt my golf game and try not to do that anymore. However, I am only human and every once in awhile I still get caught up making impulsive choices that I need to quickly revisit. Ah, but that is all part of my golf journey!

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


2 thoughts on “Taking A Step Back In Golf

  1. Um, wait a second here. Have you learned the lesson? Have I? We continue to work towards our goals without professional help. If I was a smart man, I’d take another lesson before buying a new driver. But while I understand the lesson pretty well, I still fail to abide it’s dictates far too often. It’s been what 3, 4 years since my one and only lesson now? I’m not even sure right this second. But I’m sure that’s too long. It’s way past time for another. My handicap drop was far better after spending that 40 dollars than any club purchase ever came even close to producing. And by not taking another lesson first, I run the risk of the set up of the new driver becoming somewhat less than optimal faster. Have you considered that a driver fitting might have different results taken before and after a swing “adjustment”? Even a minor one?

    And you. You planned on working on your swing in the basement where you can’t see ball flight or get the benefit of reading divots. Shame, shame. You haven’t learned the right lesson either. šŸ˜‚ But you’re most certainly a golfer. šŸ‘Œ You’re like me. Determined. You have a better excuse too since you don’t live where everything is close by and being snowed in half a year leaves even fewer options. But I think you suffer from the same disease I do anyway. The do it yourself disease. Considering the gains made off my one lesson it’s absolutely pathetic I haven’t gone for more yet. I went from a 10 or maybe 11 to a 7 in under a year. And sure I got much worse for half that year while I worked hard to make those changes become natural, I can’t think of a penny spent that was more productive. I’m not posting scores again yet, but I’d guess I’ve knocked off another two on my own since that first lesson. How far along could I be had I taken another sooner? No, I don’t think either of us has really learned the most important golf lesson which I think is we aren’t our best teacher. And I can’t say that any of the progress I’ve made by myself since is any more rewarding than managing to tackle that first lesson. In fact I’d say it was less rewarding because it wasn’t nearly as hard to do.

    I’m still going for that fitting. šŸ˜Ž But I will get that next lesson scheduled soon too. I may not have truly learned my lesson, but it’s sinking in. Slowly. Oh so slowly. šŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      šŸ˜‚ You are funny, but all to close to the truth. I have taken a few lessons of the years (quite a while back and the professional only tweaked minor challenges) and my results were not as fruitful as I had hoped. But, that does not stop the true wisdom of getting professional help. Maybe this year, we shall see. The use of my DIY driving net is out of necessity; there is nothing else in the area where I live. The challenges of a golfer. šŸ˜‰

      Cheers Jim


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s