This is the time of year in my golf season where I expect my scores to start a downward trend. We are about six weeks late due to COVID, but that is not something that I lament on because it is out of my control. As I look forward, this is about the time in the season when the rust is mostly knocked off and I can rely on consistent play. This is nothing new for me as it happens every year. But, when should you expect your golf game to improve if you are taking steps to make changes. I bet inquiring minds want to know!
Interestingly, all the articles I searched for this topic focused on the how to improve your game, but when or how long it takes. If you ask a professional, the good ones at least, cannot offer a specific timeline because every player is different. We learn at different speeds; we have different physical skills; how much time we can dedicate to improving; or are we mentally prepared for the journey. The factors are unlimited and each player will have to do decide for themselves when their efforts will see improvements to their their game.
Well, I have a very simple answer to the question of when. It should be immediately! Wait, I have to caveat that slightly, immediately when your expectations overcome your fears and frustration to change. Sounds simple, right? Well, unfortunately it is very challenging and nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
The willingness to accept the good, bad and ugly results of a working through the processes of change is difficult for most golfers egos. Usually, most amateurs quit making adjustments after a very short time because they feel that improvement to their game is not happening fast enough. So they stop. What many players fail to recognize is the small success that demonstrate that they are actually improving their game.
Small success can manifest through shorter putts after a chip, fewer missed shots, longer distances off the tee, hitting the fairway more often, or just feeling more comfortable with their swing changes. Maybe they accrue fewer penalty strokes because they are hitting the ball a bit straighter. It is difficult to nail down the what minor successes will manifest for their game, but it will be there if they open their minds to the possibilities.
I will mention that as a golfer lowers their handicap, the successful changes to their game are even more subtle and take longer than a higher handicapper. However, these players, including myself, understand the processes of change and are mentally prepared to work a bit longer to achieve the goals they seek. This is nothing new in sports because the better we perform, but harder it is to refine our game. But, this is a challenge that many of the stronger players accept and relish.
Immediate results are possible if we are walking down the right path. I think that all players have room for improvement, especially me, if they are willing to accept the possibility for frustration by keeping their eyes on the prize.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!