209: 5 Things Really Good Golfers Do

We’re going to mix it up a little this week and just talk off the cuff regarding a few thoughts I’ve had around this show, golf, and performance.

In light of the recent routing of the US team in the Ryder Cup, I’ve been thinking a lot about YOU as a golfer. We talk a lot about what pros, coaches, and trainers we have on the show are doing when working with the professional golfer, but it’s our mission here at 18STRONG to make sure that we’re providing you lessons you can take away week in and week out so you can play a better game.  So you can play the game the way YOU want to play it. Whether that be winning your club championship or breaking 90, we want to supply you with ways to improve that last.

So today I want to talk about what I’ve learned and the constant trends I’ve seen from our professional guests on the show. I specifically titled this “5 Things Really Good Golfers Do” because I don’t want to talk about the exceptional, elite athlete, or the professional golfer. I’m talking about you and the golfers you play with that just seem to have it figured out: the really good golfer at your club, on your golf trips, etc. What is it that they are doing that you can learn from to drastically and realistically escalate your game.

Highlights from this Episode (5 Things Really Good Golfers Do)

  • The first time I played with a really good golfer was when Dr. Andy Frost (Ep. 200 with Dr. Andy Frost) invited me out to Bellerive Country Club around 2010 or so and I haven’t look at the game the same ever since.
  • I was able to talk to him about how he approaches certain shots, why he made certain decisions and what he would do in from my position on the course.
  • I had always been the guy that simply tried to hit it as far as possible on every shot to get as close to the green as I could and would deal with the repercussions on my next shot.  But, Dr. Frost talked to me about playing the game smarter and to think through my future shots, for instance hitting your second shot with the intention of approaching the green from a better angle. This particular outing was very influential in me continuing the learning process of what makes a golfer better and truthfully, was a big catalyst for the inception of 18STRONG.
  • With our mission of helping you get better, it struck me that maybe we should put together a list of some of the most dominant themes I’ve noticed over the course of 200+ episodes and experience working with some really good golfers.
  • Below, I put together a list of 5 things that I have noticed really good golfers do on a regular basis. . .

 5 Things Really Good Golfers Do

1. Practice with Intent – You know as well as I do that practice is the no-brainer to getting better. I’m not just talking about going out and hitting balls around, I’m talking about the great golfers that practice strategically. They work on not just their long games but different specific aspects: their putting, their chipping, they keep score so they can compete with themselves. It’s not just about the repetition; it’s about how they’re using that swing.

One thing I have heard from countless coaches and top players is that they play games with themselves and against others when practicing, to keep themselves accountable.  A great resource for this is our episode with Trent Wearner (from Golf Scrimmages) on how important it is to have games as a main component of your practice routine.

Ep. 175 with Trent Wearner

2. Personal Fitness – Taking care of your body is not just for playing well, but also for playing well for a long time. I’m not talking about how these people are the exemplar of physical specimens, but they take care of themselves. They are able to play pain-free and with less compensation than those who tend to ignore the impact that your body’s health have your game. If you put a little time and effort into getting your body to the highest of levels for a competition, you’re going to play that much better.  Not to mention the fact that, long-term, this game is one that you can play for a long, long time if you are physically able.  Which means that taking care of yourself today, will make you much happier on the course later down the road!

If you need a place to start with your fitness for better golf, our resource below (The Golf Fitness Rollercoaster) is the perfect place to start.

The Golf Fitness Rollercoaster

3. Playing with Better Competition – It is pretty well a known fact that most of us tend to play to the level of our competition. If you’re playing with people that are lower than your skill level, you will slowly creep down to their level of play, whereas, if you play with those that are constantly challenging you, you will see yourself rising up. At the very least, make it count for something, even if you’re just playing against yourself.  Who are the people that you’re playing with and how are you going to get better if you’re not playing with someone you can learn something from.

4.They Prepare and Reflect – Good golfers think their way through the course. They plan their swings and shots they’ll need ahead of time.  They visualize the course and where they want to be off the tee. Picking up yardage books at different courses and reflecting on mistakes can be a great way to improve your next game. The Really Good Golfers don’t beat themselves up and dwell on mistakes, but study, reflect, and learn so that their next game is better than their last.

013 with Ellen Reed 

Ep. 204 with Gio Valiante

5. They Love the Game – IThe best golfers I know simply love to play the game.  They love the challenge, they love the environment, and they simply love the pursuit of getting better.  I’ve seen so many golfers out on the course getting frustrated, throwing clubs, ruining their mood and I just don’t understand why they play the game?  Yes, golf can be frustrating at times, but that’s the allure, that’s the beauty of it.  You’ll never play a perfect game, so there is always room for improvement.  The guys that are throwing clubs aren’t playing for themselves, they are concerned more with their image as a golfer, not in truly becoming a better golfer. It harkens back to the Master Golfer vs. The Ego Golfer from Ep. 204 with Dr. Gio Valiante.

Ep. 204 with Gio Valiante

In conclusion, ask yourself which of these 5 things that Really Good Golfers do apply to you and which ones you might need some work on.  None of us will ever be perfect, but striving to get better each time you tee it up is what really counts.

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