I recall reading an article a year or two back stating that the average golfers handicap hasn’t improved in the last 60 years!
They state that even with high tech training aids, improved teaching methods, strength & conditioning coaching, improved understanding of nutrition, and lets not forget the improvement of equipment, that the average golfer still isn’t improving.
How can this be possible?
What Needs to Change to Become a Better Golfer?
Now I know there are a lot of different reasons that could attribute to this statistic including increased lengths of golf courses. But I believe in the end, it is ourselves that need to improve. All these other factors are simply tools and we all know that tools are only meant to assist your improvement.
So how hard is it to actually improve and make a swing change? Well that all comes down to you. Are you prepared to accept that a swing change requires you to do something in your swing that is different from the way you are used to doing it. In my experience working with clients, generally 50% of my efforts and coaching is focused on convincing them to stick with it.
Get out of YOUR Way
In fact, often the reason improvement takes as long as it usually does (too long, mind you), is the lack of acceptance, the disbelief, that this new swing should feel so foreign to what you are used to. So in this case, you tend to get in your own way. The little voice in your head, is quick to remind you that the “old way” of movement felt a lot better to you. For some reason, you listen and forget that it was the dissatisfaction with the “old way” that initially convinced you to attempt to make the changes in the first place.
So you fall back, because it’s easier to stay in your comfort zone than tread in foreign waters, so to speak.
Deep down inside we are all looking for a quick fix that will lead us on a fast track down a victory lane of success. Advertisements and infomercials love to sell you on the idea that improving is ultra easy, if you just buy this product!
Closets, basements, and garbage dumps are filled with these miracle products. Yet, we still purchase these products, because it is easier to conceive that a new gimmick must be the key to your improvement, and not actual hard-work.
This is why there are so few good golfers in the world. Isn’t it conceivable that the reason there are so few golfers actually improving is that average golfers tend to sabotage their own efforts?
And that the golfers that are actually improving get labelled as talented, when maybe all they are really doing is getting out of there own way.
How does Forrest Gump Fit in Here?
I think we could all learn a lot from Forrest Gump (even though he was a fictional character) when it comes to being a becoming a better golfer. The moral of his story is that he accomplished amazing things in life simply by not over-analyzing every situation (or any for that matter) he just did it!
He was taught by his mama, “Stupid is as Stupid does,” which basically is saying that you’re only stupid if you do something stupid. Well, I hate to tell you, but most of us are stupid when it comes to making a swing change and practicing the game of golf.
The ability to get out of your own way and let yourself improve is what your talent should be, and is the fastest way to improvement. Consider being less stupid, and and more like “Gump!”
Now, consider yourself lucky, all the modern technology and methods and understanding of how things work are tools that will/can and help you, if used properly. But you have to remind yourself of the old analogy that just because you have a fancy car doesn’t necessarily make you a good driver!
With a new year in front of you, if you really wan’t to improve, make a decision. Then do yourself a huge favor: get involved in the process of improvement. Get a physical assessment, find out whether you have any muscle imbalances or limitations, then surround yourself with coaches that know how to help you. These things will inspire you to greatness.
And for the love of God, get out of your own way!!!
ps. You can listen to the interview I did with Jeff Pelizzaro on The 18STRONG Podcast here in