A different perspective
In the never-ending pursuit of great golf scores, players often need to change their line of thinking as much as they do their swing mechanics
This is not a column about the power of positive thinking, visualization or any of the other mental elements involved in this sport—rather it is about shedding perspective on what is truly required to score better.
Improving swing technique will always increase a player’s physical potential; however the vast majority of players rarely perform to the upper bar of their full potential anyway. In this world of golf underachievers we must start to focus on getting players to meet their upper bar more often rather than always trying to raise their bar.
I challenge you all to chew on this for a moment. The key to good golf scores is not about hitting perfect golf shots; it is about hitting predictable golf shots.
Better scores will come when your ball finds more fairways and greens—let’s put a short game disclaimer in here as that is another topic for another day—but does that mean that a player must hit the ball straight? No.
How the ball gets from point A to Point B is not as important as the fact that it did. The ability to predict where it will finish is far more important than how it looked getting there.
If your last 325 shots with your driver have curved 15 to 20 yards from left to right, then it's safe to say that you can predict with a reasonable amount of accuracy that your 326th attempt will do much the same. The simple answer to finding the fairway is aim 15 to 20 yards left of your intended target, let your natural shot shape do the rest and your problem is solved for the time being.
If you said that it isn’t, you are not focused on the real problem. Is the problem finding the fairway with your tee shot or hitting a shot with little to no curvature? Most players spend way too much time fighting what comes naturally to them. They still insist on trying to hit their next tee shot straight even though past history should tell them that their efforts at this point in time will be futile.
Am I saying that lessons and practice are not necessary? No, they have their time and place; as the straighter the shot you naturally hit—emphasis on the word naturally—the more options and advantages you will have as a player. It is imperative that players remember that the golf course itself is neither the time nor the place to work on hitting it straighter. Head to the range or lesson tee and invest some time in changing your natural shot shape.
The next time you hit the links to play a round, remember that you will reach your potential more often by playing with what you naturally have rather than fighting your instincts.
Trevor Moore is a CPGA professional and a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor (CGFI) with the Titleist Performance Institute. Based in Medicine Hat, he runs the Advantage Golf Academy at Cottonwood Coulee Golf Course, coaches the Medicine Hat College (ACAC) golf teams and is the lead instructor with Notre Dame Academy. For comments or questions, you can contact him via his website www.advantagegolf.ca.