This article will
- Reveal the biggest differentiator between players who chase their tails and those who constantly get better long-term
- Give steps you can implement to change this problem, and start improving more consistently year over year.
THIS IS THE ONLY CONSISTENT THING IN GOLF
The only thing that is consistent in this game is….
Wait for it……
Yes, even pros shoot a 63 and follow it with a round over par.
Furyk once shot a round of 2 over and followed it with a 12 under par round (a 14 shot swing)
McIlroy shot a 62 one week and an 82 the next (20 shot swing)
Golf is a game with many shots and many variables.
- Skill fluctuations
- Small technique fluctuations
- Environment (wind, green hardness)
- Course difficulty/set up etc
can affect how we play. If you go out to the course angry one day, for whatever reason, and have high expectations for playing well, you are very likely to play poorly.
Hell, even the same shot can cost you more from one day to the next,
Imagine hitting a fat shot that lands 20 yards short – if there is water guarding the front of the green it is going to cost you more than if you did the same shot on an unguarded green.
Same shot quality – different effect on your score.
LEARNING GOLF IS NOT LINEAR
Due to the the multi-factorial nature of golf, day to day scores can vary wildly.
This should be expected – improving at golf is not as linear as something like learning the piano, where fewer variables are at play.
There will be plateaus in learning with all skills, but we see much more linear improvement in skills such as learning the piano.
In your progression, your monthly (or yearly) average should be coming down, but you are very likely to experience a wave of results around that average.
golf score (pink) versus total average score (green). This player sees a yearly average score decrease of 5 shots, with a high score of 95 and a low of 75.
A yearly swing of 20 shot between your highest and lowest scores is more than normal – even the tour players go through this. But if your average score drops by 5 shots each year, that’s significant!
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM AMATEURS HAVE
Luckily, this problem is something that is pretty easily fixable – as YOU are the one that’s causing it in the first place.
Imagine a player is doing all the right things – they are;
- Having good-quality instruction
- Practicing effectively
- Working on things that relate to performance improvements (not random things they found on Youtube)
They are projected to see an average stroke decrease of 5 shots.
But, due to the random fluctuations around this, they have a bad round (which is inevitable), or even a bad stretch.
The below picture shows 3 times during the year (yellow) where a player may “jump ship” and change their process due to a bad stretch, as opposed to seeing the bigger picture (the average).
The amateur who chases their tail all year jumps ship and moves onto something new, thinking that what they are doing is not (or no longer) working and there is some secret out there that they need to find.
Better players do something different…..
TOP TIPS FOR STOPPING THIS MADNESS
What can you do to improve your golf more consistently over a long period of time? Start adding some of these to your life.
- Understand that there is no secret ingredient that will take your game from where you are now to scratch
- Recognize the reality/nature of golf and the fact it is always going to be consistently inconsistent.
- Look more at your average score – and zoom out to at least a monthly average (yearly ideally).
- Work on things that improve performance – as opposed to striving to achieve a “look”
- Be patient with changes – even the best change can throw you off for a short time – nothing new is easy. Almost every change requires reps and practice for the fruits of your labor to be seen.
- Improve your golf strategy – by doing this, you will be able to smooth out a lot of the variance in scores, and lower the average score quicker.
- Stop bounding around between ideas – stick to a methodology that has been proven to work, as well as drills that relate directly to performance improvements – like those in my plans.
- Better techniques mean outcomes fluctuate less when your movement has any inevitable variability – basically, your shots become more consistent, even if your movement is not consistent. This is what the pros do which makes them better.