By Anthony Broussard
Golf is hard. No one gets good at golf without putting in lots of practice time, no one. It doesn’t matter how much athletic ability one has or how good their golf instructor is if they don’t put in the time to practice.
I read a book called “Talent Is Overrated” written by Geoffrey Colvin, and it stated that to become a master at anything it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. Deliberate practice means one is focused and intent on achieving a goal every practice. I am not suggesting that to get better at golf you have to be a master at it, but simply trying to explain how the best players in the world have gotten where they are. They practice with a purpose all the time. Anytime they are practicing they have specific goals in mind. Sometimes the goal is trying to make a certain amount of putts in a row, hit pitches within a certain distance of the hole, etc. Sometimes the goal is to change a movement pattern within their golf swing, chipping or pitching motion, greenside bunker swing, or putting stroke.
Two things that all good players have in common while trying to make a change to their swing is that they realize that making a physical change feels weird and uncomfortable, and that if it doesn’t feel weird and uncomfortable then they are not doing it correctly. This is the opposite attitude I see with most amateurs that say they want to change their swing. Most people shut down when things become uncomfortable. They resist the change instead of accepting that it is supposed to feel strange for a while. A common saying at Pure Swing Golf is that, “if it doesn’t feel weird, you’re not doing it right”. The truth is that when the pros make a big swing change they are willing to let their swing feel strange for a while and not get upset about not seeing immediate results.
Another thing that holds people back from improving is negative self-talk. Negative self-talk kills confidence and when people are trying to make a swing change the last thing they need is to beat themselves up about it. So instead of beating yourself up and getting upset about your progress, accept the fact that it is going to be a challenge and take it on with a positive outlook.
I would say ninety percent of tour players have a swing coach and see them on a regular basis. Whenever something is going wrong with their ball flight, they put themselves on video and get it straightened out with their coach by their side. Even when things are going well, they practice with their coach to maintain a high level of success in all parts of their game. It is important to have a coach to guide you in the right direction so that you have the best chance to improve your game.
Be open minded about how your golf swing is going to feel when you make a real change to it. Understand that good players have realistic expectations when trying to improve their swing. Find a coach that can help you implement a game plan for your improvement and execute the plan.