Is One Thing Holding Back Your Game?

“One Quick Fix”

In every endeavor that I can think of, marketers use the promise of making one change that fixes everything.

“One weird trick to lose belly fat!”  “One change that will turn you into Jimi Hendrix!”  “One swing tip to unlock drives like Bryson!”

If you read Plugged In Golf with any regularity, you know that we don’t traffic in that kind of clickbait.  In fact, we abhor it.  But in this lesson, I’m going to discuss how most of us actually are walking around with one little thing that’s holding back our golf game.

This Lesson Is For You If:

You want to swing faster or are training for speed

You want to improve your swing

You want to play without injuries or pain


Before you read any further, I want to be clear: I don’t know what your one thing is.  But I do know you have one thing that is physically keeping you from playing your best golf.  It could be an area of tightness.  It might be an overlooked muscle that needs to be strengthened.

Finding My Own Weak Spots

My recent experience has revealed to me how important it is to find these problem spots in your body.  Over the last couple months, I’ve been working with a personal trainer through AXIUS Core [review HERE].  In my initial assessment, she found tightness in my right Achilles tendon and stiff shoulders.  She set up my program to fix these issues, and the results have been tremendous.  Without hours on the range, my swing is better because I’m not hanging back on a tight Achilles.  Without extensive training, I’m faster because my body isn’t protecting shoulders that can’t move properly.  We took the metaphorical rock out of my shoe and – no surprise – I’m able to run faster and without pain.

An Analogy

By the numbers, most people who are reading this are men.  And, at the risk of stereotyping, men aren’t really keen on asking for help or trying to identify our weak points.  I say that from personal experience.  Most of us think that we can push through pain, cover up core weaknesses with more bench pressing, and use the first three holes as our warm up.  And that’s true…until it’s not.

Think of your body and golf swing like a car.  Most of us like doing stuff to build up the engine – big, heavy lifts and speed training.  And there’s no doubt about the importance of a big engine if you want to go fast.  But to go fast and stay on the road, every piece is important.  You can have the biggest engine in the world, but if the axle snaps, you’re done.  If your transmission won’t get out of second gear, you won’t go past cruising speed.  All those “unsexy” car parts are the things we often overlook.

Finding Your One Thing

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that you need to take the whole picture into account if you want to play better.  If you want to get that complete picture of what’s going on with your body, the best thing you can do is get some professional help.  Find a qualified physical therapist – ideally one knowledgable about golf – and ask for a full assessment.  If you’re not ready to find a trainer to work with in person, check out this article from Chris Finn HERE to try an at-home assessment.

I’ve focused on the body and swinging faster, but this applies to your game, as well.  While I’m very aware that ball striking is the biggest determinant of score, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the other elements.  Just like a trainer can assess your body, a shot tracker like Shot Scope [review HERE] can assess your game in a data-driven way that will point out the weak spots holding back your scoring.

Matt Saternus
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  1. My one thing is the chipping yips, and it’s been crushing my soul for years. My pile of snapped wedges is pretty impressive though.

    • Brandon, for years I had a tendency to shack my chips almost destroying my game. Finally realized I was pushing the club away from me ever so slightly as I took my backswing, thus moving the clubhead away from me as well. End result, the dreaded shank. Once I figured this out, I could correct & chip efficiently again.

      Good luck with your yips.

    • Have you tried a chipper? I know your pain, I used to go half way around the green before finally landing on it..

      Chipping is more a mental issue than a physical one – the focus of this article. Though the tendinitis I have doesn’t help, really it is my overall state of fitness that is holding me back. I often say that for older, unfit, high handicappers, getting fit is more important than getting fitted for clubs. Matt may disagree with me though..😄

      Thanks for another interesting article

      • Matt Saternus


        As much as I value club fitting, there’s nothing I would put above physical fitness for quality of life and golf.



  2. Brandon, try this one thing. Pretend the ball isn’t there.

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