The Secret to Improving Your Game

Good to Bad

Does This Sound Familiar?

You go to the range Thursday evening armed with the latest “miracle move” from a golf magazine or tip from your buddy.  After a little warm up, you start working on this new idea, and you’re crushing the ball.  From driver to wedge, you’re on fire – long, straight, knocking down flags like bowling pins.  You leave the range feeling invincible, and that confidence comes with you to the course on Saturday morning…and vanishes when you dribble it off the first tee.  On the course, your swing isn’t magic, it’s miserable.  What happened?  The answer can be summed up in one word.


The Magic Word: Consistency

Please consider these questions:

  • Can you lose 20 pounds by dieting for 1 day?
  • Will you get rich by skipping your $7 latte once?
  • Can you get six-pack abs from one day in the gym?
  • Will you master of an academic subject by cramming for one night?

The obvious answer to all of these questions is, “NO!”  Why, then, do golfers think they can change their swing in a single range session?  It’s the height of insanity.

If you want to lose weight, you eat less over a long period of time.  If you want to get rich, spend less and save more over a long period of time.  Want giant biceps?  Prepare for years in the gym.

The same thing is true in golf.  If you want to see real results, you need to put in consistent effort.  Consistent means every day.  As Tiger once reminded us, there are no rainy days.

Week of Practice

It’s Not As Hard As It Seems

I know that practicing every day seems out of reach, like something only pros can do.  It’s not.  Practicing every day just means that you do something every day.

For myself, I’ve cut the obligation down to 10 swings.  I have to work on my one drill for 10 swings, but then I can stop.  If I’m having fun and I have time, I can make 100 swings, but I will not sleep until I’ve made 10.  10 swings every day will put me worlds ahead of the guy who hits 200 balls on Sunday and sits on his couch the rest of the week.

Some of you have excuses: “I can’t swing in my house,” “I don’t live close to a range,” “Winter is coming.”  I’ll spare you the cliches about excuses and simply say that if you really want to practice and improve, you’ll find something to do.  Maybe you can’t hit balls, but you can cut down a wedge and make air swings.  Maybe you don’t have room to swing, but you can work on your positions with a mirror.  Even if you don’t have the room to do that, you can set up a trainer like the Putting Fork and become a deadly putter.  If the playing badly hurts enough, you will find a way to play better.

Tiger Swing Thoughts

A Final Note

One thing I want to add in closing is that consistency also demands that you work on one thing until it’s fixed.  If every practice session brings with it a new “miracle move,” you will continue to be stuck in a mire of swing thoughts and poor play.  Determine your biggest problem, find one drill to fix it, and work at it.  Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.

Matt Saternus
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  1. I agree with your post on some levels, but disagree on others. I am not looking for instant cures when I look at a golf web site. Giving thumbs up to most training aids, drivers or even practice plans just turns me off. Many sites do this already.

    I am looking for advice/equipment reviews/instruction that exhibits practicality to me. This “practicality” can be different to many people.

    I am looking for someone who demands practical value from these areas, but also identifies innovative items that we may not see through regular media outlets.

    None of this is easy to do, but that is what I am looking for. I think it is unfair to judge people simply looking for a quick fix. I think there are more of us that can dig into a practice plan that is realistic where we get what we put into it, but also resonates where we can scale it to the time allotment.

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