The Ugly Secret to Golf Improvement

The Magic Word

One word can explain why some people are successful at golf, finances, weight loss, and virtually any other endeavor you can think of.  And it’s ironic that golfers overlook it, because it’s one of golf’s favorite words.  In this lesson, I’ll tell you what that word is and how to use it to improve your game.

This Lesson Is For You If:

You want to improve any aspect of your game


Consistency is the magic word.

Imagine two people, Tom and Jerry.  Tom takes a walk before work and again in the evening.  He eats in moderation, occasionally having some alcohol or dessert.  Jerry is sedentary except on Tuesdays, when he works out in the gym for two hours.  He shovels down plates of food, except on Thursday, when he eats nothing but broccoli and chicken breasts.

Who’s going to be healthier: Tom and his consistent small efforts or Jerry and his feast-or-famine approach?  Obviously, the answer is Tom.

Think about someone who spends too much money.  If, on Monday, they brown bag their lunch, skip the trip to the mall, stay off of Amazon, but go back to their old habits on Tuesday, will their debt evaporate?  Of course not.  Good financial health is a matter of doing the right things, even in very small doses, every single day.

I could create scenarios in any other facet of life, but I trust that you’ve gotten the point.  Every day that you do something positive, you make progress.  Every day that you do nothing, you get further from your goals.

Find Ways to Practice

I hear the push back already.  “I can’t get to the range everyday.”  “I’m busy.”  I get that.  We’re all busy, and unless you have Tiger’s backyard, practicing is inconvenient.  Don’t focus on what you can’t do, figure out what you can do.

One of the best things I did in the past year was to make a club I can swing in my living room.  I bought an old demo 7I, cut it to a length that I could swing in my house, and threw a grip on it.  Now I can work on my swing while I watch my kids or talk to my wife.

Another easy thing to do is putt.  You can putt on your carpet, buy a putting mat, or use a putting trainer.  It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, so long as you’re doing something.

Chart Your Efforts

Jerry Seinfeld has a “productivity hack” that I think everyone should adopt.  He has a calendar, and when he’s done his writing, he marks the day with a big red X.  He’s said that once the streak grew to a couple weeks, he felt the pressure to keep it going, and it motivated him to write, no matter what.

You can use this same idea to make sure that you get a little golf in everyday.  Whether it’s a full range session, some slow motion swings, or just five putts on the carpet, every day that you work on your game puts you one day closer to being the golfer you want to be.

Matt Saternus
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  1. Matt –
    First I just want to say how much I enjoy the Plugged-in site. The content is always right to the point and very complete, so that I get all the info. on a topic I’m interested in without reading volumes. This is especially true of your club reviews. Succinct and very accurate, and those reviews have helped me make several valuable additions to my bag. (Newer Tour Edge woods, like EX9 long and EX10 beta-ti). Writing like this is hard to do, and while other sites are also worth the read, I go to Plugged-in first because I get what I need quickly, especially in the archive of club reviews.
    Finally, I can’t get to the range very often, but my overgrown back yard and carpeted basement make great venues for practicing my short game skills. I just have to watch out for golf balls when mowing the grass low!
    Thanks for the great work.

  2. Hector R. Fernandez

    Great advice Matt! Leaving in upstate NY, our golf season is pretty much over. With the lack of indoor facilities, I have no other choice than to practice in my house. The three items that I use during the off-season to keep me in shape are:

    The Power Swing Fan
    A Big Moss Indoor Green
    Weighted Club

    I mostly use these items to keep me in shape during the winter months, but I also use them during the season.

  3. Bill Spearman

    I absolutely loved this article ! I had a whiteboard in my office for years to chart my activity and after several moves it got tossed. It’s going back up!

  4. Greg Maxwell

    Sound Advice! Mantra Is: Practice, Practice, Practice, aaand Guess What? You’ll Get Better!

  5. I have a smooth floor mat in my garage 4 foot long and a 10 on the stemp meter with a plastic buck on one end with a piece of duct tape the size of a golf cup. If you can make a four footer you’ll never three putt. I swing a club every day , you don’t need a ball to work on tempo. Remember when your 150 yards out don’t pull out the 7 iron and be left, right or short of the green use a 6 iron and putt for a birdie

  6. Always great stuff from Matt and Pluggedingolf. Thanks Matt.

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