Work On Your Weaknesses

Let’s Make a Bet…

You tell me where you spend the majority of your practice time, and I’ll guess what the best part of your game is.  I can confidently make that bet because almost all golfers spend the vast majority of their time working on the best part of their game.

Why is this?  Because, as I discussed HERE, most golfers are afraid of looking “bad.”  However, if you want your scorecard to stop looking bad, you need to target your weaknesses.

This Lesson Is For You If:

One or two areas of the game are holding you back

You practice a lot but aren’t not shooting lower scores

You have too many “blow up holes”

Why Weaknesses Destroy Your Game

There are three reasons why having one big hole in your game will cause you to score poorly.

Your weakness will affect your strategy

If you’re afraid of something on the course, it can keep you from playing smart golf.  Let’s say, for example, that you’re scared of bunker shots.  This may cause you to aim dramatically away from sand traps and bring worse hazards – water, OB – into play.

Your weakness will keep you from taking advantage of scoring opportunities

You’ve hit a great drive, and you have the green light to attack a par 5 green in two.  Unfortunately, you’re scared of hitting a fairway wood.  Having clubs you aren’t confident in or shots you’re afraid to take means you won’t always be able to take advantage of the strengths of your game.

Your weakness will lead to blow up holes

Think of your last memorable blow up hole.  I would bet that for many of you the hole went south because of a weakness in your game.  You may have played ping pong over the green.  Perhaps you hit an iron shot into the water.  Maybe you four-putted.

Avoiding blow up holes – whether that’s double bogey or a ten – is the major driver of score improvement.

Turn Weaknesses Into Strengths

The solution to all the problems I laid out above is to practice your weaknesses.

First, read this lesson HERE about accepting “failure” as the price of learning and improvement.  Then sleep on it and read it again.  Really make peace with the idea of looking less than professional on the practice tee.

Next, figure out what areas of the game are holding you back.  I doubt this will be hard – every golfer knows what shots they dread and what clubs they never pull.

Finally, put together a plan for getting better.  Start by getting a baseline with some kind of skills game (chart how many 5′ putts you make out of twenty, for example).  For the next week/month/year devote a significant amount of your practice time to methodically improving your weakness.  Periodically repeat the skills game to check your progress.

You’ll know that your weakness is truly gone when you can confidently pull that club or take that shot on the course.  And when you do, you’ll see your scores start to drop.

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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