Let’s start 2022 off with cleaning out the golf closet and creating better golf habits. By getting rid of these 10 things that are holding you back, you’ll play better golf in 2022.
Not Making a Decision
The biggest mistake all average amateur golfers make is not making a decision about anything they do on the golf course. As you become more skilled, the lack of decision making reduces. But the decisions themselves are sometimes tainted with indecision.
In order to execute any golf shot, you have to be committed to do so. And the ability of you to commit to a golf shot starts with a great decision about the shot itself. I’m a proponent of decision making process called Conservative Aggression. Make a conservative decision about the shot at hand based upon facts and your inventory of skills. Doing so allows you to commit to any shot and allows you to be comfortable enough. to swing with natural aggression. Not over aggression.
Your lack of making any decision can be easily solved. And your inability to make a good decision is part and parcel to you making a decision based upon facts, not fictions of what kind of golfer you think you are.
Limiting Your Choices to Black or White
A lot of amateur golfers create decisions that are more grey than black or white. I’m happy you are making a decision. But how much better a decision can you make so you can be committed to your shot selection?
In addition, you are probably in a grey matter when it comes to a lot of golf information. Do you have the correct clubs that fit you? Do you have an improvement plan? How much time can you devote to golf in 2022? Who are people I can play golf with that have the same mind set and improvement goals as I do? Lots of questions with very few answers leads to grey matter. Clean this up so you have a clear choice with everything you do golf, and I bet you play better golf in 2022.
We’ve highlighted distractions in my blog post from March of last year when we told you about being dedicated to the discipline of your details. Distractions are costing you more strokes than you realize. Distractions are simple yet you ignore most of them. The simplest distraction you encounter every hole is your score. Why do you allow the score from the previous hole, whether good or bad, influence the score you’re about to attempt for the next hole?
Other simple distractions are not being ready to play when it’s your turn. Or forgetting to bring the extra wedge to the shot you hit short of the green, because you were talking to your playing partner. Avoiding distractions is necessary this year and simple to do, if you start taking an inventory of those distractions now and begin to formulate a plan to recognize and deflect those distractions when they occur during your golf rounds.
Wait. Did I hear you correctly? You said you “should” do what? Sounds like you have high expectations of yourself without really knowing what you’re capable of.
I’ve always told my clients that expectations are goals without a plan and will lead to failure. You should do what you can do, and only what you can do. If you think you should do something skillfully and have not practiced the skill, why do you think you “should” do it?
To play better golf in 2022, you should, no YOU MUST, get rid of this term now. Start the year off right by knowing what you can versus what you should.
Why do you continually compare yourself to your neighbor of playing companion? Or to a tour pro? You’re You! And only you can do what you can do.
Attempting to emulate a tour pro’s swing is admirable, if you have the flexibility and stability to do so. Instead of comparing yourself to someone else, take an inventory of who you are as a person, and as a golfer. How do those 2 inventory lists compare? If they are not similar, let’s start making each look relatively the same, comparing you the person to you the golfer. Using the traits that distinguish the best of you off the course can greatly increase your chances of reaching your potential on the course.
Ignoring Your Instincts
Have you ever addressed a golf ball and felt uncomfortable? But hit the golf ball any way? Why did you not listen to your instincts and start again.
It takes courage to start again, even when your gut tells you it must be done. Ignoring your instincts is the equivalent of allowing yourself to fail. Especially if your instincts are telling you before you swing to not swing.
Next time your instincts tell you before you swing not to swing, listen! Back away and start again. The extra 30-seconds you used to back away and start again is nothing when you compare 30-seconds to the 3+ minutes you’re using to find your ball after your instincts told you not to swing.
Thinking Too Much
Overthinking can be avoided if you stick with you gut. But you have to know yourself first to know what your gut is telling you.
Just like listening to your instincts, keeping thoughts to a minimum related to the swing motion is paramount to goof golf. Any thoughts before you swing should always be in the same order. As if you were going through a check list before loading a plane with people. Pilots go through the checklist in the same order, every flight, to insuring small details are addressed as well as keeping distractions away.
Why not make a checklist for your pre-shot routine and set up? And trust those lists to minimize your temptation to think too much about your golf swing?
Are you truly fearful? Or are you scared of failure? One is different than the other. And you have to address your fears first in order to conquer what you’re scared of.
Fear in general is the unknown. If there is something unknown about you as a golfer, that’s your fault. Understand who you are and what you’re skills are capable of accomplishing.
Matters that Don’t Matter
Yes, you’re reading this correctly. Do you know what matters most when it comes to your golf game? Are you aware of the one statistic that is most likely causing the biggest obstacle standing between you and lowering your scores?
Stop guessing at what the cause is and start knowing exactly what the cause is. Invest in yourself and take not one, but several golf lessons this year. Go to a reputable golf school and intensely work on the one or 2 items in your game that will make the biggest difference.
If you’re not practicing, then how can anything else matter. If this describes you, then study your set up and how to improve it as well as impact. Without a great set up, how can you achieve a good impact position? Study impact and the conditions you need to achieve to create a better impact position. If you don’t practice, forget about your back swing, swing plane and the other garbage you’re thinking you can achieve with zero effort. It won’t happen. But you can set up better. And doing so may give you a slim chance of creating a better impact position, based upon what you are capable of doing now.
Perfect is your enemy. And it stands in the way of you understanding just how good you are a golfer. And as a person. Besides, if you know the numbers, a perfect shot only happens every 1 in 1.6 billion shots. So why are you wanting perfection when being really good is right in front of you?
it is not always necessary to add things to your list to make improvements. Sometimes a good house cleaning is the better choice.
Commit to cleaning up your golf game and get rid of these bad habits once and for all in 2022. If you want to play better golf, less is more when it comes to lower scores.