I came across this picture posted on facebook by Tim Conaway of Conaway Golf Instruction in Bradenton, Florida and absolutely loved it. After my initial chuckle I shared it on my Josh Boggs PGA Golf Lessons facebook page because it really is so true. I hear golfers tell me about all of their swing thoughts and I just shake my head. Occasionally, I will have a student make a comment like “I’m just trying to remember it all.” This is the opposite of what I want and something that I quickly try to correct. When making a change to your golf swing, whether it be under the supervision of a professional or on your own, you should have a plan. This plan should be broken down into smaller pieces that accomplish the end goal of lower scores. I have had the most success sorting things into 1-3 simple thoughts. Those students that have worked with me will tell you that I often start repeating those few steps or simply saying 1,2,3 in between their shots during a lesson. I have found that this really gets the student to focus and clears their mind and prevents them from being like the person in the picture. It’s fun to see a student in the groove and know they have had that light bulb go off in their head by just making things simple.
One of the toughest but most essential things that I have to accomplish with students is getting them to buy into my program and plan of action. Most people are so driven by the end result that they lack the patience or understanding it takes to get there. They want all of the information now and it really clouds their minds and slows down their improvement. As a teacher and coach I have worked very hard to not deliver too much information at once. Occasionally, I find myself asking a student to do too much or take the next step before they are ready. That is when I remind myself and the student that improvement is a PROCESS. Process is defined in the dictionary as a series of actions or operations conducing to an end. Applying that to golf shows that it takes many steps and lots of practice before reaching the desired end-result. What is so crazy about the golf swing is how connected all of the parts and motions really are. For example, a slight change in your grip can and does dramatically change the position of the club at the top of your backswing. This is why I strongly recommend seeking out a PGA Professional to help you with your golf improvement. It really helps to have someone help you lay out a plan, and more importantly, prioritize the order in which you work on them.
I encourage each of you the next time you practice to clear your head and think of 1-3 simple things and only focus on those. I am positive you will be amazed at how quickly the improvement happens. Once you are confident that those skills are mastered, adjust your priorities and work on some more stuff. Remember, you must be able to break 100 before shooting even par. The key is to understand it’s a process and should be treated accordingly. In closing, if you feel like the guy in the picture, get in touch with me and I will be glad to help you get on the right path. See you on the lesson tee!!