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April 2, 2018

Spring always signals new beginnings both in life as well as on the golf course. So will 2018 be the year that you accomplish your goals of breaking 100, 90, 80, or perhaps winning the club championship? Odds are that a major breakthrough will only happen if you significantly improve one or more aspects of your golf game. However, this does not necessarily mean that hitting the ball farther or spending more time on the practice area are the only answers to improving at this mysterious game we call golf! So, how do we get off to a great start this season? A thorough evaluation of the items listed below will ensure that you are addressing all areas of your game and making the necessary improvements this season. Here are my top 5 tips to get your game ready for the spring:

  1. Check your equipment. Do your clubs need to be re-gripped? How do the faces of your wedges look, are the grooves worn down? Take the time to schedule a club fitting in order to make sure you are playing the right clubs for your swing and your game. If you are not hitting your driver consistently or far enough, you may benefit from a driver fitting to increase the launch angle and reduce backspin. I use a FlightScope Launch Monitor that enables me to give you the necessary feedback to fit your equipment properly and also determine if you have any major yardage gaps in between clubs.

  2. Get your mental game in check. Take some time to read some books on how to practice and how to think both on the golf course and while you practice. There are some great books out there written by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott that I would highly recommend along with Dr. Rick Jensen’s books. One of my personal favorites is “Golf is Not A Game of Perfect,” by Dr. Bob Rotella.

  3. Practice putting. Putting is something we can all improve on at any age or handicap. Practicing with the use of training aids like a putting arc or a mirror has proven to be very effective. Also, improving your speed control from longer distances or lag putting will help reduce or eliminate those dreaded 3 putts.

  4. Fitness. It is important to get your body ready from a physical conditioning standpoint to be ready for the spring season. I would highly recommend finding someone who is TPI Golf Certified. I recommend Dr. Chris Leib; he is a personal trainer in Ardmore. Fitness is important to prevent injuries and to help you hit it further!

  5. Lessons. It is important to find an instructor that you are comfortable with and will teach in a simple and concise way so you are not overwhelmed. Taking lessons or participating in group coaching programs should be fun and if you put in the time to practice in between coaching sessions, you will see improvement quickly.

So get to work on these five items and I can guarantee you that you will enjoy the spring golf season more and play to your potential.  As I always remind my students, playing better golf is more fun!

“Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject.”


~ David Forgan

December 31, 2016

Outcome vs. Process

It may be the “off-season” here in the Northeast, but it’s not too early to set your 2017 golf goals. Ringing in the New Year is the perfect time to reflect on this past golf season (the successes as well as the things you could have done better) and put together a plan to make 2017 your best golf season yet. It is a good idea to think about what goals you might have for your golf game. When setting your goals, divide them up between outcome and process goals. Some examples of outcome goals would be “I am going to win the club championship”, “I am going to win my flight,” or “I am going to break 100, 90, or 80 consistently.” These are typically what we think of as a good goal setting process before the start of the season. But what we fail to realize is that the only way to accomplish these outcome goals is to have a process. Process goals would be “I am going to practice my putting using a drill given to me by my coach for ½ hour 4 times per week,” or “I am going to commit to staying in the present and going through my pre-shot routine before each shot consistently during every round.” Now how many times have you set that type of goal before the start of the season?

Improving at golf or any sport requires commitment to a process of developing and improving skills. If you become more skillful in the weakest areas of your game, ultimately over time you will improve and accomplish your outcome goals. So how do we really know what areas are “weakest links” when it comes to our golf game? You may think that you know, but until you assess and measure your results through keeping statistics your assessment may not be accurate. This is why you need an analysis of your game and a plan that a professional can help you develop.

That final step in the process called “transfer” is where we typically miss the boat. As a golf instructor, I can tell you that I have heard it so many times…”I hit the ball great on the range, but I can’t take it to the course.” This happens because even though you may have developed a skill on the driving range, the golf course is a completely different environment. In order to transfer your newly developed skills to the golf course, we need to make training or practice more difficult than play. What I mean by that is practice needs to become transfer training. This type of training involves drills and games that will challenge you to accomplish a goal. For example, the next time you are chipping from just off of the practice green set a goal of holing out one chip shot before you can leave the practice area. If chipping is not your strong suit, you will quickly be forced to narrow your focus (the hole) and you will be amazed at how close your chip shots end up even if they do not actually go in the hole. Eventually you are bound to hole a chip shot, hopefully before it gets dark! This is just one example of transfer training that can really improve your chipping on the golf course. When faced with a similar chip shot on the course, you can now think back to the time that you chipped in!

"Develop your golf skills, not your golf swing."

~ Dr. Rick Jensen

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