Is it possible that your swing is a total mess because of the hodgepodge of golf tips you’ve tried to apply over the years?
Golfers are constantly trying something new, desperately trying to find a quick fix to their spastic swings.
Peruse the latest issue of Golf Digest, and you will be bombarded with advice on how to fix what ails you. Just to prove my point, I took notes from the May issue and here’s what I found:
“I bow my left wrist at the top but I wouldn’t recommend it for you” – Dustin Johnson when discussing how to hit a flop shot. Confused? Yeah, so am I.
Grip it lightly on scary downhill putts
Increase wrist hinge on the way down to boost power
Use alignment sticks to turn your hips better and improve your spine angle
Don’t change ball position for different shots
Stay compact going back
Keep your back knee bent for bigger tee shots
Don’t be wooed by the promise of a quick fix
Golf tips sell magazines but golf tips aren’t necessarily good for golfers. Be honest…have you ever read a tip in a golf magazine and implemented it during your next round? How did it turn out? Are you suddenly hitting the ball 10 yards longer? Sinking more putts? Able to hit that flop shot à la Phil?
My guess is no.
The true danger of golf tips is not the advice itself. It’s the fact that the advice is applied without a second opinion, without someone to verify that this is truly something you should implement.
Don’t be tempted to try out a new swing tip based on something Michael Breed said on The Golf Fix or something Butch Harmon said in Golf Digest. I am not discounting the genius of Breed or Butch. But you need a middle man. Someone who can say “yes, that would be good for you” or “no, that won’t work for you”.
Why you need a second opinion
Blanket recommendations deserve caution. What works for most golfers may not be right for you. There is no such thing as the perfect golf swing. If there was, the top players on the PGA Tour would all have the same swing. They don’t. They have swings that are ideal for them.
You need a specialist – a good teacher – to sort out your various issues and diagnose the real problem. The issue could be as simple as ball position or grip. Or you could have a swing like Charles Barkley. A total head-scratcher for even the best golf guru.
A good teacher will sequentially help you work on one or two issues at a time. Go work on these one or two things while blocking out everything else. Don’t google “golf tips”. Ignore the well-meaning advice of your playing partner who thinks you should try keeping your head down through impact.
A few weeks later, after you’ve practiced only what your teacher told you to practice, and you feel that you’ve incorporated those changes into your swing without thinking too much about them, go get another lesson, and repeat!
The Ultimate Golf Tip: Patience
Here’s the absolute truth that most golfers can’t accept: Getting better at golf is a process that takes time with no room for a quick fix.
Too many golfers try to figure it out on their own. The reality is that very few people get good at golf without a coach or a mentor. The same is true of any endeavor. Doctors must go through residency. Many specialized professions – mechanic, electrician, plumber – require apprenticeships. Top entrepreneurs and business people often credit a mentor (or several) for their success.
What makes golfers any different? A good coach is someone who can help you, bring you back when you go astray, and pick you back up when you fall.
Find a good teacher. A true mentor. Unlike golf tips that are a dime a dozen, a trusted coach is the true path to long-term success on the golf course.