So you decided to take up the game of golf and things aren’t working out quite the way you had expected. You already knew that taking up a new sport would take some time to get good at but this crazy game just keeps getting more and more difficult. Why is that?
First, can you think back in time when you started any new sport as a kid. It doesn’t matter if it was baseball, football, soccer, tennis or ping pong, when you started you had a coach. That coach might have been your Dad or a brother or just another kid on the team but there was somebody there to teach you how the game was played and how the skills are developed.
Now if your coach was a bum it probably took you longer to develop your skills. But if the coach was good, odds are you developed pretty quickly. I know when I first started playing tennis my buddy was already an accomplished player. I know I ran him ragged chasing balls that I knocked out of the court but by the end of the summer, thanks to playing with a good opponent, we were an even match up.
OK who’s your golf coach? A couple of videos from YouTube and a jumbo basket of range balls? Or is it someone in your golf group? Bad players tend to play with bad players. Is the guy who’s averaging 104 a round your golf guru because you’re averaging 110?
Golf is one of the most expensive sports to get into and the expense continues with green fees and rentals yet hardly any new golfer has anything but the most fundamental idea of how to play it. Particularly golfers who decide to take up the game a little later in life. They’ve already proven their independence in their success in providing for a family and doing well at work. There’s nothing they can’t figure out for themselves particularly how to hit a little white ball with a crooked stick.
As you well know it just doesn’t work out that way.
Here’s one big tip to keep you interested in the game and to keep you striving for a better round.
Forget the score card. If I had kept track of the number of tennis games I lost to my buddy in the beginning I would have thought it was an impossible game and quit. Golf is a whole lot more difficult than tennis. Don’t worry about your score.
Strive to perfect one part of your game. If you can get proficient in one element of your game you will boost your confidence tremendously. At least once on each hole you’re going to be doing something you know you can do well. When that element is mastered, go after another. Don’t try to be good at all things all at once.
Here’s another great tip to help you out with the first one.
Learn the game from green to tee box. In other words learn the shortest strokes first. Start with putting. If you are going to spend time and money learning the game, learn first to putt. When you become proficient with putting you will end every hole on a high note.
Just as important as putting is chipping because it is unlikely that you will be hitting the green in regulation at this point in your game. If you can chip and putt accurately you’ll shave 9 strokes off your game just like that.
The last stroke you want to tackle is the driver. In fact, if you can’t hit your driver without a slice or pull or topping it, take it out of your bag and tee off with a fairway metal or hybrid. Don’t worry about the driver until you have the other clubs mastered.
Trust me, by focusing on improving a single element rather than the score card, you will greatly improve your game at a speed you wouldn’t think possible. Even if your buddies are keeping score, even if it means losing some bets, focus on the element you are working on and make that your measurement of progress. The lower score will come on its’ own.