If you truly want to improve your scoring, you have to consider how you play the course, not just how you hit the ball. Do you have a strategy for playing each hole? Do you take into consideration what your strengths and weaknesses are? Do you automatically hit a driver on every par 4 & 5 hole? Do you always aim at the pin, no matter where it is on the green?
Over the years, there have been tremendous amounts written about golf instruction, and also about golf coaching. What’s the difference? Is there a difference? Is one better than the other? Can the two be combined? Over the next few weeks and months, this blog will be exploring a number of coaching topics and how they can be applied and unified with the instruction side of your golf game. We’re calling it Unified Golf Instruction—the integration of the solid fundamentals of the swing (taught via FixYourGame.com) with the fundamentals of playing the game. Anyone who has played golf, especially competitive golf, will agree that there is a major difference between swing the club and playing the game.
So far in this blog, I’ve shied away from directly promoting this website, but today’s topic deals directly with what we do here at FixYourGame.com. Online, personalized golf lessons can improve your game, are a better alternative to non-personalized instruction from videos, DVDs, books and magazines, and the professional instruction is better than tips and advice given from friends, family, and colleagues. Over the years I’ve found that there are numerous reasons why people refuse to take lessons, and online instruction can solve many of these concerns.
Over the years I’ve played a lot of courses, good & bad. And I’ve learned a few things. One is that expensive does not equal good, and cheap does not equal bad. I’ve also notices that a lot of courses have weird, unusual, bad, or unfair design features, and these things are often what defines a course’s “signature hole”. Why is this?
Some of these features include:
I don’t want to mix politics with business, but when thinking about topic of this blog topic, I was reminded of a George W. Bush speech where he talked about “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” and how certain groups are held back because the expectations are lower for them than for others. This got me thinking about golf performance and how often people’s expectations for their games are not in line with reality.
There are only three categories here, too high, too low, and just right. Here are some symptoms and prescriptions for the first two.
From my experience as a PGA Professional, I have heard numerous reasons why people do not take lessons. I don’t call these excuses, because each is legitimate and understandable in its own way. It’s my job as a PGA Pro to make golf easier for you to learn. And the golf industry as a whole has been slow to adapt and change to the changes in peoples’ lives. Here are the most common reasons I’ve heard for not taking lessons:
Since the PGA Tour season has started again, it’s given us an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the broadcast networks’ teams of commentators, color-men, on-course reporters, etc. It’s very common to criticize them (and I will do a little bit of that below), but I will admit that doing live media is a very difficult job. Add to that fact that the on-air talent has directors constantly talking in one ear, makes it very easy to misspeak, or say things that on reflection, they wish they hadn’t.
But the most of the golf announcers continue to perpetuate misunderstandings about the game that not only demonstrates a lack of knowledge, but also hurts the average player / viewer as they try to play their own games. This always surprises me, since many of the people we see and hear on the networks are distinguished players and instructors. Here are three things I wish the announcers would change:
At 2011’s first PGA Tour Event, Camillo Villegas was DQ’d for a rules violation that was spotted by a viewer on TV, who then tweeted it to the PGA Tour. Upon reviewing the tape, the PGA Tour determined a rule had been violated, and Villegas was DQ’d for signing an incorrect scorecard. While it was clearly a violation of the rules, something has to be done to prevent situations like this from happening. Here are my ideas from preventing similar situations from happening.
Twice in the past month, two players have broken 60 on the PGA Tour. Paul Goydos at the TPC at Deere Run shot a 12 under 59 in round one at the John Deere Classic and Stuart Appleby shot an 11 under 59 in the 4th round at the Greenbrier Classic last week.
There have also been a large number of sub 65 rounds, including Rory McIlroy’s 63 on day one of the Open Championship last month. How and why is this happening? There are numerous reasons, some routinely and obsessively discussed (club and ball technology), some regularly discussed (fitness and athleticism of the players), and some rarely discussed (agronomy and marketing). I’ll briefly touch on all of these, with special emphasis on the less commonly talked about factors, and include my thoughts on whether “classic” courses are becoming obsolete, and people’s strange obsession with par.
We all know how (in our lives) one bad decision can breed others, or how one small white lie can lead to more & bigger ones. Such is true in the golf swing. One minor flaw in any of the core fundamentals will only compound and grow as you swing the club. This is the snowball effect—think of the cartoons of the snowball rolling down a hill getting bigger and bigger as it continues to roll. The problem (both snowball and golf swing) gets bigger and bigger the farther it goes.