What are the same requests we hear from almost every golfer we coach at Johnny Foster Golf?
What does literally every golfer want? They all want to play better.
Or more precisely they all want to play the good golf they know they can play, more often. Pretty obvious right? But the road to making this happen isn’t always so.
I’m going to share with you two simple strategies you can put straight into play that’ll help make your process of playing more consistent, which in turn will be reflected in your scores.
These are the two things that we at Johnny Foster Golf have witnessed work time and time again. The best part is that they don’t cost anything and you won’t need to join a gym! So, read carefully…
- Ask yourself good questions: we answer our own questions with pictures.
Go on, see for yourself. Ask yourself ‘what does my bedroom look like?’
Yes, you answered that question with a picture of your bedroom. That basic image conjured in your mind would then allow you to describe it to someone.
Well, within this retrieval mechanism lies one of your greatest tools as a golfer.
You have at your disposal a brilliant search engine. Ask it a question and it’ll throw up an image. And of course, what does the golfer’s body respond best to when trying to play a shot – images!
So, I’ll say it again as it is potentially so powerful ‘ask yourself good questions’.
You’ll retrieve good answers, simple as that.
What does this look like in reality? Well, rather than standing on a tee and asking ‘I wonder how far the out of bounds cuts in on the right?’ or ‘where would I drop if I hit it in the water short of the green?’, ask yourself questions like ‘what would an ideal result look like for this shot?’ or ‘how would this putt look if it went in at perfect speed?’.
These are really effective ways of encouraging yourself to fill your imagination with positives and also giving your golfing mind exactly the simple instructions it needs to hit the best shot you can. The last thing I’ll add on this is that the mind works a bit like Google and when asked a question it searches hardest for the key words, so rather than say ‘don’t swing too hard’, replace it with ‘swing lovely and smooth’ which would be a good answer for the question ‘how fast should I swing here to hit a gorgeous tee shot?’
Get the picture?? Remember, a picture paints a thousand words. So, firstly monitor what questions you’re asking yourself on course and take responsibility for them and ask as many positive questions as you can.
And of course, no one can hear you so be as vivid and bold with your questions and answers as you dare. You’ll be surprised how simple and effective this strategy is, so try it.
2) Hit the shot you know you can hit: achieving this will require a measure of realism and an equal part of self-discipline.
Not much fun I hear you say, but trust me your attitude will change when you’ve got that buzz of beating your mates and your handicap again!
In a nutshell what I’m asking you to do is to choose the shot you’re certain you can play given your experience and ability, not risk the shot you’d love to hit so you can tweet about the magnificence of it later!
Ok so you’ve got the idea, now how do you figure out which shot is the one you know you can definitely hit, in the heat of battle? Well, during the time before you hit your shot (you may or may not have organised that time into a ‘pre shot routine’ which is just a series of actions & thoughts that get you ready to hit) again ask yourself the question ‘what shot could I play here that I know I can pull off 4 times out of 5?
The answer may be a simple chip and run when you’d love to show your opponent the risky high lob, a cut tee shot that starts up the left and falls into the fairway (and one you’ve been trying to turn into a draw) or even a straightforward recovery from the trees backwards into the fairway that initially feels you’re giving up ground on the hole.
Whatever it is, we guarantee you it’s your best option.
Here’s why – firstly, it’s probably going to lead you to a successful completion on that shot hence developing instant confidence, secondly when you do go onto score better on that hole or a round it’ll teach you that good golf is a series of playable (not great) shots, and finally, you’re on your way to course managing yourself better which is a real skill to have.
So, next time you play have faith in what I’m suggesting and have faith in yourself to hit the shot you know you can hit, not the one you’d love to hit! Leave those ‘love to hit’ high tariff shots to practise or better yet, a 4 ball scramble!
There you have them, two distinct ways you can take your existing golf game and get more out of it. Firstly, by asking yourself good positive questions so that they will fill your mind with images that are useful, not pictures of things you’re trying to avoid. And secondly, by being realistic with your shot selection and playing the shot with more confidence as you know for sure it’s a shot you can make, not a shot you hope you make like a bet that comes off every so often.
Please bring these to life out on the course and begin to have a more constant approach to your golf, it’s the only sure way to get more consistency in your game.