The New Year’s resolution is a funny thing. We mean well, we want to be better, but most of the time those resolutions begin to fade as the rigors of daily life take their toll on your time and motivation But in 2015, you want to play your best golf and make it to a level you’ve never been to before – but how? Here are a few thoughts on improving your golf in 2015 and really making it stick. Some are pretty simple, some you may not want to hear, but in the end they all have an effect on your golf DNA and whether or not it changes.
1. Write It Down: The first step is to write down the goal or goals for 2015. Seems pretty easy right? Take 15 minutes out of your day and write down where you are now as a golfer, where you were when you started (easily shows you have already improved, so why not go further), and where you want to be in 12 months. Only you can know for sure, but it’s a lot easier to articulate if you write it down.
2. Find a Coach: How will you ever reach your goals if you don’t have an expert there to guide you through the process? Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do it on your own. Golf is a hard game, and the biggest problem I see is the amount of golfers trying to “self medicate” instead of seeking professional advice. Golfers far and wide continue to look for the “secret” and only succeed in confusing themselves and setting themselves back. Search for someone who wants to work long term with players and has the personality that fits your style. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions and even meet with people. Not only is this important to you for your golf, but you are making a significant time and financial investment with a coach.
3. Make Time: You know your goals, you have a coach. Now make time in your schedule. This seems to get people locked up or tied in knots because they already have so much going on each day. But how important is it to you? You MUST practice between lessons to get the most out of it. Put aside 2-3 sessions of 30-45 minutes if that’s all you can do, and make them quality sessions. Tell your coach that you need practice plans or drills to fit in those times, and also need home drills you can do to work on movement or in front of a mirror. If you want to get better and play the best golf of your life, you need to make time for it.
4. Enjoy the Journey: During the process of getting better, it will be hard work, but remember this: it’s still golf. Be sure to laugh and enjoy the journey with your coach. I can tell you from experience that I truly love working with my long term students because we become friends and enjoy hanging out together and working toward a goal. This isn’t to say we don’t work hard, but we focus when it matters and enjoy the process. The team approach helps keep things more fun and not make it a grind.
5. Play the Game: In the end, the reason you are doing this is to improve at golf, not the golf swing. It’s important to put your work to the test on the golf course and be a well-rounded player. You need to make time to play, as the best way to improve is to put skills to the test under pressure. It’s critical to get time on the golf course as there is no substitute for having one chance at success on every shot. There’s no other ball to pull over and try again – just you, the course, and the scorecard.