Kelli Kostick, PGA Professional, LPGA Director of Instruction
Brae Burn Country Club, W. Newton MA
Fix Me But Don't Change Me
you ever feel like you are on the edge of shooting your best score if you could
only just be a bit more consistent? Are you fairly happy with your game, you
trust your swing, but yet you have a few blow up holes or a few strange golf
shots that appear from nowhere? If you could get these under control,
you’d finally have it!
you are not alone. Consistency is one of the most frequently requested fixes by
a golf student, and one of the most challenging issues for their teacher to
provide. Usually, the golfer is reasonably happy with their game and in their
opinion; their swing is not the issue. They believe that with just one little
tweak things should immediately get better. It shouldn’t require a lot of
practice time, it should immediately be transferable to the golf course, and
the fix certainly shouldn’t feel any different than what the golfer is already
doing. Right? Does this sound like you?
the process of discussing consistency and observing golf shots, I find that
students are usually quite consistent and that their golf swings do produce
certain, predictable golf shots. They just don’t like what the shot pattern is.
I also find that any subtle “tweak” that feels different is often viewed as
uncomfortable or incorrect. The challenge for me lies not in changing the shot
pattern, the science behind that is quite straightforward; however, it is
changing the student’s perception of reality and guiding them through a process
that gets them to the outcome they desire. The smallest correction can be the
right one and ultimately produce terrific results but at the same time can feel
so drastic that the student may abandon the idea for the safety of what they
already know. What’s really disappointing is that the retreat to their comfort
zone is satisfying enough to keep them there! The consistency they recognize
now becomes the desired goal.
these following ideas when you are asking for consistency:
What consistency means - are
you willing to do the work to achieve something other than what you already
What you do well. Build your game around that.
Dwell on the good shots and let go of the bad. Some less than
perfect shots will happen. It’s how you recover that counts.
A realistic course of action and hold yourself
accountable for the results. Spend time working on the
range as well as on the course. Recognize that the range is flat and the course
is not. Both can be the same and yet so dramatically different.
That if you want to stay the same, you will. If
you want to improve, you need to do things differently to
get the desired results.
Key Areas of consistency: Which
category are you?
evaluating what areas of your game you‘d like to make more consistent, look at
how you perform in the following areas :
Are you unhappy with the
direction of your golf shots? We need to look at in what direction you are
swinging the path of your golf club and what the clubface is doing at impact.
Are you hitting the ball fat or
thin, topped or popped ? We need to look at the angle of the club as it’s
approaching the ball. Is the club too shallow or too steep? Is it releasing too
early or too late?
Are you playing golf in balance
from a stable base or do you lack stability and mobility? How does this affect
Do you plan your shots well,
taking into account the lay of the land? Do you visualize yourself making good
shots? Do you have a pre shot routine that you stick to? Have you practiced
shots from less than perfect conditions?
doesn’t need to be played with perfect swings; we need predictable swings with
repeatable results. Obviously, the fewer moving parts there are in a golf
swing, the easier it is to repeat. Consistency will come if you are realistic
about what it is, and where you are compared to what you want. Be willing to
risk a topped golf shot on the first tee on Saturday morning, for a long term
reward and habits that will hold up under pressure. Fixes are changing
behavior. Work to make your consistency the kind you want!