We all have our good and bad days on the golf course. When things are good, we seem to find ourselves not having to think about much at all.
But when our shots start going astray, we quickly fall into the trap of over-thinking and maybe trying to change the swing in the middle of the round, which is even more dangerous.
A round of golf is not the time to experiment with swing changes, so what are you supposed to do when things start going wrong?
The next time you’re on the course and things go wrong, use these three tips to get back on track:
AIM: If you are playing in a tournament or a tight match with your buddies, then you may not have the luxury of having somebody else check your aim before you swing. Learning to aim happens on the range by having a solid pre-shot routine. Make sure you are using your routine that you have practiced on the range. The routine I use begins by standing behind the ball, identifying my target line and setting my grip. I then walk up and set the clubface on the target line, pointing the clubface at an intermediate target a few inches in front of the ball. The last thing I do is set my feet to match the clubface. Build this routine with repetition on the driving range and you can easily recall it on the course.
TEMPO: Think of a two-word phrase with the first word having two syllables, then the second word having one. For example, Ernie Els. Start your swing with the first syllable. You should reach the top of the backswing with the second syllable, and then make impact with the third syllable. When your practice swings are feeling good with the proper tempo, address the ball and repeat. The ball will simply get in the way of your good swing.
BALANCE: Maintaining balance to the end of the swing is the single most important element you need for consistency. The good news is that the work you have done on tempo can greatly improve your balance, so hopefully you’re finding it easier to balance right now. But if you’re not, slowing down the overall speed of the swing will be the only way you will recover your balance. Remember this phrase: If you can do it slow, you can do it fast. But if you can’t do it slow, then you can’t do it.
These three tips should help you stop the major bleeding while you are on the course.
At the very least, by applying these things above, you will at least improve your consistency enough to identify what the bigger problem may be, making it much easier to get with your local PGA Professional and begin correcting any flaws you may have.