Be a Pleasure to Play Golf With
There are few compliments more valuable as being the person “everyone wants to play golf with.” Show your playing partners that you hope everyone in your group plays well today. Be kind and supportive, no matter how your game is going. No one likes to play with the player who sings the blues or goes silent when they are not playing well. Also, players can feel when there is someone in the group who wants to see others fail. The “toxic” player quickly loses playing partners, no matter how good they are. No one should have to suffer your poor attitude or mood swings. You will certainly play better golf, once you lighten your mood and open your eyes to the gift of golf with friends.
Great Attitude/Optimism- There will be so many obstacles, so many chances to fail, that our attitude will be the backbone needed to continue down our path to success. The ability to happily go about our business is invaluable, especially when things are NOT going the way we had hoped. Character is developed by acceptance of every situation golf can present and the way you learn from each experience. Optimism for the coming shot, or the eventual result of the match, is the lifeblood of a round of golf. Being a constant voice of support and kindness keeps us mentally engaged and willing to compete.
Swing Information- I believe knowledge is power. It is a part of player development to become a student of the game. Just be sure to have criteria. If you hear or read a piece of advice, ask yourself this question: after telling me HOW, did this advice tell me WHY? If it tells me why and it makes sense, then consider it thoroughly. Is it obvious that many great players follow this advice? Also, BE CAREFUL OF ADVICE THAT IS NOT ACCURACY BASED. There is no higher concern than accuracy. There is a great deal of advice, concerning golf swing technique, that holds no component of target recognition. In my 30+ years of teaching, I have witnessed MANY players diminish their ability to improve, by chasing ideas that ignore the target.
Limit Forearm Rotation- Any type of arm rotation introduced into your backswing will have to be corrected later in your downswing. Adding rotating arms to your swinging body can be dangerous. Inconsistent strikes and extreme curvature are guaranteed. At address, your clubface is pointing at the target. Develop a feeling that it maintains that position, rather than immediately giving that position away to begin the swing. See it like hitting a tree with an axe. Hold and swing the square clubface, with a minimum of clubface rotation. Driving, putting and short wedges will be greatly enhanced, along with the other areas of your game.
CLEAN MECHANICS- Your golf bag is filled with clubs where no two are the same. They are all different in length and loft. If your mechanics are good, you need only to make a good swing to play a good shot with any club. Poor mechanics will limit the clubs you will play well. Also, poor mechanics will wound your golf swing and take away that relaxed, comfortable swing we all hope to play with.
Understanding of Release
ALL good players can feel the club approaching impact and the progress of the clubhead through and after striking the ball. This “release” must match your grip and swing.
DIVERSE SHORT GAME-
We know you will likely face turmoil in every round you play. You need an “insurance policy” to hold your round together on those days when you are not striking the ball as you normally do. To be a successful tournament golfer, the ability to score well on your bad day is vital. Also, quality golf courses provide a test that says you will only be given a limited number of chances at birdie, and you MUST capitalize on those chances. It will be your versatility with your wedges that allow you to compete at any level.
Affirmative Pre-Shot Routine
Body language speaks loudly. It is normally easy to guess what kind of round a player is having by the way he carries himself. When playing golf shots, you will be much more consistent after forming a solid pre-shot routine. You are building your zone, a kind of force field pressure cannot penetrate. How do basketball players make free throws, with the game on the line and 20,000 people screaming? They TRUST their routine and diminish the importance of the situation. Please don’t underestimate the importance of this fundamental and incorporate it into your practice sessions.
Aim – The curriculum for the DGA is found in the book and on the website as My Best Advice For Method Building. Each of these recommendations is followed with a paragraph or two of explanation of it’s importance. That is until we get to this month’s topic.
So many shots are ruined by moving the club away from the ball with a snatch of the hands. Whether it is a full swing, or a tricky pitch shot, feeling your left shoulder participate in the swing will create width and timing. This shoulder moving fully will give us a patient feeling and the confidence to let our swing run its course. The old-school advice to “finish your backswing” when under pressure, speaks directly to this idea.