(by Belinda Diamond)
I have worked with many golfers who do not seem satisfied with anything less than a perfect shot or a perfect swing, whatever that is.
Some of these very same golfers who are striving for perfection are stuck in a rut of scoring 20-something stableford points, which as all golfers know can be both distressing and embarrassing.
The good news is that golfers can have improved scores without learning to hit longer, straighter, or higher. Every single golfer despite swing faults, mobility issues, flexibility issues, etc., have their very own swing capable of hitting good shots.
Lowering your perfectionistic expectations will most likely increase your chances of earning a prize in the local competition, improving your enjoyment and making your post round Diet Coke (or adult beverage) taste much sweeter.
Here are some ways of to get away from the technical and perfectionistic thoughts when playing
- Make a genuine practice swing. Not a half-hearted waggle of the club, but a true representation of your own good swing. Make sure you hear the swoosh of the club sweeping over the grass. Practice makes permanent, a sloppy practice swing will increase the likelihood of a sloppy swing.
- Relax your hands; a tight grip may feel like you are in control, but it is hampering your ability to ‘swing’ the club.
- Hold your finish position, take just a few seconds to assess your balance. Is your weight on your lead/ front foot? On the backfoot? Do you take an entire backward step? It will not take long for you to notice a strong correlation between finishing with your bodyweight on your lead foot and shot quality. Subconsciously (hopefully) you will start to transfer your body weight more effectively through impact.
These are three simple ways to disengage the mental handbrake and bring out the best in your own swing. These thoughts may not produce a perfect swing, but sometimes in golf near enough can be good enough.
Belinda Diamond is a PGA Member and coach at Thornleigh Golf Centre. www.thornleighgolfcentre.com.au