Taking golf lessons can become a very addictive pastime, especially for those who have a slightly obsessive nature. I know. I have been there. Golf lessons also pay off.
You can feel and see the benefits in the way you strike the ball cleanly out of the sweet spot, the way in which the ball flies, how much further the ball flies and so on. As you commit yourself to improving your golf game through the practice of weekly lessons and hitting balls daily upon the range, your swing will inevitable look and feel a whole lot better.
I was talking with a friend the other day who was experiencing a lot of frustration and anxiety because her pro had basically told her that she did not need any more lessons. He told her that her swing was pretty much perfect and that she should just get out and play. I happen to agree with him.
My friends posture is perfect, her swing is strong and sweet, she can shape the ball. She has great technical ability. She has several shots in her short game repertoire. Despite this, she is scared by the thought of giving up her lessons. Not only that she doesn’t understand how a swing can ever be perfect. Surely, she says, there is always room for improvement?
Yes, there is room for improvement. Hitting perfect shots upon the range is a lot easier than doing so when on the course. Many different elements enter the golfing equation when you are on a golf course instead of the range. Now you have to take account of the lie, the general terrain, and the optical illusions that can be encountered. There are different angles to think about, and wind speed. There are a whole load of things to think about on the course, not to mention performance pressure.
In reality, each of these extra elements require just as much practice as you have put into lessons and hitting balls on the range. Just because you can hit immaculate shots on the range does not mean you will automatically repeat them upon the course. You have to learn to deal with all of these other elements, make the correct shot choice and then commit to executing it.
As you transition from range to course your mind can get a little tangled up with all of the things that compete for your attention. Invariably, as a few shots don’t quite work out as planned, the instinct of most golfers is to assume that they are doing something wrong with their swing. They start to question their grip, stance, or whatever else they can think of in the mechanical field.
They are usually barking up the wrong tree. Most often what has happened is they have tried to compute the different elements at play, made a decision about their shot but not quite committed to it. Either that or they have not actually taken all of the elements into account and hence made a bad shot choice. Alignment is also more likely to be at fault on the course than on the range.
A golfer who starts to question their mechanics whilst out on the course completely loses their confidence as well as being blinded to what has really happened. Golf is a very mental game. You have to keep your mind straight, your focus clear and your confidence high to be able to play golf well. Moving from range to course is far more about mental training than mechanics.
Roseanna Leaton, avid golfer and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3s and author of the golferwithin golf mind training system.
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