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If every golfer had a magical mind that could fulfill one wish, most of them asked, "Please make me more consistent!" This is one of the most common requests from anyone who plays the game.
In my opinion, consistency is perhaps one of the most misused and misunderstood words in golf. There are plenty of things about your golf game that you can check and approach with consistency. These include, but are not limited to, many of the topics I discuss on this site (exercise, mental play, strategy, your expectations). However, there are plenty of elements that you will never control, and inconsistency will reign supreme forever.
In this article I want to discuss one of the most frustrating aspects of golf, and why learning to accept this truth will put you on a more productive and happier path.
A small margin for error
There are many factors that play a role in capturing great or even functional golf shots. The golf swing is a complicated move, and the way it delivers the club at impact gives the ball its & # 39; marching orders & # 39 ;.
I don't want to confuse you with a physics discussion, but three primary factors I focus on are:
Impact position of the ball on the face
The path of the club (think in-to-out or out-to-in)
Where the face points to impact (closed, open or square)
There are many other variables in play (interaction with grass, angle of attack, etc.), but let's stick to these three for the sake of this article. To get the ball relatively close to your goal, each swing is a challenge to master those three factors.
Sometimes your face is too open on impact and you miss your target on the right (for a right-handed player). Or maybe you're struggling with an outrageous out-to-in club path and fighting a nasty piece. At other times, you may make a poor impression on the face and miss the green on the short side.
Anyway, each of these factors only need to be minimized to make a meaningful difference in your ball flight. If your driver is a few degrees more open on impact, it could mean losing your tee shot in the trees or hitting a fairway.
Long story short, golf is difficult (as you know).
Everything is constantly changing
For the most part, golfers have very similar swings with each stroke. It's hard to notice a few degrees of change in your swing pad or miss the center of the face by half an inch. That's why you often see TV analysts reaching for straws when trying to analyze a slow-motion swing of a player making an erroneous shot. The swings usually don't look all that different from their great shots.
You can start your round by hitting your driver in a straight line, without missing a fairway on the front nine. Then, on the last nine, you suddenly fight a bidirectional miss.
Or you may have confidence in part of your game for a whole month, but weeks later it becomes a source of panic and frustration.
Why is this happening? Well, I don't know exactly why but I'm pretty sure it has to do with the complexity of the golf swing and how the movement of your body can vary in small amounts within a round, or over weeks and months.
No golfer on the planet can escape this fate. If you watch the performance of a professional golfer, you will see huge inconsistencies in hitting their ball relative to their skill level. Even at Tiger's peak, he would have laps in which his timing seemed perfect with his driver, to lose the ball across the golf course less than 24 hours later.
Why it's frustrating (but also why you shouldn't panic)
I know exactly how frustrating all this is because I experience it like you. Things seem great, and then they suddenly fall apart. It feels unfair right now, but it's also part of the game.
If you want to become a better golfer, which I suppose you do when you read this article, you have to find a way to deal with the inconsistency of your technique. As with any hardship, the first step is acceptance.
Too many golfers beat themselves up for something beyond their control. I know I've been doing it for a long time and still do it, but at a much lower level. Either way, you have a much better chance of becoming a better golfer if you understand the variability of golf. Many people never really understand this concept and it hinders their fun and prospects for improvement.
So next time when things seem to fall out of nowhere, take a deep breath and realize it has to happen.