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Progress is too slow for people to notice; setbacks happen too quickly for people to ignore.
– Morgan Housel
One of the most difficult things in golf is to keep track of where your game is. You can play great for weeks or months, and the only thing you have to do is a shaky round to make you stare into the abyss.
I have trouble with it; I know you're struggling with it, and even the best players in the world aren't immune to this kind of doubt.
I am here to remind you (and myself) that progress is not about major breakthroughs, but rather about small incremental changes that build up over time. If more golfers can understand this concept, I think they will enjoy the game more and allow themselves to actually improve instead of constantly making changes without giving them time to work.
There is nothing like a fix
I don't like the word fix when I talk about golf. It implies that something is permanent or is being done forever. I believe you make yourself up for failure and disappointment when you think something has been resolved. How often have you been out of reach and have you declared victory over a swing problem to show it weeks later? I know I have it.
The term fixation is often used to sell you a training aid or swing system.
"Restore your segment forever with this tip !!!" Of course, you will click or buy.
The truth is that you cannot fix or eliminate a segment forever. As if I can't stop hooking the ball too much from time to time. We all have our swinging errors that appear.
Here's the good news – you can make that these errors occur less frequently . So instead of thinking that you will never lose a T-piece in the right trees, you can concentrate on the fact that it might happen once or twice less per round in the beginning and build from there.
Getting better on golf is really about incremental progress. You want to build up a number of small victories that are mixed with some setbacks. Over time, they will nestle in something much better, and you will look back and realize that you may have climbed a mountain by climbing only a few small hills (sorry, that was a terrible metaphor, but I can't think about it) ) everything better).
Small ideas, big changes
Golfers are always looking for answers. The game is complicated and frustrating and we are all looking for help. I am very grateful that many of you come to this website for that advice.
We tend to consume a lot of information throughout this process. I remember reading a lot of magazines and books when I was a junior golfer. Every time I put them down, I was filled with hope, optimism, and tons of great ideas. However, when I tried to put them into practice, I noticed that I was depressed because there were no immediate results and I had too many thoughts in mind while I was playing.
The truth of the matter is all that is needed is a small core of an idea that can have a great impact on your game. I try to spread these kernels to all of you in different formats. You could read 20 of my articles, but at that time there could only be one that is relevant to your game.
For example, a few years ago I was frustrated that I made no progress in the tournament game. I sought the advice of a friend Scott Fawcett, who is the creator of a great strategy system called DECADE. All he needed was a statement from him to have a meaningful influence on my game. He told me that if I wanted to have some success in competitive golf, I had to embrace my driver, whom I would have avoided at all costs.
I took that information and concentrated on it for a long time. Through practice, changes in equipment and strategy adjustments, I now believe that my driver is my weapon and my favorite club in my bag. It certainly didn't happen overnight, but that advice helped me organize myself in a way that helped me change my identity as a golfer who was afraid to hit the driver, someone who embraced it. There are still plenty of days in which I will hit the big stick badly, but I am determined to achieve that idea.
Stop putting so much pressure on yourself
One of my challenges is that I don't want golfers to feel that they need to be perfect when they start making changes.
Let's take a strategy, for example. I have written many articles on how avoiding mistakes through smart target selections on the job can save you success. The information is easy to understand, so bad that you read it once and think you will have solved the game. The problem is implementation.
Strategy is almost more about psychology. When you are in a recovery situation after you have shot your tee through the trees, your instinct is to play aggressively to make up for the mistake. However, I told you that if you make a bogey in that situation, you will keep pace with PGA Tour players. The smart game is to get your ball safe again and to take your medicine.
Even if you make an effort to do so during your next round, you will be tempted to think that you can tie your ball through the trees on the green. Golf has a way to bring out the inner gambler in each of us. If you choose the aggressive route and it results in a disaster, that's good. You don't have to beat yourself up because mistakes will always happen.
But let's say you make a smart decision a few times during a round. You will probably see some small improvements in your score. Maybe you avoid a few triple bogeys and make bogeys instead. Those are four strokes! If I told you before that you could eliminate four hits, you would probably take up that deal in an instant.
That is what incremental progress looks like.
This can be applied to everything
Whether you take classes and make swing changes, try to change how you practice, or just make a commitment to yourself that you won't lose your patience during a round – it's all about the small winnings.
If you expect good results quickly, you are wrong. It is precisely why most golfers give up so quickly. Even if someone promises you too soon, I would like to warn you to take their words with a grain of salt.
Stay patient and enjoy the ride.