How to Play Consistent Golf
Do you REALLY want to be consistent?
Everyone wants to play golf more consistently. Instead of playing "army golf" where you hit the ball left, right, left, right, you hit it down the middle and onto the green where you always have a chance for eagle, birdie or par.
Most of us who are striving to be consistent are open for free advice. We watch the Golf Channel on TV and hope Michael Breed can fix our golf. We religiously read golf magazines and we believe everything we read. On the range, we try new things and we tinker with our swing. Then when we play, we try to bring these new skills to the course.
It is interesting that there are so much tips and techniques to write about. Every month, there are new golf magazines and info commercials selling a video program. We are addicted to improving our game and playing more consistent.
But how are we going to play more consistent if we are constantly changing our swing? We are creatures of habit and basically, we are not giving ourselves the chance to be consistent when every week, we are introducing a new set of variables. We change our grip, our swing and when our game becomes stagnant, we change our clubs.
Golf is a Game of Variables
The first step in getting more consistent is to accept the fact that golf is a game of variables. In fact, there are probably hundreds of variables that can go wrong (or right) from the time you address the ball to the time the ball pops up. If you hit it right, the variables line up like the planets and the shot sails to the target (beautifully). But when you hit it wrong, the variables go haywire and both your mind and temper goes ballistic. You stand there and say 'WTF'.
The reason why you have to trust your swing is so important is because you have to commit to your own swing until you get your game on track. From now to the time you play more consistent golf, I don't want you to pick up any more "opinions" on how to swing the club. Every book and every article is an opinion that comes with a brand new set of variables. To play more consistently, you have to eliminate the variables. You have to trust your swing for now and not tamper with it. Get to know your swing first before trying to change any part of it.
Now that doesn't mean you have the perfect swing to lower your scores. It just means that I want to work on your present set of variables and not introduce any new ones by trying new things.
Mr. and Mrs. Consistent
Once you have accepted the fact that golf is a game of variables, you begin to see that the answer is simple and clear. If you could only eliminate these variables then you can control the number of moving parts that can go wrong. It is only then your game will start to play more consistently.
Lets take an example. I'm sure you have seen Mr. or Mrs. Consistent playing alongside your group. He or she uses the same club to tee off, always down the middle of the fairway. The ball always lands in the same vicinity. Not too long off the tee and not too short. It is just perfect compared to yours, in the trees or under the bush. How does Mr. or Mrs. Consistent do that? Same club, same swing = same results.
Consistency is when you develop a swing that is repeatable.
Is your game consistent?
Lets Fix the Tee
How consistent are your drives? Do you often hit the fairway? Is the ball flight ideal or do you ground the ball a lot? Believe it or not, the culprit to inconsistent drives may be linked to the type of tee you use to tee up your ball. If you are not using the type that guarantees a fixed height every time then you need to buy some tees that does. How can you hit a perfect drive every time you tee it up if the height of the ball off the ground varies? This is a variable that will kill the consistency in your game. The perfect drive depends on where the ball impacts the club face. To ensure the ball hits the same place on your club, make sure the height is always the same.
There are 3 tees that give you the same height every time. They are:
- 4-yards more tees.
- Brush tees.
- Tee performance.
I have listed them below for you to buy:
Lets Use the Same Ball
Many of us have a selection of golf balls in our bags. Unlike a tour player who will play one brand and one type, we play a variety of balls from different manufacturers. This is why our game is not consistent. You see, there are soft balls and hard balls. Soft balls have a compression of 90 or less, while hard balls have a compression of 95 or more. If you like to work the ball, you should play with a softer ball. But check the temperature for the day because soft balls will not fly as far on hot days. You are better off playing with hard balls with compressions of 100 on hotter days.
Once you have settled on the right ball, try to be consistent by playing the same brand and type.
Lets Get a Grip (on your game)
When it comes to judging distance, it all comes down to feel. The grip on every club in your bag should feel the same regardless of its loft. If you have the same type of grip on your driver, fairway woods, hybrids and irons then every time you hold the club in your hands, it will feel the same. If you use alignment lines to square the club face up to the ball then make sure every club has the same grip with the same alignment lines. This will allow you to follow the same routine in gripping the club.
Keeping the grip the same across your clubs (excluding your putter) will give you that added confidence and feel. Either do it yourself or have a local club maker change your grips.
Lets Repeat yourself
One way to ensure consistency is to develop a repeatable swing. Think of a robotic arm that hits a ball down the middle of a fairway. Once a club is secured, all it does is turn and hits the ball. Imagine your swing that way. Grip your club with your hands and swing away. Don't change your swing halfway or at the top. Just commit to your swing and don't try to steer the ball or scoop it.
By developing a repeatable swing, you will eliminate the variables that cause your score to fluctuate. Consistent swing will only lead to consistent scores.