Most golfers ask us how to play more consistent golf each week. This is because consistency is an important part of the game of golf that enables all players to shoot lower scores.
When looking at winners on the PGA Tour you will notice that their consistently in several key statistics helped them win. Take a look at a recent good round of your own and you will also notice that your consistency helped keep your ball out of trouble so that you could score well.
Most golfers are striving for more consistency. However, the challenge of golf is that the course, the weather, our mind and our body are constantly in a state of change. This means that everything is changing which makes it more difficult to execute a shot in a repetitive nature.
Even if your ball flight looks nothing like that of a PGA pro, consistency can still be helpful. A more predictable path and shape for each shot will help you eliminate the errant shots that lead to big numbers.
Weekend golfers often get frustrated with how they play because they are consistently inconsistent. They lack a regular ball flight that they can trust and rely on, which makes it very difficult for them to select the right target.
A better swing equals more consistency
The first step towards more consistency is a better swing. This occurs when a golfer begins to improve their swing fundamentals. This article will not go into the depths of the technical aspects of the swing. However a golfer should check and improve upon their set-up, balance, swing plane and tempo if they want to play more consistently. This will help a player swing in a way that leads to a more consistent ball flight with smaller misses.
“If a golfer can eliminate one side of the course with a regular ball flight the game becomes much easier”
When this is combined with regular practice or play it helps to strengthen neural pathways. A golfer can then concentrate more on their target and execute their swing without having to think about it.
How to play more consistent golf Answer: the pre-shot routine
An often overlooked factor of consistency is the mental and physical environment a golfer creates before they swing the club. The emotional state a player creates before a shot and the way they program their mind and body greatly affects the way they swing the club.
The goal is to create the same mental and physical environment for each shot so that a player’s swing is not affected by tension or mental interference.
“When a golfer creates a relaxed, positive and focused environment before each shot it helps them swing the club more consistently”
If you want to play more consistent golf then you need to create the optimum mental and physical environment by having an effective pre-shot routine. At Complete Player Golf the pre-shot routine we teach is: A.P.A. Analyse, Program and Allow and it is perhaps the easiest way to play better and more consistent golf.
>> Analyse: The first part of the pre-shot routine is to take a deep breath. Then analyse the shot so that you can make the right decisions. Consider things like the lie, slope, target, obstacles, wind and distance. This allows you to determine the best target and the right club.
>> Program: Once the details of the shot have been determined and the best target has been selected, it is now time to program your mind and body with this information. Verbally describe what you want to do with the shot. For example, “I want to hit a fade that starts at the large tree and finishes in the middle of the fairway”. Next translate this information into pictures or feelings. Either see a mini movie of your swing or of the ball travelling to the target. Alternatively you can feel some aspect of your swing that will help you hit the shot. Once you know what you want to achieve, have seen the result in your mind’s eye and felt the swing you need, you are ready.
>> Allow: The hard work has now been done all you need to do is relax and let your swing happen. Try to remain present minded and to avoid any conscious thoughts by keeping the time you spend over the ball to a minimum. Be confident and trust that your swing will send the ball to the target.
This process effectively programs your mind and body with the result you want to achieve, helps you deal with pressure and greatly increases your chances of hitting your target. Ideally you will have the same rituals before each shot including the number of waggles and the amount of time you take to prepare and hit the shot. This ritual will create an environment to help you become more consistent and play better golf. Give it a try; we think you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.
If you enjoyed this article the you would really like the mental game program: Think Well Play Great (below)
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