Take a step back and take a time out to examine “your golf game.” How is your equipment holding up mid-season? Do you need to have your clubs re-gripped? How about the golf ball you are using? Does it match your swing speed and style of play? How have you been playing? Notice any patterns? Slicing, not reaching greens in regulation, too many putts? How about your course management? Are you losing your temper or using negative self talk on the golf course? How are you routines, both your pre shot routine and post shot routine? These are the types of questions that will lead to your success.
If we continue to try “the latest and greatest” without first knowing what we need we will be in a constant state of trial and error vs. long term game improvement. Imagine if you were trying to learn how to play the piano and each time you made a mistake you bought a different piano or started to play a different song. It would be next to impossible to improve and your frustration level would skyrocket. Sound familiar? Now take that same experience and start slowly and deliberately. When you stumble, start over. If you cannot get it on your own you might seek the guidance of a piano teacher to help you with practice techniques for improvement. Before you know it you can play a simple song, you continue on your path to success and your skills and enjoyment increase, you actually like playing the piano and it becomes a source of pleasure and not frustration just like the great game of golf.
“Time outs” also work well on the golf course while you are playing. Take a moment in between shots to enjoy the experience of being on the golf course. This will keep you refreshed and ready for the next time it is your turn to play. “Time outs” also work when we are reaching a state of frustration. Take note of when this is happening and give yourself a moment to regroup. The worst thing we can do when we start a downward spiral is to allow ourselves to be sucked in by these negative feelings. Notice when they are happening and give your self a time out to just stop, take a breath and refocus on what you want.
The key is to understand your game first before anything else. It does not matter how anyone else improved. What matters is you! Golfers are famous for sharing tips that have helped them improve, some may help you and others may magnify your error. The question you need to ask yourself is what is my weakest link and what do I need to do to make it stronger? If you are not sure where to begin ask your local LPGA/PGA Professional to assist you in determining what part of your game will have the most impact on improving not only your score but your enjoyment of the great game of golf.