How to Improve Golf Consistency
Consistency in golf can mean a fun day out on the links or it can be a very frustrating game to play.
In our minds, when we hit a shot that doesn’t go the way we want, we might get upset at ourselves because we know we can hit the ball and score better because we have done it in the past.
Maybe it was at the driving range or when you played your last round or even just on the last hole where you made par with 2 beautiful shots and a 2 putt. And you wonder how in the world you just shanked the next drive off the tee.
Golf is hard. Yet, I think that is what makes it such an interesting game.
Performing with a level of consistency in golf can make golf so much more fun though.
Here are some tips on how to achieve a more consistent golf game.
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Why Consistency in Golf Is So Difficult
Let’s look at why achieving consistency in golf is so hard.
1. The nature of the golf swing is not natural and there are many moving parts to the actual mechanics of the swing.
Even if one small part of the swing or body motion is off on a given round, all of sudden your dreaded slice or hook is back in full force. Or somehow you are putting the ball way past the hole or leaving it short of the hole on every green. And you wonder where in the world your putting stroke went.
2. Then consider the fact that there are 14 different clubs that you need to master and become comfortable with.
- There is the driver, which is the longest club in the bag and is hit off of a tee.
- Then there are fairway woods, irons and hybrids all at different lengths, lofts, and club heads.
- Then there are the wedges for pitching and chipping in which many times you don’t even take a full swing.
- And finally, there is putting. Completely different from any other club.
3. The difficulty and terrain of each golf course makes being consistent tough.
As well as all the innumerable lies that you can have on a golf course from the fairway, to different lengths of rough, to fescue, rocks, hills, sideways, uphill, and downhill lies, water to carry, and bunkers to hit out from.
No wonder having a consistent golf game is very hard to achieve.
I have learned over the years that if you have this mindset while golfing, then you are more aware that it is all these variables that make this game so unique, challenging, fun, and yes, so frustrating at times.
How to Be More Consistent in Golf
The first step in becoming a more consistent golfer is to produce a consistent golf swing. Being able to produce a reliable swing over and over again will result in more consistent shots.
Build A Consistent or Repeatable Golf Swing
A repeatable swing that produces the same shot is done through practice, practice, and lots of playing.
The more time you spend golfing and swinging a golf club will provide more consistency and growth in your golf game.
The body and brain need to build up muscle memory as the golf swing is not a natural body movement.
Learn the Correct Form and Technique
Before you start practicing something over and over again, it is always a good idea to get a few lessons to learn the correct form and technique.
Having a professional look at your swing and help you figure out the best technique is a great place to start.
You could also watch videos or read books to figure out what you may need to improve upon.
Practice and Playing – Time & Commitment
The next step is to practice and play as much as you can.
Think about Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers.
He goes into depth looking at many famous high achievers and how they got to where they are. One of the factors is what he called the 10,000-hour rule, which basically says put in 10,000 hours of practice or time into something and you can become an expert.
Now, 10,000 hours is a crazy amount of time – especially in the short term. Time that the majority of us don’t have – especially for golf.
For example, if you want to become an expert golfer in 5 years, putting 10,000 hours of practice in means that for those 5 years, you would be practicing 8 hours a day for 5 days a week.
If you expand this to 20 years, you could become pretty proficient at golf if you played or practiced just 2 hours a day 5 days per week. That could also be playing a 4 hour round 2 – 3 times per week.
Well, that sounds much better. But, 20 years?! It’s hard to comprehend waiting that long to become really good at something. Most of us need a shorter term plan and more instant gratification.
The bigger takeaway from this is anyone who wants to get better and more consistent at something like golf needs to commit and put the practice in.
So, remember these things:
- The time you put into golf practice or play will dictate the amount of improvement in consistency and proficiency at the game.
- Schedule your practice or tee times in your calendar.
- Make sure they are regular and consistent.
- Commit to these times and do not let other plans or excuses get in the way.
Having a Practice Plan and Focused Practice
Many golfers head to the range and end up hitting ball after ball at the practice range with many of their different clubs, which is fine. As a beginner, just going to the practice range and hitting shots will help build your muscle memory.
To help you improve with consistency, it is a great idea to create a plan and focus your practice sessions. It will give you motivation as you’ll be able to start seeing the results of your hard work.
One example to help you create a plan is to determine the weakest area of your game. Think back to your last few rounds.
Which club added the most strokes to your game?
Putting, chipping around the green, driving accuracy are some of the big ones.
Put a plan in place and track your progress. There is nothing better than seeing results from your hard work and practice.
If you are looking for a great practice plan with detailed drills day by day on exactly what to do and follow along guide on the short game, I use Tori Totlis’s Compete Confidence Short game 100 Workbook. It is a game-changer and helps get me out there practicing.
She used a very similar practice regimen to win multiple club championships at her golf club and now has a single-digit handicap.
Improving Consistency Without A Lot of Time
Improvement as a Beginner
There are many ways to build consistency. The first time I noticed a real improvement in my own golf game after 3 years of playing was when we decided to commit to a weekly tee time that we paid in advance for.
Because the tee times were paid for, we made it a priority and committed to our round every Saturday at 8:26 am. By the end of the golf season, my handicap dropped 8 strokes. I never went to the driving range. Just by playing golf consistently on a weekly basis, I was able to improve my consistency and improve my scores.
Small Incremental Improvements
Did you know that small incremental improvements can lead to bigger improvements over time?
There is a book I read recently called Atomic Habits. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.
An amazing book about habits and improvement.
The author, James Clear, talks about how just gaining even a 1% improvement each time you go out adds up and leads to a much bigger percentage of improvement over time. This means seeing bigger results in the long run as long as you stay committed.
So, schedule whatever time you might have to practice at the range or make a plan to play more and commit to it.
And remember that golf is a journey.
Some days will be amazing and some days will be very frustrating and disappointing. Just know that this is normal and a part of the game.