The Average Golfer is Insane!

When I say that the average golfer is insane I mean that literally.  The definition of insanity is repeating and action over and over again and expecting a different result.  I include myself in this category, at least I used to.  I, like most average golfers, went to the driving range all the time to “work” on my swing.  I didn’t work on fundamentals, short game or putting that much.  I just wanted to hit the ball and I thought that if I hit enough balls I would figure it out and get better.  There are very few people who can go to the driving range and “figure it out” and become a good golfer.

Since I never took lessons growing up I was spending my time at the driving range hammering in bad habits and bad fundamentals into my swing.  This off-season I have put an end to that.  I took the time to find a swing coach that has gotten me to think about the fundamentals of the game and begin to understand the golf swing.  The funniest part about this is that it is the middle of the winter in Chicago, there isn’t an open golf course anywhere to be found, I am not hitting a ton of golf balls and I know that I am getting better every week.  It is possible to get much better over the off-season in golf by focusing on the fundamentals of your game and your physical fitness.

I will share more about my off-season regiment of drills and work outs later in more detail, but I wanted to share that it is possible to make positive progress in the winter time.  I used to think that winter was just a time to wish I was somewhere warmer so I could be out playing golf.  Not anymore.  It is an opportunity to really solidify the fundamentals of my game so when the snow melts my game won’t have any rust on it.  It will be ready to go and hopefully better than ever.

If you are like I used to be and love pounding balls at the range but have struggled to dip your handicap take a second to think about how you practice and prepare your game.  Are you working on things that actually help your game?  When was the last time you changed your practice habits if ever?  Are you repeating the same habits over and over again and expecting a different result?  If you are, STOP!  You are insane and need to make a change!  Don’t let an offseason, winter weather or old habits hold you back from seizing an opportunity to actually get better.  It is 100% possible to get better at golf, we all just need to stop being insane and start being more realistic with how we intend to get better.  I, for one, am doing it with fundamentals.  How are you planning to make your game better?

9 Comments to “The Average Golfer is Insane!”

  1. The tension, or conflict here, is between golf as something we do to recreate and golf as something at which we try to get better. Almost all of us love going to the range and pounding balls because it is like any of the repetitive ways in which we practiced other sports when we were kids (shooting baskets, playing catch, hitting against a backboard). It’s also not that different from aerobic or other conditioning work: run laps, do reps, hit balls, zone out.
    But as you point out that’s not the same thing as practicing to increase your mastery. That requires purpose and attention. That’s a very different approach. These days when I go to the range my intention is to work on just one thing, either a particular club or distance, or one aspect of my swing. When it warms up (yeah, yeah this is Northern California but everything is relative) it will be an intensive focus on the short game.

    • I completely agree with you. A lack of focus during range sessions is a killer. The thing I am really getting at here is how many times have you gone to the range and been next to a guy or girl who tees up ball after ball and hits slice after slice then walks away when their bucket is done. That type of behavior is not only insane but it is counter productive to improving.

      I love the idea of having one swing key or one distance or one club for each practice session. It is that type of practice that really helps and gets results.

  2. Glad to see you are back at it and not letting the snow slow you down!

  3. Jon you’re exactly right with everything you’re saying. The biggest problem the average player faces is that they are ingraining their worst habits every time they practice, especially off rubber mats. A lot of improvement can be made away from the range and you might actually make some real changes to your motor pattern that you can bring to the range when it gets warmer out.

    Long time no talk!

    • Thanks Nick. I’m sure you will be happy to hear that a lot of the improvement I am working on is in the gym and on my physical limitations. I’m working on the swing primarily, but I am also not neglecting the physical aspect. I actually got checked out and found a few spots for serious improvement in flexibility.

      How are things going with your game?

      • Jon: My progress has been pretty good lately in terms of golf swing and getting to work “virtually” with a lot of smart teachers and trainers. Once you dive into the physical side you realize there is a lot that can be done to both enhance your play but to feel a hell of a lot better the next morning after a round. You’re young so it’s not an issue now but when you get up there in age your bones hurt in the morning if you’re not taking care of your physical function as well as general fitness. Golf Fitness as a concept is quite misunderstood in my mind, I’ll be posting more on this topic in the next few months but you are very much on the right track getting in the gym and looking at your limitations and range of motion. Don’t forget to attack issues of stability as well, those are going to determine your eventual results.

      • I’m doing some core work to address the stability. Do you have any posts in the works to tackle this issue a bit more? If so, I will just keep my eyes peeled. I’d be interested to hear your take on it.

  4. this message is directed at Paul aka Whywegolf:

    Let’s work some short game practice drills in together this Spring bud!

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