The Difficult Task of Creating Stability On The Links

This is a guest post by Scott McCormick. Scott writes for Golf Now Char­lotte about the best cours­es to play in North Car­oli­na.

Golf is a sport that pos­es a unique chal­lenge to those that play. Golf requires not only phys­i­cal ade­qua­cy, but men­tal con­sis­ten­cy and restraint dur­ing times of frus­tra­tion. There’s a rea­son that golf is becom­ing a world game. Peo­ple can play well into their late years, and it’s also a sport that is near­ly impos­si­ble to mas­ter. It’s an end­less chal­lenge, and peo­ple love that. How­ev­er, it’s incred­i­bly demand­ing. Even pro­fes­sion­als hit way­ward shots at least every oth­er round, and golf’s gen­er­al dif­fi­cult­ly leads to over­all intrigue around the sport.

One place that peo­ple strug­gle with­in their golf game involves con­sis­ten­cy, both men­tal and phys­i­cal. A golfer’s actu­al tech­nique needs to be steady as he or she pro­gress­es through a round. Sim­i­lar­ly, the player’s mind­set needs to be lev­el head­ed. Any legit­i­mate lack in either area is detri­men­tal to suc­cess on the links, and most every­one that has played the sport under­stands this.

Below are straight for­ward tips for cre­at­ing sta­bil­i­ty on the course. If you’re a golfer that feels the ups and downs, to the point of frus­tra­tion and errant shots, you need to take ini­tia­tive and attack the prob­lem head on. From there, you’ll drop strokes and become bet­ter friends with your score card.

Men­tal Sta­bil­i­ty

While most sports have a men­tal com­po­nent to them, golf is even more so and many golfers at all lev­els strug­gle keep­ing a lev­el mind­set. For one, a bad shot shouldn’t affect the next. If you’re aim­ing to have a low hand­i­cap and a score­card that’s easy on the eyes, you need to have men­tal sta­bil­i­ty each time you line up for a shot.

It’s dif­fi­cult to main­tain com­po­sure and con­fi­dence with­in golf. For one, a bad stroke can eas­i­ly snow­ball and lead to anoth­er one. How­ev­er, this doesn’t have to hap­pen and many play­ers could great­ly ben­e­fit sim­ply by think­ing twice about it.

Some quick tips to main­tain men­tal sta­bil­i­ty, and thus improve your game:

  1. Under­stand that one poor shot doesn’t need to affect your mind­set. Just because you sliced your dri­ve on the open­ing tee box, it doesn’t mean that you’re behind the eight ball for the rest of the day. As a golfer, you can real­ly ben­e­fit from look­ing at each shot indi­vid­u­al­ly. The game is already dif­fi­cult, and over­an­a­lyz­ing each errant shot isn’t going to do any good.
  2. Be con­fi­dent in your game. Regard­less of the lev­el you play at, keep your focus on what you know you can do. If you’ve done it before, you can do it again.
  3. Take your time and don’t feel rushed. This doesn’t mean delay­ing the group behind you on each and every shot, but it does mean that you will not suc­ceed in golf if you con­stant­ly feel pres­sure to quick­ly hit your shot. Hit­ting a tiny white ball accu­rate­ly is already hard enough, and becomes extreme­ly chal­leng­ing if you’re in a hur­ry. Give your­self a break and take your time. Play at a pace that allows you to main­tain prop­er tech­nique and appro­pri­ate mind­set.

Part of find­ing con­sis­ten­cy on the golf course is reel­ing in emo­tion. Look­ing at each shot indi­vid­u­al­ly, stay­ing con­fi­dent in your skillset and tak­ing ade­quate time on every stroke can improve your game in seri­ous ways.

Phys­i­cal Reg­u­lar­i­ty

Yes, golf is large­ly men­tal, but that doesn’t mean that phys­i­cal short­com­ings can’t tar­nish a score card. Tech­nique and style, and par­tic­u­lar­ly con­sis­tent per­for­mance in these areas, are huge com­po­nents of suc­cess on the links. Unique to oth­er sports, golf requires a lev­el of exact­ness not seen in anoth­er game. The dis­tance, tra­jec­to­ry and accu­ra­cy of a golf shot will only be on point if the golfer is fir­ing on all fun­da­men­tal cylin­ders.

While each golfer is dif­fer­ent, there are near-uni­ver­sal ways to improve the way you approach and exe­cute each shot. It can be hard to main­tain tech­nique and fun­da­men­tals through a long round, but the more you do so, the bet­ter off you’ll be.

Some quick tips to ensure prop­er tech­nique:

  1. Don’t under­es­ti­mate fit­ness when it comes to golf. Some­times viewed as a seden­tary sport, this couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. For one, a lack in fit­ness can be very detri­men­tal to a golfer’s per­for­mance, par­tic­u­lar­ly at the end of rounds. For exam­ple, if a golfer’s legs get tired, their stance loosens and their swing is affect­ed. Sim­i­lar­ly, when the hands or low­er back feel the burn, golfers tend to pull up on swing impact or change grip mid-round.
  2. Keep your head down. A golfer will have a hard time find­ing suc­cess if they con­sis­tent­ly lift their head through their stroke. For one, it’s impos­si­ble to focus on the golf ball if your head is pulling up through impact. Sec­ond­ly, the motion of lift­ing your head affects your arms, core and stance. These com­po­nents can­not be adjust­ed mid-stroke if an accu­rate shot is desired. It starts and ends with keep­ing your head down, and you can’t be remind­ed of this enough.
  3. Devel­op a fun­da­men­tal swing. Whether you have to take lessons from your local pro­fes­sion­al or not, your swing needs to have right com­po­nents to help you reach suc­cess. A golfer’s poten­tial is deter­mined by his or her men­tal and phys­i­cal sta­bil­i­ty. Your swing needs to be part of your golf rou­tine, with each stroke mir­ror­ing the next and the pre­vi­ous. The more reg­u­lar you feel with­in your tech­nique, the bet­ter you can gauge club selec­tion and shot pow­er.

You sim­ply can’t afford to have ups and downs in your phys­i­cal tech­nique. The same (and hope­ful­ly fun­da­men­tal) steps and pro­ce­dure should be exe­cut­ed each time you line up for a shot. From there, you’ll find more reg­u­lar­i­ty as your push for­ward.

Golf, like most oth­er sports, is based on men­tal and phys­i­cal capac­i­ty. How­ev­er, the focus needs to be more detailed in this game. The slight­est mis­cue can lead to an errant shot. While each golfer is dif­fer­ent, these ideas should help take your game to a new lev­el.

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