A few weeks ago, I was working with one of my students and I hate to say it, but he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn! Let me tell you he hit everything but the hitting screen in front of him. I thought I was going to have to take cover when after 45 minutes of revisiting the basics, I stopped and asked what he had practiced the last two weeks. His answer was he hadn’t…..at all. This man was so upset I thought for sure he was going to have a breakdown. After his lesson I explained to him that not practicing and booking another lesson was pointless and that I was just taking his money. I also told him that if he would practice just a little he would improve and we could move forward in his golf. Most of us have heard the old adage “Practice makes perfect” but my method of teaching doesn’t require countless hours rehearsing a skill, instead I like to tell my students “A perfect practice, makes perfect.” Now only time will tell.
How many people went to college or trade school, took a class of any kind, or have taken a drivers test? In all of these situations there had to be some studying. All kinds of learning takes practice, time and sometimes money, but most of us succeeded; we made it through high school, college/tech school or a certification. The point is, is that all of these things take time and practice. Some people just want to get by, some want to be good, and still others want to be proficient, what ever your desire, it is completely up to you but practice is never an option.
People play golf for many reasons, to enjoy the time with family and friends, to meet new people, to do business and network or to compete. Golf is a social education and in order to learn, we have to practice. The question is always how to practice, how much and to what point is the best way to practice? If you’re new to golf and would like to try to and find out if golf is for you, the first thing to do is to not buy clubs. I would either borrow (a club) to learn with or I would buy just one club either at a garage sale, the Goodwill or at a used club at a golf store. I would buy either a 7, 8, or 9 iron because they are shorter and easier to handle and to swing. I would then practice just a few minutes at home gripping the club, hinging the wrist taking the stance, rotating the hips and hitting a foam ball. Do you remember as a child learning a new skill like riding a bike, or throwing and catching a ball or swimming? We practiced over and over never seemingly to tire of the repetitiveness of the task. This is constructive focused practice and is essential to embedding a new skill especially one as difficult as golf.
No one likes to feel stupid or embarrassed in front of people, friends, family, bosses or coworkers. So take a few golf lessons and get a good foundation. It doesn’t require a lot of lessons but you must practice. Before long you will be able to play because golf is really just a series of successful swings. It will be fun, challenging, and social and definitely times you will remember forever. Golf is probably the only sport you can physically play your entire life. I know from experience. I played with my kids when they were young I play with them now as adults and I am looking forward to playing with their kids when they have them. Thanks for reading my thoughts .