Your Job in Practice

by: B. J. Hathaway


On your next visit to the driving range, I want you to observe the golfers around you and how they practice. Listen in on conversations between golf buddies as they hit balls as well, and I bet you will begin to recognize a trend that exists in your own practice habits as well.  For now let’s visit with two imaginary golfers, Bob and Jim as they begin their after work range session.

Our two gentlemen hit a few wedges side by side and then the trouble starts and Bob tops his next shot down the range. “Hey watch me hit a few, would you…what am I doing wrong?” he says and Jim turns around and begins his keen observation of the matter.  Bob tops another and Jim offers the classic advice, “well it’s simple my friend, you’re lifting your head again.”  Bob goes into his deep meditation mode and stays down well enough on the next shot but scuffs it off to the right.  “That’s better but you didn’t get your hips through”, Jim offers and so for the next 10 minutes Bob performs a variety of missed shots with each one receiving a different explanation from Jim.  Bob does end up hitting a few good shots here and there and yet has not one single idea of why or how to repeat any of them and leaves with 37 different swing thoughts and fixes to work on.

I would like to offer a different point of view. Your job in practice, your job in playing and your job in general is not to figure out what you did wrong. Your job is to figure out what you did not do correctly. The fact is, you could have done 100 things “wrong” in a particular swing and that will lead you down an endless road filled with sleepless nights. You wouldn’t go the grocery store with a list of the things you don’t want to buy and cross them off!  An architect doesn’t draw up blueprints for the building he doesn’t want to build and you should not build your golf game around a list of negatives. Your job is to know what is right and go about working on it.

It would be much smarter and time effective to work in the right things instead of trying to “not do” the wrong things. If you are not sure what the right things are, that is where we can help or your local golf professional. Let’s start off the new year with a new perspective and spend time on the right things to make you better.