Welcome to this weeks tips & tricks. This week I have some exciting news and would like to share it with you. I won’t keep you waiting and I’ll get straight into it. This week I actually managed to get onto a golf course and play golf! This is the first time in about 6 months I have been onto a golf course. I am not proud that I haven’t been playing but unfortunately I just don’t get the time. My time is fully dedicated to helping you with your golf and I have sacrificed my own game time for it. I would like to share with you my experience and how I reflected on my performance and then you’re going to do the same.
Whenever I do get a chance to play golf reflecting on my performance after the round is a must. Like you guys I’m always looking to improve my game and find ways to better my score next time around. If you are not currently reflecting on your performance you’re not maximising your learning potential. The only way that we can get better is by learning from our mistakes and practicing ways to improve that part of our game.
Since I first started playing this game I have been encouraged to take statistics from my round and reflect on them. When I was about 16 I was selected for the Wales development training squad and attended coaching sessions on swing, game management, psychology and physiology. At the time I didn’t realise the importance of statistics but looking back now I can see why it’s so important. How do you know what to practice if you’re not learning from the shots you hit during a round of golf?
I have attached a copy of a basic stats sheet that I use and it contains everything you need to properly reflect on your performance. It contains fairways hit, greens in regulation, short game, putting, score, and comments. I have filled in an example from my game on Sunday to show you how you can fill it in and what you can learn from it. You can take my template and copy it.
After reflecting on my performance there were a few things to note. Firstly I was really pleased with my overall performance. I was not expecting much at all after such a long time off but I have been working on my ball striking on the range and luckily that transferred onto the course.
I have a new driver and it was its maiden voyage so that was both exciting and tense. Overall I hit it well and did enjoy using it. I did lose one ball left in a water hazard but that was an aggressive line on a par 5. From the tee my 3 wood was the best club. It was long enough and I didn’t miss a fairway. As a whole I would say my 3 wood is my most accurate club and I should be using it whenever possible.
I hit 13/18 greens in regulation. This means hitting a par 3 in one, a par 4 in two, a par 5 in three. I felt as though I hit the ball better than this but I will put this down to lack of on course practice. My club selection and distance control were good but my misses into greens were mainly pulls left.
My chipping is normally very reliable. I hit some really good chip shots and some sloppy ones too. Again some more on course game time would probably help tighten this up leading to more putts being holed. This leads on nicely to putting. I putted well but nothing really dropped. I shaved the edge and lipped out on a few occasions so on another day a few more might have dropped. The pace of the greens was superb and I had the pace perfectly which always helps. Hitting it closer with irons and wedges is the main aim going forward which should help me to make more birdies.
After going back over my round one of the main things is just tightening up everything overall. The only way I am going to improve this is getting on the course more often. There is a fine line between playing a good amount of golf and too much golf. Some people like having a little break between games to play with a fresh head. On the other hand some people need to be playing all the time to find good form.
Golf is a seasonal sport and you cannot play well all of the time. Any major swing changes should be made during the winter so the summer months are about playing and scoring. You can’t take more than a few swing thoughts onto the course so you need to build the feelings on the range then trust what you learn on the course.
If you don’t play well don’t worry about it. We all have good days and bad days but the most important thing is to learn from your performance. When it’s going well try to repeat it and when it’s not find out why to improve it next time. Everyday is a school day and golf is hard. Learn from your mistakes and reflect on your performance. If you struggle to remember every shot take a spare scorecard and make notes after each hole. It takes a matter of seconds and can help with your reflection afterwards.
I would like to make my coaching more holistic so I’m not just teaching you the technique for hitting a ball. If you would like me to sit down with you and break down your game ready to set up a winter programme ready for next season you know where I am.
Looking forward to hearing from you!