So you think you’re pretty smart.
You’ve even got one or two ideas on effective practice.
You don’t go through swing tip after swing tip in a fruitless search for “the one that works”.
But you might still be making a fundamental error which limits your ability to improve at golf.
Many smart golfers make the same silly mistake.
Imagine this: you’ve got a journey to make. You know where you want to go, but you’re not at all sure of the best way to get there. Each way has its advantages and drawbacks. You’re struggling to work out how best to get there. You spend ages researching it, but you still can’t decide. In the end, you decide to take the bus instead of driving.
But when you get on the bus, it becomes clear it doesn’t follow a direct route. As it meanders through village after village, you realise it’s far from the express service which was advertised. In fact, you’re now farther from your destination than you were when you started. You know the bus will get there in the end, but…
…you start to get frustrated.
Then the bus stops at a train station. You check the name, and realise it’s on the same line as your destination. It’s also on the same line as your home station – just two stops in the wrong direction. Cursing your decision-making, you hop off the bus, buy a train ticket and wait. Although you’re frustrated by the time and money you wasted by taking the bus, you’re happy you’ve now made the right decision. As soon as the train arrives, you’ll be on your way once more with the frustrations of the bus journey behind you.
But where is the train?
Shouldn’t be here by now? An announcement apologises for the delay, explaining there are extensive engineering works on the line. You’re frustrated (and questioning your decision to get off the bus) when it eventually arrives. You breathe a sigh of relief…and then realise you’ve been too hasty. The train limps along at half pace, stopping so frequently that by the time you should’ve arrived at your destination you’ve only reached your home station. Frustrated and unhappy, you alight once more, dashing home to get the car…
…only to get stuck in traffic.
The worst journey ever? Undoubtedly. Had you just picked one mode of transport and stuck with it, you would’ve arrived by now. Although your progress seemed slow, moving from one mode of transport to another meant you never moved forward, only sideways.
Is this a contrived story? Perhaps. Would you really switch from one mode of transport to another at the first sign of frustration, even when you were no closer to your destination? Maybe you wouldn’t.
But many golfers make this very mistake.
Desperate to improve at golf, they spend ages researching theory after theory. They invest precious time and money in one system, one idea, one school of thought…only to lose it all when, frustrated by lack of progress, they move onto another instructor, another school of thought, another theory. Had they simply had the courage of their convictions, their goal would have been far better served by persistence.
There are many roads to better golf.
I’m not suggesting you never make a change. Each method has their advantages and disadvantages; some will suit you better than others. So it is important to have a good idea of how you learn and which teaching style and underlying philosophy is most congruent with that before you start looking for a teacher.
And you might get it wrong…so it is important to review your decision if things aren’t going as you hoped. If you can’t see how the route you’ve chosen will take you where you want to go, then you should make a change.
Because if it’s the latter, you’re hopping from a bus to a train…and that might not even be enough.
You’ve got “Shortcut Syndrome”….and it’s in danger of ruining your golf game.
If you believe there’s a method out there, somewhere which means you’ll skip all of the hard work, cruise to the top without breaking a sweat, then all you’re ever going to do is hop from one idea to another, desperately hoping this one is “The One”.
This path leads only one place: Frustrationville, population: you.
Well, you and every other person making the same mistake. At least you won’t be lonely…
I know it’s not easy to resist. After all, there’s a substantial industry vying to convince you that their product, their idea is The One. Marketers want you to believe you can buy a golf game through buying clubs, and buy backspin by paying for a certain ball.
There isn’t just one route to improve at golf.
There isn’t even just one route for you.
If you can see you’re going to get there eventually, does it really matter how long it will take? Chasing shortcuts often makes the journey longer. Because when you move from one school of thought to another, you lose the time, effort and money you’ve invested thus far. Are you going to gain enough to compensate for what you’re losing?
Just because the grass looks greener on the other fairway, doesn’t mean it is.
Why not learn to enjoy the ride?
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