Playing Consistent Golf

Consistency – that is the number one request I hear from my students.  It can be said that good thinking leads to good golf.  Below is an example of good thinking you can use to gain it; after all, consistent thinking will lead to a consistent Golf game.

Step 1:  Pre-shot

Prior to playing your shot and standing so the ball is directly between you and the target, determine the following:

  • Assess the LIE as this will help determine a practical target to choose.
  • Where – Where do you want the ball to go (Target)
  • What flight and/or roll – How do you want it to get there (Imagine ball roll or flight and roll)
  • What club – Decide which club will do that best for the situation (Experiment)
  • What impact orientation for situation and lie – Determine how the clubface must impact the ball to create the shot (Club Mechanics)
  • How to Move – Move the club accordingly (Attempt in practice swing to get a “Go” signal for moving the club appropriate for the shot. Sense motion to get intended club mechanics – trust your senses)
    • Careful here, ALWAYS ALLOW yourself to do anything necessary to accomplish club movement – NO RULES for how to move! This is your own Golf swing and it may not look or feel like anyone else.  Be the creative individual you are!
    • The key intent is to get the job done with the club to the ball to get the ball to the target, not to make a perfect swing.
    • Emotional Forecast – Imagine and sense emotionally how you will feel after you perfectly execute the shot.

Step 2:  Play the shot

  1. Aim the clubface
  2. Align your body, get comfortable
  3. GO!  Do what you “sensed”.  Now is the time to GO!  Trust what you sensed as you sensed it for good reasons and there is nothing left to do but find out if it works!  If you don’t like something, step away from the ball and back to your pre-shot position to re-evaluate, then Play the shot beginning with Aim the clubface.

Feel Confidence, Trust, Ready, Embrace the moment, smile…… ENJOY!

Step 3:  Post Shot

  • Evaluate result (What happened to the ball) CELEBRATE SUCCESS! Be neutral if result does not “match” to what you wanted
  • Adjust (if necessary) to improve club mechanics

Repeat the above sequence of Pre-shot, Play the Shot and Post Shot from now on for every shot you play and you will be consistent!

4 thoughts on “Playing Consistent Golf

  1. I just came across your site, and this is a great post. I like to say to my friends “I can par any hole on any course, I just can’t do it in the same round“.

    I always seem to wind up with the same score. Some days I’m just playing bogey golf. Other days, I get a birdie or two but then offset that with an eight.

    The other day I had a great drive. Then on my approach shot I shanked terribly. I turned to my playing partner and said “that shot should have never happened, there’s no excuse for it“. I’m hoping a set up routine like this helps me stay focused and consistent.

    My biggest fear is that people get frustrated that I take extra time for a couple of practice swings lining things up and everything else.

    • Thank you for your comment, ajl. I suggest streamlining your pre-shot routine to the point that you can commit to the shot within 15 seconds of choosing the shot you want to play and club you will use, that way you will have time to “reboot” should you get distracted and have to begin again. You can save time by limiting the rehearsal swing to one (see Davis Love III for an example), or two/three in continuous motion (see Jordan Spieth for an example).

  2. Hi Professor Martin,
    This is great and I look foward to working with this routine on my every shot. I will keep you updated on my progress.

    Thanks for all your time and help!

    • Thank you for your comment, Eddie. You are welcome and I hope you see improvements in you performance in the near future. Keep us posted if you find new shortcuts to your playing process. Looking forward, Ken

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