Improve Your Score On The Links

You have read a million articles on how to improve your score in golf and none of them helped. So what makes this one any different?

Courtesy of Golf Lions
Courtesy of Golf Lions

The difference is that many golf articles preach what I like to call the “quick fix”

The quick fix in golf is when you hit a bad ball and automatically think “my elbow was bent too much,” so the next time you swing, you over-exaggerate the elbow stiffness to fix your swing.

This might give you a quick reassurance, but?it covers up the real problem and that is your mind. We try to overdo things and convince ourselves that a problem may exist. Therein lies the problem. All the time you spent telling yourself that it was your elbow, you created a thicker barrier to the solution. Those thoughts only serve as more fuel for bad golf.

Just don’t think.

You are probably saying “well that’s obvious but idealistic.” When I say “don’t think,” I mean “only think about where the shot will go.” Don’t worry yourself by saying “man, I can’t go in the water, I can’t go in the water,” because more often than not?that is exactly where?that shot will?go. In the water.

The relationship between mind and swing is give and take. The problem for many people is that they “take” their mind off of the goal by thinking about the hazards. Golf is a sport where you have to put one foot in front of the other and walk in a straight line. It sounds easy but it couldn’t be more difficult. It’s like Arnold Palmer said,

“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.”

Think of your swing as a favorite old car

Imagine this car you own is old and rusty, but you treasure it dearly because it reminds you of the old days. Unfortunately for you your car blew another coil and it’s the?fourth time it has happened to you. Instead of finally parting ways with your old rusty car you keep putting money into it so that it keeps going.

This is exactly what your golf?swing is?like. The car (swing) continues to break down endlessly and you keep repairing it. The golf swing is so similar because it’s our first instinct to fix something on the course over and over again. So what’s the solution?

The solution is don’t keep “fixing” your swing.

I know you are probably thinking “who let this guy out of the loony bin?” I don’t mean literally never fix your swing, I mean don’t try to fix it on the course, because by the end of your round?you will have had so many fixes that you are more confused than when you started. I know we want to fix our swing to improve on the course and nearly?everyone does it, even me. Consistently fixing a swing is like putting a patch on an old tire. Instead of getting a new tire with fresh tread, we keep trying to repair the old one.

The “I Wish Paradigm”

This paradigm is essentially thinking about the previous shot. Take a second to figure out whether or not you have thought about?a previous bad shot, like a missed putt. I can guarantee that everybody has done it. This only clouds your?current shot and makes your depicted image blurry.

Too many of us step into the next tee box and instead of thinking about our drive landing in the fairway, our mind is still on the?five foot birdie putt we missed. Not only can?you not change it, it will continue to affect your game through the following holes. One bad shot leads to another when your mind is thinking about the previous shot. It’s like when you are sitting in a meeting and your physical body is there but your mind is elsewhere. In golf, 50% attention isn’t good enough.

Stop expecting perfection

The greatest and most common saying in golf is that everybody on the course makes mistakes no matter how good they are, but that the champions make better mistakes.

For the most?part this is true. In golf you can’t hit every single ball and expect that exact same result to manifest. Sometimes it works out that way, but other times it does not. The expectation of perfection in golf is highly idealistic. The idea that one can hit a small white ball to the exact intended position is hokum. I know many people say that you have to strive for perfection and think that you can do it.

While that is all good for motivation, when it comes down to golf, this only creates a clouded image and a bad shot. Because you think that a shot that doesn’t land directly on the green with a favorable lie?two feet from the pin, is considered a bad shot. We all get lucky but the perfection ideal in golf just doesn’t happen.

The best gear doesn’t equal the most skill

Many golfers tend to over-estimate their skill many times over. The reason is because they want to seem like they have the best gear therefore they are the best golfer. Just because you have the best gear doesn’t mean that you are the best man on the course.

Don’t over-estimate your skill.

If you average a handicap of +15 or greater on 18 holes then my suggestion is to?buy yourself forgiving irons, which have a large back cavity and a heavier weight. Stop buying expensive balls and opt for distance balls, which compress easily on the club face. These are low compression distance balls such as the Noodle Long and Soft or Wilson Titanium.

All in all you can become a better golfer and greatly improve your score, but not without a clear mind and a clear image.


Tanner Bisbee hails from the great State of Maine. He's a full time college student and serves on the football staff at school. His most notable work to date is his book Modern Day Sports Blog. To read more check out my blog