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Kicking Your Game into Gear

by | Feb 12, 2024 | Blog

Written by: Brendon Elliot

 

As the days start to get longer, it’s natural for us to begin dreaming of warmer days ahead and the golf we hope to play. We also tend to reflect on where we may have come up short the year before, and use this time to think about how to fix everything wrong with our swing. 

If you are a golfer, you are bound to put working on and improving your game near the top of your list of priorities going into the spring season. But sometimes, despite our best intentions, we default back to what we’re comfortable with rather than committing to a change. Instead, set yourself up for success with these simple tools to help you improve your game. 

 

K.I.S.S.

This is by far one of the best pieces of advice that have ever been given. K.I.S.S. is an acronym that stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. Golfers often overthink the game. That is not at all a hard thing to do. After all, when you break things down, all the components of the game, there is  a lot to know. That can get overwhelming, no matter what level golfer you are. 

The trick is to break things down with your game into as few areas as possible to work on. Don’t allow too many thoughts in your head at once. 

That notion is especially true when you are playing on the course. All you really need to think about on the course is keep it moving forward. Get the ball into the hole, by any means necessary, in the fewest shots. It doesn’t need to look pretty, so stop trying to analyze each and every shot. Once a shot is hit, move on to the next. 

 

Take Regular Lessons…Better Yet, Get a Coach

Taking lessons will absolutely help you get better. There is no question about it. Yet less than 20% of golfers take them. Even fewer have a regular coach that they go see. 

The world of instruction and coaching has changed dramatically since the pandemic. There are countless ways now to interact with a coach on a regular basis that won’t break the bank or take up too much time. In fact, little consistent touches, and interactions with a coach is often the best way of going about things. With apps such as V1 GOLF, and countless others, you can record a swing while you practice at the range, are playing a round, or swing at home in your pj’s. You can then send that video to your coach and get the feedback you are seeking very quickly. It really is a whole new world with many opportunities to improve your game with relative ease and convenience. 

 

Do Your Research…Learn The Lingo & Understand Key Concepts

I am a massive proponent of golfers becoming “students of the game.” What I mean by that is I want them to truly understand key concepts in golf. Ball flight laws, how to shape shots, cause and effect relationships with swing path and clubface…these are all concepts that if you understand, you can elevate your potential tenfold. 

It is my philosophy to move students through this process…

  • First understand key concepts and movements.
  • Then understand what a good swing, chip, pitch, bunker shot, and putt looks like.
  • Understand what their swing and current technique looks like, intimately.
  • Work with me to move their swing as close as possible to what a good swing should look like, while understanding their own limitations.
  • Learn to take their game to the course, using their own personal toolbox.
  • Learn how to PLAY golf to their capabilities.

 

Stats and Data Reign Supreme

Stats and data rule the day in modern golf. There is so much technology available today, and at affordable prices too. Learning those key concepts I mentioned previously, can eventually be married with data such as clubhead speed, ball speed, swing path in relation to the target, clubface in relation to the swing path, spin rate, and so, so much more. 

That data, and more importantly, your trends in data truly paint a picture for you on what you are doing now, and where you need to go. With or without a coach…but preferably, with one, you can use data to achieve great things. Make your life easier and use an app like Roundabout to automatically track your stats as you play, and then organize your data in an easy to digest way. 

Another area of data and stat keeping that can help you tremendously is in recording your rounds. Keeping stats such as the following can again paint a picture of your game, which will allow you to see where you truly need to focus your efforts in order to improve. 

  • Fairways in Regulation
  • Greens in Regulation
  • Up and Down Percentage
  • Number of Putts Per Round
  • A countless other stats…

 

Finally, you need to get to know your yardages. Knowing what your carry distance is with each club is critical data to have. I would advise doing this at least once a month. You can use a personal radar such as the Rapsodo MLM2PRO and hit ten shots with each club in your bag. Throw out your high and low distances to get an average carry distance you hit each club. For your longer clubs, you can get a total distance as well in addition to the carry distance.

Take an index card, write or type your clubs in order, then put the corresponding carry and total distance next to each. Laminate that card, punch a hole in the corner, and clip it to your golf bag for quick reference. Or use an app like Roundabout to save your club data digitally so it never gets lost or damaged. 

 

You can get better in 2024! Following some of the suggestions above can help get you to where you want to be! Good luck!

  

PGA Professional Brendon Elliott is a multiple award-winning Golf Professional based in Central Florida. He is the 2017 PGA of America’s National Youth Player Development Award Winner and is the recipient of more than 25 other industry awards with a Brendon Elliot Headshot focus on Coaching & Education. He is considered by his peers as an industry expert on topics ranging from Jr. Golf Development to Operations to Industry Sustainability. He is the founder of the Little Linksters Golf Academies and the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development, a 501c3 nonprofit also based out of Central Florida. Brendon is also a freelance golf writer for PGA.com, Golf Range Magazine and several other golf websites and blogs. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. You can learn more about Brendon at BrendonElliott.com and Little Linksters at littlelinksters.com.

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