For those that want a more in depth view of my thoughts and approach to improving my game here it is:

These softer shots go against my natural instincts. After reflection I have decided to add them to my arsenal, hoping they will add a new dimension to my game. First things first,

I have learned to automate my “aggressive game”. I can tee my ball up anywhere, hit the autopilot button and play reasonably well. This step is what the vast majority of golfers don’t do. My advice? Learn to automate!

Prydie, I’m pretty sure that you have missed this point – you are always in thinking mode. Automatic is vitally important because:

  • It allows you to find your natural swing
  • You can play your best golf with what you’ve got
  • You have a solid foundation to work from

If you miss this step I believe you’ll never be able to play your best golf. You’ll get a mixed bag of results with most of it being ordinary. The first step? Learn to automate (sorry for repeating myself – but it is really important).

Once automatic has become comfortable you’ll know with certainty what your natural tendencies are. This now makes it easier to improve your game. This is like reverse engineering the problem but is highly effective.

In my case I know that I’m not as good as I can be with the finesse shots. So I’ve got to learn a new shot. Please keep in mind that I’m not rebuilding my swing or getting confused with an array of technical thoughts – I’m simply learning to hit the ball with a slower and more controlled swing – I’m changing gears so to speak. My objective is to use my normal swing but swing with more finesse. A simple objective and one I know I can handle. I’m not rebuilding my swing.

This process does require some thought. I’m not automatic at this stage. Yesterday’s round went like this:

I was automatic on all the tee shots – I just did what I always do – swing my driver freely at the ball.
On all shorter iron shots I geared back and played a softer shot. I was thinking about this – I even had a practice swing or two (I don’t normally do this). Because I was thinking about what I was doing I didn’t perform that well. I didn’t feel comfortable and I played some awful shots. Unfortunately this is part of the process.

But (and this is important Prydie)

I will eventually make the finesse shots automatic. I will not think about what I’m doing and analyse forever – I will follow the same process that I use for my long game and putting. How long will this take? I’m not sure. When I can make 8 out of 10 successful shots in practice I know I’ll be getting close. In the meantime I get to play golf and work on ONE part of my game. I’m not trying to rebuild the lot.

Prydie, for what it’s worth here’s my opinion on your game.

You do not have major technical flaw in your game. Yes, you hit the odd bad shot but so does everyone. You are good at making stories up about your game and these are what are holding you back. You must learn to let go and play. Doing so will unlock your true genius and give you an insight into your natural game. Automatic will always be the first step – improvement comes after automatic – not before.

Leave your thoughts below – I’d like to hear them.