Here’s a great lesson to kick off 2018.

I’ve been coaching a young kid for the last six months and we’re making progress. It has been slow because a lot of the time he likes to make things complicated and hasn’t learned the art of “keeping things simple”. Also, he was closed off to self-reflection and didn’t know how to analyse his game. Here’s a case in point.

In one of his first tournaments with me he shot 89. It wasn’t a great start and he was certainly frustrated with his score.

Me: What did you learn today?
Kid: I don’t know.
Me: What could you have done differently today?
Kid: I don’t know.
Me: Work with me here mate! I’m trying to help you…

When we went through his round it was clear, without doing anything special, he could have shot 76. And this gave him a confidence boost because he realised he was actually playing much better than he thought. Without the reflection he thought he was hopeless, playing poorly and wasting his dad’s money.

Side note: I’m convinced after doing this coaching stuff for over 20 years that you are rarely playing as poorly as you think you are. And, the path to better scores is actually a lot easier than you think.

Here’s just some of the ideas I was able to beat out of him with some conversational coaching. These are areas that ALL golfers can make significant strides with.

– Aiming away from tough pins
– Learning to relax on the greens and getting great at two-putting (you just can’t hole that many putts. It’s a reality that most are blind to)
– Stressing less about making all putts – just get the first putt close and then tap it in (simple attitude that simplifies the process)
– Getting wedge shots onto the green where previously he was thinking/believing he needed to stick it close
– Getting more focused before ALL shots. (This has had a profound impact on him and I’m willing to bet will work well for you too)
– Striving to play the simplest and easiest shot each time. (again, has worked so well)
– Trusting his favourite tee shot and needing a really good reason NOT to hit it (in his last tournament, his best ever, he was so good at this that he made all the other kids look average. Despite playing with bigger and stronger kids, his driving was exceptional)

None of the above requires any major swing or technical changes. It all comes down to mindset and you have full control. i.e you can do this no matter how you’re playing, where you’re playing, the weather or how big the event. If you have the discipline you can do this ALL THE TIME.

And here’s something else:

I’m willing you can absolutely exhaust these options and still not get to the bottom of how good you can be.

Things like swing tweaks, equipment changes and all the other rubbish golfers go on with can be ignored. At least for now – when you feel you have truly simplified and gotten the most from your game, you can look at swing changes etc. In fact, when you have simplified and mastered playing more smart, swing changes become way more easier.

Here’s the bottom line: Some honest self reflection can easily bring you the results you want. Golf improvement can be as easy or as hard as you want it. It’s easy to go off on the technical tangents and get lost in the merry-go-round that is golf teaching. Or you can learn to back yourself and play a little smarter.

The choice is yours.

Golf coaching: If you’d like to explore this line of golf coaching further and really discover how simple and easy golf improvement can be, book in for a golf learning session with me on the Sunshine Coast.