The only golf tip you need …

It’s not trying to swing slowly. Or,
Keeping your head down or even
Swinging on plane.

These things are tricks and they rarely work that well. It’s sad because a lot of the golf industry is built around these golf tips (especially the magazines).

At best, most golf tips will give you a short spell of joy. But it won’t last. You’ll then be forced to look for the next magic cure. Once you start jumping from tip to tip you enter the uncomfortable merry-go-round of golf improvement.

My golf tip today is simple. Nothing fancy and certainly no magic (although you will see improvement in your game).

What is it?

Play more.

If you play once per week see if you can squeeze another hit in. If you only play monthly, a second game will work wonders.

Why does this work?

Because the more you play the better you’ll become at it.

I know it sounds obvious but think about this for a second…

If you go to the driving range and hit 50 balls you’re really only getting better at hitting 50 balls at the range. If you’re doing swing drills in the garage you’re only improving your ability at doing swing drills.

Practice needs to be relevant. And there’s nothing more relevant than venturing out onto the golf course. You’ll get better at “playing golf”.

Hitting your tee shots in play.
Sinking those pressure putts more often.
Eradicating yourself from trouble spots.
Learning to get a score on the board.

I know all this sounds obvious but it’s my experience that too many golfers neglect this obvious lesson. They get caught up in swing technique and keep looking for those quick-fixes. They forget to play the game.

But I’m already maxed out. I can’t play anymore golf…

If you’re already playing 3 or 4 times per week and don’t think this will work for you then think again. You’ve gotta play smarter.

You need to become more focused because I can bet my last buck that you’re not,

– picking a clearly defined target
– swinging freely without fear or concern
– hitting the shots you know you can hit

Each shot needs your full attention and you’ve got to approach the game with a sense of childlikeness. You’ve got to work out what you want to do but then have a carefree attitude about the outcome.

Learning to truly “play golf” cuts through the garbage. You’re no longer concerned about the rough, score or handicap. And you couldn’t give a stuff about “how” you play. Your mission is to get the ball into the hole in the least number of strokes.

If your 2015 golfing adventure hasn’t gotten off to the best start then start playing more. It the best golfing tip I can give because it’s the only way I know you can improve your golf while reducing your practice time…

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7 Comments

  • Adam

    Reply Reply February 7, 2015

    I think you need to be result oriented if you are to get results. If you dont care about the outcome, youll never improve. I believe the driving range is target practice. Try and knock down the flag. im not indicating that what cameron is saying is hitting random balls. Far from it. Im saying that it doesnt make sense to me to be non result focused. This may work for someone whos hit a lot of good shots in their life, but for someone whos under 30 and who is looking for lasting improvement, I dont believe it will work. It certainly didnt for me. If you want to improve your score, try to shoot a lower score. If you want to chip better, try and get the ball closer.

    there is also a thinking aspect that cameron doesnt mention. How must I play this hole to birdie? How must I get out of this situation to minimize the damage? Cameron never mentions these things. Not that he doesnt understand, but he never mentions it.

    Basically, to be result oriented is to get results.

    Not that cameron is wrong, im speaking through my own experience and of studying learning. Not trying to criticize, but I am stating my opinion.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 7, 2015

      Adam, I talk a lot about being very clear of your intention. This is the same as having a result in mind.

      You MUST have a clear goal on each shot otherwise you’ll never play your best.

      You also can’t let your goal, desire or result distract you from playing freely.

      Choose a shot.
      Swing freely.
      Repeat.

  • Adam

    Reply Reply February 13, 2015

    I read this again, and now I know what you mean. Swing without Fear or concern about the result, which means accepting it. Not play without concern. Obviously you have to have a target, a way of getting there, then you try to get it there in a free manner. makes sense now. I thought you meant play without concern. Which I disagreed with. But I misunderstood what you meant. So apparently im on the right tracK now.

    One last thing. Shot 53 for 9 sunday. Basically I havent played much in my life, maybe 30 real rounds. So im doing good for someone whos only played a few rounds, once every other month. My best has been 44 for 9. Seems I have potential. Will keep you updated.

  • Grayden Provis

    Reply Reply February 17, 2015

    Cameron said: “You also can’t let your goal, desire or result distract you from playing freely”

    Thats exactly it. The goal sits in the back of the mind but on the day you just back yourself and swing. You may or may not reach your goal that day but bringing it to the front of your mind sure wouldn’t have helped – it would just make you tighten up. This is the great paradox of golf and any endeavour for that matter: you have to give up control to get control. When you understand that you’re well on your way. Unfortunately the traditional golf teaching model DOESN’T understand that and tells people they have to MANUALLY control every part of their swing in order to have a good swing. It can’t be done and trying to achieve it just dooms you to a lifetime of frustration. Stop breaking the golf swing down into parts and “feel the whole shot” as you stand there waggling and looking at your target. Jack Nicklaus likened it to “watching a movie” of the shot in his mind before he played the shot. Thats not quite the right imagery for me because the whole thing happens in a split second. A friend calls it “the lights go green” which I quite like as well. Its a hard concept to articulate but once you get it golf is never the same again. You’re finally free to PLAY.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 19, 2015

      Thanks for your comments GP. I learned a lot about this from a mentor of mine. He played at coached Hockey at the International level (including the Olympics) and said,

      “Set your goals away from the field of play and keep them in your top drawer. You can look at them every now and then but they’re not there to continually distract you”

      Re Nicklaus: Some people struggle to visualise (I certainly do) but it’s still a good way to figure out what you want to do. And it does happen quickly. The more you do it the quicker it becomes. It’s almost like you train yourself to SEE (or feel) exactly what you want to do and get on with it. No stuffing around. No room for self-doubt. You’re just playing.

      I wish more golfers (especially the pros) could learn to play this way because if nothing else it speeds up the pace of play. All this thinking, all this analysis and treating golf like it’s really really important has seen golf become a very slow (and boring) sport to watch.

  • Adam

    Reply Reply February 18, 2015

    My basic goal in my game is to shoot the lowest score possible. BEFORE I hit the ball, I think about how I should play the hole, and what I can do to minimize damage if I screw up. If I screw up, I have options, but it’s preferred if I have more than 2 options. If not, then I can deal with it and move on with a bogey or such. I believe that thought should be done before you hit the thing, not while. For instance, what are you thinking when you hit a rock with a stick towards a target? Basically, you choose a target, you aim, and hit. Not a big deal. Of course golf requires a bit of reason, because if you’re in the trees and you try to go for a big hook to get the ball on the green, you really have a small percentage of pulling it off. But if you chip out, you minimize the damage. So it does require a bit of reason. But while youre hitting it should be as natural as speaking or throwing.

    Basically, I prefer not hitting balls on the range unless im trying target practice. Otherwise, id rather play on the course.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 19, 2015

      Adam: I reckon you’ll get more success if you focus your mind on “what do I want to achieve?” or “where do I want the ball to go?”

      I also think that what shot you hit will come to you more quickly the more you play. You might find a conservative strategy gives you the most bang for your buck. From here you can become more adventurous and try new stuff – but day in and day out I think more golfers will get better results if they hit the easiest shot, not the pretty one.

      Cam

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