How Tinkering Can Harm Your Game
What leads to better scores on the golf course?
Are better scores achieved by improving your swing or improving your mental game?
In our golf survey, a golfer expressed his biggest concern and requested help with figuring out the best method to improve his golf game.
“Each year I start tweaking my swing or setup. The overall goal is to improve, but am I causing more harm than good?”
Lower scores are always the goal for golfers. The big question is “What is the most effective method to achieve lower scores on a consistent basis?
Improving your swing or setup is one way to lower your score but it is not always the most effective strategy to improve your score.
Tweaking your swing can pay off in lowering your score. Tweaking is taking one aspect of your swing and altering it a bit with the hopes of a more efficient stroke.
For example, a slight tweak in your grip can help you eliminate hooking the ball. Unfortunately, sometimes that tweak continues to be worked on throughout the season leading to inconsistent results.
However, several problems can occur when you are a tinkerer and constantly change your swing, grip, stance, or setup.
Tweaking can turn into tinkering. Tinkering with your swing is when you try a little bit of this and a little bit of that throughout the season. Every time you don’t see results immediately, you will try something else.
For example, you learned the 10-finger grip when you started playing golf.
After a while, you see a plateau in your scores. You change your grip to an interlocking grip but it never seems to feel comfortable. You decide an overlapping grip may be best but you don’t see any improvement. So you try altering your stance to determine if that will help.
Keep in mind that every time your make a change in your swing, you’ll lose trust in it until your form a new habit. Making changes is actually a long-term project.
To form a new habit or have your swing become “muscle memory” takes between 30-60 days depending on the golfer and changes. During this time, your body is stuck between swings, which leads to inconsistency.
Improve Your Game With Mental Training
One way to improve consistency without tinkering is to work on improving your mental game, an aspect of golf that is overlooked by most golfers.
Your mental game can help you improve your confidence, play with trust, sharpen your focus, keep your emotions in check, immerse you in the moment, reduce anxiety, improve learning and, most importantly, build trust in your swing.
If you do make swing changes, the off season or preseason is the time to make the changes. As a guideline, give yourself 60 days of daily reps to form a new habit.
Mental training is not for everyone, but most competitive golfers look for the mental edge when they compete.