What does it take to improve your golf game continually?
You have probably heard golfers talk about the value of hard work and dedication. What does it mean to be dedicated?
Dedication is a driving force that empowers golfers to persist when faced with adversity, challenge themselves daily, work towards their goals, and continually strive for excellence.
When you lack dedication, you will lose your motivation after failing to see the rewards and quick results from your practice and training. For example, most golfers are excited at the beginning of the season.
They are positive, confident, and have high hopes for the season. These golfers usually work hard, but when improvement is slow, they lose their focus and back off in practice.
They often give up any mental or technique training that was a part of their regimen early in the season. When you lack dedication, your results will be inconsistent and minimal.
Dedication is not about spending more time on the golf course but making the most of your time. You can dedicate a lot of time to golf, but that doesn’t mean more time is beneficial.
True dedication is a combination of consistent effort and maximum focus. Without focus, you will end up reinforcing bad habits.
- Making your time count – Take advantage of your opportunities to improve during practices and training.
- Be focused when practicing – Focused efforts and repetition improve your technical skills.
- Practice with purpose – Have a practice goal before training sessions.
- Work on your mental game – Mental skills can take your game from good to great.
- Replicate competitive situations during practice – Create scenarios you may face during competitive rounds to help reduce pressure in similar competitive circumstances.
- Evaluate your practice and competition performance – Assessing progress or areas needing improvement is crucial to development.
- Add visualization into the mix – Visualization is a proven strategy to build skills more quickly by mentally rehearsing yourself performing those skills successfully.
LPGA golfer Rose Zhang has an impressive golf resume including:
- 2019 Toyota Junior World Cup Champion
- 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion
- 2021 U.S. Girls’ Junior Champion
- 2022 and 2023 NCAA Championship
- 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur Champion
- 2023 Mizuho Americas Open Champion (Zhang’s first tournament as a professional)
Zhang credits her success and consistency to her dedication to the game and elite level of preparation.
ZHANG: “I would never say golf is exactly a natural sport. I think it requires a lot of dedication and a lot of hard work to be able to play well mechanically and technically, but I will say that I love the process. I love being able to go out there and work on my game every single day. That’s kind of what I really thrived on. Spending hours and hours on the range, hours on the putting green, chipping green, you name it.”
Dedication starts with a decision.
Obviously, you want to build and improve your game continually. The question is, “Am I willing to dedicate myself to my goals?”
Your positive decisions will impact your actions and set you forth on the road to achievement.
Make a self-contract. In your contract, define the terms by writing 3-5 specific ways you will work towards your goals. For example, “I will dedicate 20 minutes a day to improving my mental game” or “I will write down two practice goals and evaluate my play after each practice.”
To hold yourself accountable, sign and date the contract.
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- Your Expectation Affects Your Golf Game
- How Short-term Goals Helps You Focus
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