How can you achieve a breakout season?
Most golfers think overhauling their swing or spending endless hours trying to gain 20-30 yards off the tee will vault them to a higher level of performance.
Overhauling your golf swing or major adjustments to your golf game may not be the best strategy for improving your golf score.
For one, overhauling your swing takes a lot of time. Many golfers have little patience for seeing results.
When you don’t reap immediate rewards for your efforts, you will continue tinkering with your mechanics throughout the season. Your swing will constantly be “a work in progress.”
In addition, solely focusing on adding distance to your drives may cause you to neglect other components of your game. For example, you may spend most of your practice time reworking your tee shots that you neglect your short game.
If results are negligible after several weeks, you may become so frustrated that you eventually abandon working on your swing altogether.
However, dedicating yourself to the often-overlooked smaller details can produce significant results.
Some of the finer details include:
- Reducing your technical focus to 1-2 points, such as grip or posture.
- Developing a consistent preshot routine to prevent overthinking, improve your focus, and calm your nerves.
- Visualizing successfully performing your shot before swinging the club.
- Learning 1-2 quick relaxation strategies to relieve tension when your muscles tighten during a round.
- Learning how to release the last shot and refocus on your next task.
- Tending to your fitness, flexibility, diet, rest, and mental game.
- Creating pressure scenarios in practice that mimic potential competitive scenarios.
Let’s look at the impact of an attention-to-the-details mindset on performance.
Jimmy Stanger had his best season on the Korn Ferry Tour, capturing his first career win at the 2023 Compliance Solutions Championship. By placing 15th in the Korn Ferry Tour’s final points standings, Stanger earned his PGA Tour Card for the 2023-24 season.
Stanger spent five years in pursuit of getting to the PGA Tour, and he achieved his goal by honing in on the little things that combine to make a big impact.
STANGER: “You’re not going to get much out of this game unless you’re willing to put the time and effort into doing so. I had five years of experience kind of doing the same thing frozen, just missing onto the PGA Tour…I really just tried to take a look at my habits and see what I could do better, see the areas that I could be a top-25 golfer in my practice or in my sleep or in my diet.”
Paying attention to the other parts of his performance improvement paid big dividends for Stanger and helped him earn eight straight top-30 finishes in a 3-month span.
STANGER: “The mindset doesn’t change when I win or whenever I get the PGA Tour card. It’s still what are the little things that I can do right day in and day out that will lead to success down the road.. I just want to see progress and continue to grow in those areas and trust that the results will follow.”
Rarely does success occur in leaps. More often, success results from the combination of small improvements added up over time. The “little things’ in golf add up to produce significant results.
Commit to focusing on 2-3 smaller aspects of your game.
Write down those focal areas on your cellphone under the labels Focus #1, Focus #2, and Focus #3.
Assess your progress at the end of each day, then recommit to the process for the next day.
Remember to work on these little things daily and be patient with your progress.
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- Playing Golf One Shot at a Time
- Your Expectation Affects Your Golf Game
- How Short-term Goals Helps You Focus
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