I have a 16-year-old son who is on the high school golf team and also works at a local country club. He is on fire about taking his game to the next level with the ultimate goal of playing golf in college. I am extremely proud of him! For years we have played together and I haven’t offered much advice except for one time when we bet on a round. He needed to 2-putt on the 18th green from 20 feet to tie me in a bet we made. If I won, he would owe me 5 car washes. If he won, I would buy him a new pair of fancy sneakers.
To make the story short, I played a little gamesmanship with him and asked him something about his breathing while putting. He ended up 3-putting and from then, he started asking me about developing mental toughness for his golf game. And yes, my car looks pretty clean right now!
Flash forward to today and he is soaking up everything I can give him. Awww, that really warms my heart!
I think the biggest piece of advice that I am helping him with is in taking full advantage of his strengths. This applies to you just as much and here’s what I mean….
He’s undersized compared to the other kids (sorry about those genes I passed on) and so he is not going to overpower any golf course. Therefore, devoting whatever time he has to building his game is NOT going to pay off much if he works on his long game. On the other hand, right behind his house is a school yard where he can chip and pitch to his heart’s delight whenever he wants.
If you have Break 80 Without Practice, you know how I have explained about how chipping is the most efficient way to drop strokes because the improvement works it’s way through all parts of your game.
Also, I have provided him with a number of top pros from the past and present who have won pretty much because of short-game wizardry. My favorite of all time is Paul Runyon who used to beat Sam Snead regularly while being outdriven by 50 yards!
Next, we have devised a strategy where he is turning himself into the best bad-weather player in our area. I had asked him how often that his competition was played in wet conditions and he said about 50%. Bingo! Most golfers use bad weather as an excuse to have a bad attitude and lose focus. I told him: “What if you went out there in the bad weather and got all excited about it? Like it was a huge advantage?”
This game is mostly mental. You can’t deny it. Get the fundamentals, strive for repeatability and then clear your mind of garbage. That’s the formula for a low score.
What if you had an advantage or two over your buddies every time you went out? Or just believed you did? Wouldn’t that create confidence? Bob Rotella wrote a whole book called: “Golf is a game of confidence”
Haven’t you ever looked at a putt and just had a very certain thought or feeling that you KNEW it was going to go in? That’s confidence.
What if you believed that you were a cut above every average golfer out there in:
100 yard approach shots?
Keeping the ball in play?
No balloon scores, EVER!
Find your strength or create one now. Work that area hard…harder than the others and don’t worry so much about the other parts of your game for awhile. Develop a true foundation for confidence in your game and then work out from there.
I think you have something untapped there for your game. Go get it!
I’d love to see some ideas for an advantage us golfers can create over our competition.
Put them in the comment section below.
Greens and fairways,