How to really improve at golf this weekend

And it’s not what you think…read on

1. You’ve been doing it all wrong

In case you didn’t know, it is standard knowledge in the golf world that average scores for golfers have not lowered in 60 years.  We have improved clubs, equipment, course grooming, and teaching methods and yet golfers are still stinking it up! In fact, many golf courses are suffering low play and declining revenues since the turn of the 21st century. I am convinced it’s because it’s so darn hard to improve and golfers throw in the towel when everything they are sold doesn’t turn into lower scores. It just gets too frustrating.

One of most difficult par 4's in Washington state

One of most difficult par 4's in Washington state at 460 yds. I was on in 2 and 3 putted.Uggh.

Personal development guru, Tony Robbins teaches that “Growth” is one of the 6 main human psychological needs. Golfers like to get that need met through the challenge of improving and when you hit an immovable roadblock, you tend to give up if it’s just a game.

I believe the biggest reasons for this failure of the typical golfer is because they try to work on too many things all at once and they ignore subtle improvements. I too was like this as I was thinking about the 10 swing “keys” I was supposed to remember for every shot that my pro taught me. What happens is that your automatic, consistent mind gets confused and then shuts off defaulting you to play the shot with your thinking mind…which rarely works.

For some reason, and I think it’s because of the brainwashing advertising of the golf industrial complex, golfers have created an expectation in their minds of being able to find magic fixes and cures to their ailing game. They think that all they need is a new driver or new putter or zip-zing wedge set. They want instant results with no effort.They want a dramatic fix and they want it now and won’t settle for anything less…totally setting themselves up for frustration and disappointment on the golf course.

Yes, I know, welcome to the human race Craig.

Well, I aim to change all that and tell you the real way to improve at golf.

The solution is to work on one simple concept at a time and don’t move onto the next one until you have it down.  One drill, one thought, one movement of the swing, one facet of putting, etc.  Isolate something that will give you the best bang for the effort right now, focus on it regularly and often, put tons of intention into it and then move on to the next one.  Here’s  some practical examples:

“Today on the course, I’m focusing on being target centered….or a consistent pre-shot routine”
“This week, for my game,  I’m thinking about improving my visualizations of hitting the sweet spot on my driver.”

I often work with folks in my office and we have a dramatic session where the client is blown away by what they learned or taught themselves in trance. They kind of walk out of the room with that deer-in-the-headlights look.  The client comes back the next week and I ask how things have changed. The client has trouble finding much. As we move on to other topics, I highlight the changes that they made in their daily life that they didn’t even recognize. Sometimes subtle and sometimes huge changes. But they didn’t recognize them as changes.

10 subtle changes in your game added up can easily mean 5 less strokes or more on your scorecard. Now that’s something! Stop the insanity of looking only for that dramatic fix and ignoring everything else.

Allow yourself to improve your game with one of my no-practice strategies at a time and you will see improvement fast. Don’t move onto the next one until you’ve fully incorporated this one. Got it? Good….now go do it.

Break 80 Without Practice is loaded with such strategies and techniques.  This is how to really improve at golf .

Want to speed up that incremental improvement? Go to Golf Hypnosis and see what all the buzz is about in the golf world.

Posted by
August 11, 2010 in Misc
  • Eyrland Nelson says:


    As I have read most of the messages and tips received from you. I can’t understand why all the pressure is put on score, When the majority of us would just enjoy the 3-4 hours and the praises we receive playing with good friends. In the small league I play in the best scores seem to appear when the foursome is upbeat and friendly. The banter most always centers on the good rather than bad and corrective criticisum based on the top 10 to success. My idea of a good golfer is someone who is enjoyable to spend a few hours with and if they score well my game most certainly improves as well.
    Remember when on holidays some of the others you golf with are also trying to have fun and score well.
    Once you are here I’m sure your family will enjoy themselves and those who meet you.


    • admin says:

      You are so right. You play your best golf when you are relaxed and having fun. Scores are a BYPRODUCT of that type of playing! Proof of that is in the fact that golfers worldwide complain that the biggest problem in golf is that they do well on the range and can’t bring it to the course. That’s because there is no scoring on the range or practice putting green.

  • My thoughts are too extensive to effectively summarize in an email, but you might look for the whole program in my forthcoming book, “How to Play Golf!”

    But thanks for your interest.

  • Joe says:

    We can all take heart from the troubles of Tiger Woods. Here is the greatest player the world has ever known struggling with his game. So it seems that whatever level of player you are you need a mentor. Tiger reckons he has gone back to developing an old fault of moving his head which he thinks is the reason for his erratic driving. He has now got a new mentor, the same one who also turned round Justin Rose. Justin was a struggling journeyman and is now number four in the world. So what does all this mean for the average golfer: if things are going wrong seek advice from a qualified professional?

  • Dave Ludick says:

    I am sure that my reason for not progressing past a handicap of fifteen is that I only get to see my clubs on a Saturday morning with little time to practice before I tee off.
    It would be great to spend a half hour every day improving a particular thought process or stroke technique. Enjoy your trip, I camp a lot in darkest Africa and there is nothing like it to be close to all the sights and sounds of nature, a bit like the time spent on a golf course.

    • admin says:

      Hi Dave. You don’t need to spend a half hour a day to improve. I made my biggest gains by just falling asleep to music recordings and thinking about what it is I need to do to hit the ball straight: My Square and Point process. Then I went on to the physics of how the club would return to the address position and then on to sinking putts. I also made changes in how I play and always considered every round a learning session that I built on. More about that in Break 80 Without Practice

  • David Potter says:

    Have a great time with your sons, Craig. I taught at Great Lakes Christian College in Beamsville, Ontario in 1975-76. The people were great. A few of my students were pains, but what’s new in education?


    Great article with very good advise. I have found over the years in my own game that I do best when I work on one area -almost exclusively. I let that sink in for a few days, then move to another part of my game. Finally, I work on putting everything together in a practice round.

    Have a great time with the boys in Canada. They have some great golf courses up there.

    George Dalton

    • admin says:

      You’ve got it George. Thanks for the well wishes. Looking forward to it.

  • Your advice on focusing on one aspect of mechanics at a time is somewhat helpful. However, you are completely missing the fundamental reasons why golfers seemingly do not improve, become frustrated, attempt to purchase a quick fix, e.g., equipment, endless unproductive (and mostly incorrect) instruction, enjoy golf less and less, and eventually give up the game.

    • admin says:

      Would love to hear what you think that is Steve

  • Ron Mullard says:

    Self hypnosis /NLP /visualisation tried them just don’t seem to work for me,but I do know something needs to happen to get my game more consistant but what ???

    • admin says:

      Ron, Visualization is just a part of the big picture. If you want more consistency in your golf swing or stroke, you have to do everything else consistently. That means pre-shot routine, pre-round warmup, consistent thoughts, consistent habits, consistently managing emotions, consistency in working on focusing on what goes right and learning from what goes wrong…all things I teach in Break 80 Without Practice.

  • Howard Ryan says:

    You are probably correct about the level of golfers not improving..However, there is probably anther reason… When a player STARTS to play golf ,,he/she is very nonproficient coming in with probably a 30 handicap ….at the same time one of our more proficient golfers no longer plays the game. possibly an 18 handicap>>In comes a 30 and out goes an 18…keeping the average score pretty much stagnant…Sound logical??….I do know some golfers who have played many years and still have not broken 80. I also know some of those who have improved dramatically in just a few years after starting…….I think you will probably find this is true in most professions/games…….. JR

    • admin says:

      Howard, You make a good point, but if golfers overall were getting better, it would show up like this: in comes a bunch of 30 handicappers and out go 17 handicappers, or, there would be less 18 handicappers going out because they keep improving and thus stay excited about the game longer and drive their scores lower than in the past. It would all be very subtle and over a large study of participants but the geniuses who track handicaps have the stats to show all of this.

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