Time Poor


Many people are time poor in today’s hectic world, just finding time for a game once per week or fortnight let alone time to spend on the driving range tuning their games is very difficult to come by. I have a few tips for keeping your game oily and hopefully when that chance arises to play, the good is not too far away.

As a PGA professional I’m not going to say that practice isn’t important, it is, but these few tips can help you stay on top or even improve without the large amount of hours preparing.

Over my years of coaching I’ve seen some amazing things occur. One that really comes to mind is a lady many years ago that was made to come for a lesson by her friend giving her a voucher for her birthday. Not much fun receiving that present that she couldn’t pass on, it had her name on the voucher .

She really didn’t want to be at the lesson and the lesson for me was a very difficult one, one that I suppose a lot of school teachers have to put up with everyday. So during the lesson, the lady only hit three decent shots and really couldn’t wait to get out of there. I gave her three things to work on to help her improve her golf swing and gave her ways to go about learning. As she left I can remember saying to myself “wow, that was tough and one thing is for sure, I will never see that lady again”.

Six months go by and the lady walks down the hill again for a lesson, I couldn’t believe that she had turned up. One of my first questions was ” how’s your golf going” She replied ” I’ve not practiced or even played”. My second question was

“who gave you a voucher this time ? ” No, not really.

Well, I thought ” here we go again”, so I just asked her to warm up with a few practice swings and hit some shots. Well the lesson was unbelievably good, the lady only hit three really poor shots in her half an hour lesson this time. What a complete shock to both of us.

Upon asking her what she had done, she replied that I had given her three things to work on and asked her to continue to visualise that incorporated into a “whole ” swing motion and that when she had a spare moment at home she would run over those things in her mind. She would picture those things while preparing meals and have a few practice feels and see herself hitting the ball straight, but had not hit any balls physically at all from the last time she had seen me.

Going over that, it showed that mental repetition, preparation, visual of the ideal swing pattern and seeing the ball flight, helped change and helped develop some ideal physical patterns. Also no hitting balls can be an advantage to some as they are no longer getting negatives from the old ingrained swing pattern, poor contact and not seeing good ball flight.

So a few tips that can help

  1. Visualization – Close your eyes and picture yourself making a smooth swing, see the ball sailing down the centre of the fairway. Visualize putts rolling into the center of the cup. While visualizing hear the sound of the sweet contact of the club on the ball, hear the ball hitting the bottom of the cup. Your confidence will grow when you have practiced this hundreds of times in your mind.
  2. Visually incorporate the changes from your lessons into that wholistic swing pattern through mirror work and closed eye work. The closed eye work helps enlarge the feel of what we actually are wanting especially after seeing the visual movement is correct.
  3. Watch the Pros play– if you get the chance to watch the PGA or LPGA Tours on TV, do so. Watch the flow, the lack of effort in striking the ball. See the balance and see the freedom and trust they play with, watch those things and allow those pictures to flow to your feels.
  4. Spend time Stretching/ Exercising – important that when we are time poor, we finish up doing less for ourselves, we become last on the list. Go to a Physiotherapist, get profiled and attempt to balance out your body muscular wise. Then spend that 20 minutes morning or night to keep yourself flexible. It is amazing after a few weeks of small exercise and continual stretching how great you feel hitting the ball. When you arrive on the range without having stretched, there is just no momentum, sequencing of motion is out, body arm co -ordination is difficult to achieve, it just fails to flow.

Make the most of your spare time, still go have that lesson, get a few items that can help you refine and develop, hopefully those good pictures and feels from the information you receive can help your at home training and then get that enjoyment out there playing. All the best !!