Peter Sokolov Golf

Peter's corner is a monthly (sometimes more often) look into topics he encounters daily. Check back often! He would also love to hear your comments.

2/5/16 - "Inconsistency"

I have probably taught more lessons and golf schools in the past 15 years than just about anyone. The number one complaint that I hear from recreational golfers is how they are inconsistent. They will tell me how they were playing great the day before and now they "lost it". They tell me how they "used to be able to hit that shot". They tell me how their game resembles...  Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Sound familiar?

What gives?

Well... a few things contribute to your inconsistency:

  1. You don't practice and play as much as a Tour Player
  2. You don't work on your rhythm 
  3. Your swing requires so many manipulative and compensatory motions to make up for flaws that no matter how much you practice you are never going to be consistent. 

1. You don't practice and play as much as a Tour Player

- No kidding. Who has that kind of time? Every tour player that I have taught or know has a club in their hand 6 days a week. Yes... your one day off you can go to the gym instead! All kidding aside, If you are swinging the club once a week you are going to have a tough time being as consistent as you want to be. People always ask me how much they should practice. The better question is how well are they going to practice. If you are just striking balls aimlessly you are just ingraining any bad habits that you have. I was the senior instructor for the #1 short game school in the world for fifteen years. I have seen my share of what poor practice does to you. People with the shanks, chunks, blades, sculls, and yips... yes you name it, I have seen it. They come to me because they are on their last hope of a solution. They have succumbed to such dire mental trauma due to poor habits and poor practice. Realistically, if you played twice a week and practiced twice a week you should see improvement if you are doing it right. Learn to practice properly and you have a chance. 

Practicing will make you more consistent with one caveat, extra poor practice will only make you consistently poor. 

2. You don't work on your rhythm

- Rhythm is the holy grail of golf. I'll take a poor swing with great rhythm over a technically great swing with horrible rhythm. There is not one rhythm for everyone. But you do have an optimal rhythm. It's different in regards to putting, short game, and full swing. You want to learn what your rhythm is and embrace it. Good or bad flaws automatically become more consistent if you can repeat them. The only way you are going to repeat anything is by working on rhythm. One to one in putting, two to one in short game, three to one in the full swing. That's the relationship in timing the back swing with the follow through. When is the last time you went to practice and you solely focused on rhythm instead of mechanical flaws? I already know the answer... 

Have a strong underlying focus on improving your rhythm in your practice.

3. Your swing requires so many manipulative and compensatory motions to make up for flaws that no matter how much you practice you are never going to be consistent.

- The killer problem. If you have the ball in a position that is not consistent with where your club bottoms out you should hit a poor shot every time, right? However, once you chunk one or blade one sooner or later you will find the ball and attain a good result. When your mind finally sees that ball end up near the flag, you just ingrained the fact that whatever you did was right.  The problem is when you start flipping, sliding, scooping, reverse pivoting, and many other potential flaws your chances of pulling off a quality shot on the course erodes. Take a "hang back chicken wing scooper" and place them on a nice fluffy lie, they might be golden. Stick that same player on a tight country club fairway and the ball is still going to be ascending after it has passed the flag (imagine the visual). In all reality, if you can improve your motion to reduce the total compensations that you are making, you have a better chance of having real world improvement that will carry over the course. Especially under pressure!

Work to reduce manipulations and compensations in your swing that mask major problems. Identify the root cause and work towards eliminating it. 

Your Coach For Life... Score your Best!

Peter Sokolov