It was the most ridiculous statement. In speaking with a golfer earlier this season on the subject of golf lessons he told me “I’d like to take some lessons this year but I don’t want to have to make any changes.”
I was gob smacked. How, I asked, did he expect to improve his golf abilities if he did not plan to make ANY changes at all? Yes, you don’t necessarily need to alter your golf swing to improve; gains can be made from an equipment shift or fitting alone but ultimately that is still a “change.”
I wished him luck. The last time I ran into him he was carrying the same factor of 8 that he was at the start of the year.
People are often scared of change. It represents an abyss from which they are unsure about returning from. Instead of embracing golf education, they fear it. They look for a quick, “hot” tip as the solution for their woes. When it does not work they move on to another. Usually with equally abysmal results.
I’ll admit I am biased in this situation, but even as a PGA of Canada professional I am not immune to the need for improvement. I try to learn every day. I needed to make a real commitment to do that, but I did. For my own good.
My then 9-year-old put it perfectly in perspective last year. “If I take piano lessons every week why do people take one or two golf lessons and expect to be better?
From the mouths of babes.
So take a page from my acquaintance above who has begun to understand that if he wants to get better – really, really better than his 8 handicap, he will actually have to take the plunge.
And it starts this winter. As it should for you.
Many golfers in Canada want to do nothing but play golf during our short season. I get it. The flip-side is that you can use the “off-season” as a time to train your skills and get yourself better educated about the sport you love. The winter is prime skill development time for elite training programs and there are plenty of places where you can do this. There are more winter golf academies than ever and more resources available on digital platforms that you can access just about anywhere.
So what should you work on this off-season? Well, that should be between you are you coach, but whether it is physical, mental, skill-based, or as simple as designing a practice schedule or acquiring new knowledge, there is plenty you can do. Any “change” has the potential to help you advance and invigorate your golf experience.
Take the plunge; enhance your golf life, and don’t be afraid to make a change. If you don’t you can only expect one thing – the same results as last year.
/ Scott MacLeod, @Flagstick