Everywhere golfers are beating balls trying to improve and actually many are getting worse! There are a few that will improve and it will take much longer with very little knowledge of how they achieved this change. I will explain 5 reasons why I believe golfers struggle to improve.


I spend hours on the range teaching and over-hearing amateurs discussing to their buddies how they are getting better when actually they are chasing their tail and getting worse. They are working on mechanics and trying to perfect the model swing (which doesn’t exist). They have been hypnotized by instruction and cliché from 50 years ago. They hit a good shot and by chance something they felt made them think this is the magic move I need to repeat over and over! I did it! No you didn’t and your about to remember the wrong feeling. They need to better understand the concept and science of what they did and how it affects the swing.


When a golfer makes a mistake they are actually making a less efficient way of striking the ball. Although there is not ONE CORRECT way of doing this because there are many ways to hit a ball correctly. We see this on television all the time. It is only a mistake if the student cannot accomplish this with their current approach. There are but a handful of golfers that can figure this all out without a coach and the others that can play well, are most likely making compensations.

I can give you an example. If I saw a golfer snap hooking every shot on the range because their grip was too strong causing the clubface to close abruptly, I could have a dozen more golfers have that same or even stronger grip and sooner or later they will figure a way to stop hooking. They would have to make several physical adjustments with their wrists, forearms, and timing to accomplish this, but nonetheless it will work or will it? This change will cause other elements to fail such as impact, ground contact, loft and spin. They will then add more wasteful adjustments and the cycle will repeat itself.


Even in the unlikely event that a player is working on the right thing(s) for them (I can tell you from experience that most players are not), the majority of players struggle to do it. Perhaps you have experienced this yourself, where you are working on a certain swing-move but you just can’t seem to do it with a ball there.
Making the swing we want seems effortless without the ball there. But, under the gun, the sight of that golf ball does strange things to us. Now, this might be a physical issue, but (in most cases), if a player can perform the movement at full speed in a practice swing, there should be no reason why a player can’t perform it with that little white object there. The fact is, most golfers don’t know how to learn effectively. They don’t understand how to change a motor program – they have no process or tools with which they can make swift and lasting movement-pattern shifts. It’s one of the most frustrating things that an aspiring improving golfer experiences. It’s a huge roadblock which, once removed, opens up the floodgates to more rapid learning. There can be many reasons for it, including;

  • Impact intentions which contradict the desired movement pattern
  • Unrealistic expectations for performance in the initial stages
  • Poor attentional control
  • Desire to stay within comfort boundaries

The reality is, as long as you can do something in a practice swing, there is no reason why you can’t do it with a ball there – it’s just that your process for learning sucks.


I will share numbers 4 and 5 in my next tip! You don’t want to miss it!