What Changes in Your Game Have Made an Immediate Impact?

Curious what changes you’ve made or methods you’ve implemented where you’ve seen an immediate impact on your game.

I’ve found success in lower scores with 2 changes in the last 30 days (index dropped by 1.6):

  • Using a process-based routine. This method eliminates any swing thoughts. I have 4 “process goals” for each shot - long game, short game (inside 100yds), and putts. I consider the shot a success if I meet each goal, regardless of the shot outcome. This has eliminated negative thoughts and self-talk and has allowed me to play more freely while really enjoying myself. Also I find that if the outcome is poor, I failed in my process. This keeps me from questioning my decisions as well as getting all wrapped up in technique - which has been a terrible trap for me.

  • I spent a few range sessions dialing in my wedge distances using my swing caddie. Regardless if the yardages are 100% accurate, when I’m sitting 74 yds from a front pin and lying 2 on a par 5, I can have confidence with the club in my hand and the swing/process I’m using to execute the shot.

I post this as I’ve broke 80 3 times in the last 30 days at my club, which is giving me loads of confidence seeing as I struggled to break 90 in the spring. Also, with the Club Champs next weekend, I feel great going into it as I’m trending in the right direction.

I’d love to hear about things you’ve done - process, technique, changes in approaching your round - whatever the case, to improve your game!

Disclaimer: riding a bit of a high after posting my 3 lowest scores of the year just in the last 6 days.

7 Likes

For anything longer than a wedge, I have been trying to hit whatever club would put me in the back third of the green. My GIR’s are up, and my mis-hits don’t find as many front bunkers.

10 Likes

Nice. Glad that’s working for you.

In the words of Bruce Koopka: “You have a short club and a long club. Pick one.”

At my club, on nearly every hole, short is better than long so that’s typically what I go with.

2 Likes

Honestly the mental game has helped me the most. I play much better if I barely pay attention to my score. No emotional ups and downs.

5 Likes

This is damn near the same as the dialing in wedges tip, but I will echo it. I recently tried some different shafts in my wedges (took out the wedge flex and matched my irons). I spent a lot of time on the range following that working on my wedges, full but also a lot of partial shots. I went out several times after those sessions that were mostly wedges and played very well, but it had little to do with wedge play. My transition also tends to get quick at times, and I think the extra wedge time on the range really helped with my tempo on full swings as well.

1 Like

Interesting point on transition, as I feel the same - the slower I “feel” it, the better I hit it.

If anyone has ever hear of “Tour Tempo”, it’s something I’ve been doing for a while and although it seems fast, the “slower” you feel, it’s actually better tempo.

1 Like

It wasn’t during a demo day, talking with the head teacher at the golf academy. Just chatting about putting and new putters. Took a quick look at my stroke and offered up 1) my putter shaft was bent throwing off the lie angle 2) quick adjustment to grip and head position 3) ditch the blade and try a heavy, face balanced mallet to take out my hands.

It’s been huge. Went from averaging 35 strokes a round to to 30 with last 7 rounds all 29 and under.

1 Like

Really focused on what feels like 2/3 effort on full irons and wedges.

1 Like

drinking

12 Likes

In all seriousness, it’s game management/decision making. I had conditioned myself to hit one shot from one yardage, one type of shot around the greens, or aiming for one specific spot on approaches. Finding a way to make different decisions while also not getting to mental/technical about it has given me options to play better/smarter shots as opposed to putting myself in spots that require more difficult shots to pull off

2 Likes

Father’s Day I got a hitting mat and net for the backyard. Use it every day. Got fitted for wedges for the first time in 5 years. Definitely an improvement. The Vokey K grind on my 60 has given me a few different shots I never had with my old 60 degree.

The SuperSpeed golf training aid has been amazing for my driver. Not just in distance, but in consistency. I’ve even had to look into moving from using soft forgiving balls to harder spinnier balls because I’m hitting it so much better/consistently I can take advantage of better balls. Also working on a slower takeaway. That seems to translate to a faster swing speed for me. Gone from topping driver out at low 90s to 103 or so. That took my average swing speed from 87-91 to 95-100+ depending on how loose I am. Have only been using it for 6 weeks.

Had a lesson at the beginning of the season where we worked on my iron takeaway path and not rolling my left forearm/opening the club face on the takeaway. It finally all clicked at the end of June/beginning of July. I’ve never hit so many pure irons.

Read some of Hogan’s 5 lessons and have been flaring just my left foot towards the target and keeping my right foot neutral (this has lead to more pure iron contact as well). Before I flared both out.

For putting I have been focusing on keeping my head down after contact. Forcing myself to wait before looking up at the ball. Have been making more putts and not pushing them.

The month of July was my best golfing month of my life. For reference, this is my 5th summer playing golf. I started the summer with my index at 12.6 and quickly ballooned to a trend of 16.4 by the end of June. Everything came together starting in July and I shot 90 twice and 77-88 in the other 11 rounds I played. I shot an 81 at Streamsong Black (net 65 for an idea of how well I played), bunch of 82s and another 81 at my local course. Then this past Monday I finally broke 80 with a 77.

Index is currently at an 11.5. I’m going to work my ass off to get that to a single digit.

Thanks for this post. Was fun sharing what I’ve been working on and sharing some of my breakthroughs this past month. I am absolutely riding a high as well!

3 Likes

This is awesome and exactly why I wanted to start this thread. Thank you for sharing!

I also use, or did use, the SuperSpeed training sticks. I got my speed up pretty quickly but I also found that the few rounds immediately following me starting this training, my scores ballooned and I felt like I had no control over my game. I felt like I was swinging out of my shoes on every shot. I haven’t touched the sticks in nearly 60 days but I’m thinking of starting back up as I feel I have good control on my process and am no longer overly concerned with technique. Or, at least I’m not obsessing nearly as much over it and I’m watching my scores steadily improve.

Like you, July was my best month of my 4.5 years of playing golf. Broke 80 three times in the last 10 days - I had broke 80 only 4 times up to this point - and I truly feel confident on the course.

All this said, we have to know how fickle this game is and how quickly things can turn - for worse or for better. Knowing that, preparing for it, and not beating ourselves up over it will make us better players. I firmly believe in that!

2 Likes

for the first bullet point, did you read Zen Golf or just decide to come up with that on your own?

1 Like

I wish it was my own.

The method is discussed in David MacKenzie’s Ultimate Mental Game Training System. You essentially find 4 things to focus on for each shot - for me it’s grip, turn, tempo, and through on full shots. You then make a checkmark for each shot your successfully executed on your process, regardless of the outcome.

This has really helped me take emphasis off of score and technique obsession.

awesome man…if you liked that one, you should check out Zen Golf as well…focuses on the process side of things vs the result

This. Earlier this year I found myself coming up short a lot. So I decided I would club up particularly in the 130 to 185 yard range. I’m now hitting loads more greens in regulation, even on miss hits. It’s had a massive impact on scoring. I’d rather hit a nice 7 than step on an 8.

1 Like

this theory is also covered in a book somewhere, about how amateur golfers come up more times that not…in their mind they think they know their number, but in reality thats a number based on perfect swing, perfect conditions, etc

2 Likes

I have the Arccos system and this is where I found it really useful. It was showing me that the majority of my missed GIRs were missing short, so by trying to hit the back of the green, I not only found myself hitting more greens, but I was finding myself consistently closer to the hole too.

I forget where I heard it, but it was a stat saying that a pin cut close to the front of the green resulted in higher scores than one cut anywhere else. It had to do with the fact that you aren’t terribly likely to nuke a shot past your usual distance, but you are really likely to hit one shorter. You know, where all the trouble usually is.

3 Likes

This helps me too. My ratio of missing short vs long wasn’t even close. I’ve tried telling my mens league partner, how many times do you actually see guys sail the green trying to reach a par 5? May not be for everyone but for a mediocre iron player life myself, its beneficial.

1 Like

Like others above - I’ve started opting for the longer club. Clubbing up 100% of the time when I’m between clubs and even frequently when I’m not. I know my number when I hit it perfect…but do I really hit it perfect all that often? That answer is a resounding no.

Loving the results of that strategy. Now I need someone to tell me I can’t hit the hero shot when I’ve gotten myself into trouble and I’ll really be shooting lower scores. Haven’t solved for that glaring issue yet. Big numbers still popping up on the card a lot more often than I’d like. 5, 4, 4, 6, 3, 9, 4, 6, 5.

1 Like