Speaking The Golfing Language 

I often find myself coaching players and telling them things that are very obvious - well at least for someone who understands the language of golf.

So what is it?

First, let's become clear on something - if you want to improve your technique and golfing tactics you have two options:

1. Someone tells you, you learn from videos or books and you try and move your body - legs and arms - in a way that is supposedly technically correct

2. You play the game and try to win 

The way I coach players is that I initially help them find roughly the correct technique and from then on I give them situations from which their technique improves by itself.

For example - the goal may be to hit a ball around a dogleg and into the fairway.

The only way this can be achieved is with a draw. 

So I explain to the player what he needs to do to hit a draw and give him the shot shaping exercise on the golf course.

His technique will improve as a result of that task.

We're getting to the point of the golfing language so hang on...

When the player is then trying to hit the target, they may hit too long, too low, too left, too hard and so on. All these mistakes are clearly visible.

So what the player needs to do is to see the result and get the message. For example, if they hit short of the green (result), they need to understand the golfing language in which the message - the feedback is hidden. And the message is - HIT longer.

Here is the simplest dictionary for you to translate tennis language into English (which you must eventually translate into images - what you want to happen):

 

Event English --> image
Hitting on top Create more arc in the swing
Too long Hit shorter OR hit with less speed, hit with less power, change clubs
Too much to the left Aim more to the right
Too much to the right Aim more to the left
Hitting the ball fat Watch the ball, stay focused on the hitting not on the target
Hitting the ball too high Control the trajectory

 

As you can see many of these translations are logical and easy and YET the players either just don't do them or complicate things too much.

They may get into technical details about how the angle of the club and the path were not correct and how they need to move with their elbow first and so on. This may be all true but as soon as you start thinking about these things you lose seeing the shot. This results in a bad hit or a mistake and you think that you didn't try hard enough.

So you focus even more, use a death grip on the club and try again. Your chances of successfully hitting that ball are now even slimmer.

Instead, just do the simple translation from golf events to English or any other language that you speak and imagine whatever the words tell you.

Soon you'll be a fluent speaker of the golfing language and you won't be lost anymore in the golfing land.

Enjoy your game!