Pay attention. This will help you a lot.

I can be verbose, today I am not going to be. Read the statement below and realize how guilty you are of this…and realize how often you have not improved because you failed to realize that a change in your swing takes time to work it’s way in…and take into account how seldom you practice and how often PGA Tour players practice. That makes the following truth that much more stupefying.

PGA Tour players make one small change and expect to hit bad shots initially. Amateurs try and make multiple changes at once and expect to hit every shot perfectly…immediately.

…and you know how much I hate consecutive adverbs. 🙂

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8 Comments

  1. Peter Balogh

    Great one Monte, is this coming from you or did your hear this one?

    Reply
  2. S.

    Here is the difference between a pro and an amateur. A pro has a fundamentally correct swing. The pro is focusing on getting a better result, but the amateur is trying for a better appearance.

    The amateur, through magazines and gurus, is taught that if the swing looks right, then it will be right. However, as he struggles to get the “look” in one body part, something else will be doing something wrong, so it will take forever.

    On the other hand, if you get it to be right, by doing the right thing, it will also look right.

    Reply
  3. Kirk

    I was going to throw a wrench in your statement, but then I reread it, and now see that I don’t disagree with it at all. I’d only emphasize the one aspect of it that I think is the key to the truism: the “every shot” part is what makes this ring true with me.

    Without the “every shot” part, I was going to suggest that the amateur DOES need to see some immediate benefit from a swing change, or else it’s going to be difficult to stick with it. If you work with a pro, and are working on changes, it will be difficult for the amateur to believe that the changes will yield results eventually if you don’t see SOME results immediately. Seeing a result immediately lets the amateur know that the change DOES work, but that it’ll take practice to INGRAIN it.

    But that’s also where the double-edged sword comes into play for me. Upon seeing a change prove beneficial, it can be frustrating when you’re unable to generate it consistently with “every shot.” I’ve done it, it doesn’t feel awkward, I’m athletic and open to instruction…. So, why can’t I repeat that result each time? That’s where the frustration comes into play.

    The pro is a pro partly because he has developed a swing that he can repeat. When he makes a change, I’d argue that he will make some errant shots initially because he is used to repeating his previously unchanged swing. But in the end, he has the tools (and the practice time) to ingrain the changes and repeat the new swing. He KNOWS he has those tools, and knows that the changes will help. The amateur may have never had a repeatable swing, and is looking for something (anything?!) that will help him develop a strong, repeatable swing. Having never had a repeatable swing, he has to take a leap of faith that the change he’s working on will be the answer.

    If the amateur doesn’t see SOME results of the swing change initially, it’ll be that much harder to work toward the unknown. If he sees great success in only a small percentage of swings — but DOES see great success — then he knows he has a chance to be able to repeat it eventually….

    …Or, why not IMMEDIATELY?!

    What a great, maddening game golf is.

    Reply
  4. RexTak

    Excellent point! I can definitely relate to the amateur you describe!

    However, Kirk makes a good point that one needs to see some improvement at least in a few shots to have confidence that what one is working on will make a difference.

    Another thing that has frustrated me in the past is that when I took a private lesson with a pro, I’d see some immediate improvement, but 10 minutes later when practicing by myself on the range, I’d already lost that improvement and couldn’t repeat whatever I had learned that made a difference. Yes, it is truly maddening!

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      I agree with Kirk as well…and I have a reason for both of you why this happens. TOO MANY THOUGHTS. You need one. Rex, the reason why you had that problem is when the pro is there reminding you of 15 different swing thoughts before every shot, it can work. As soon as he leaves, if you forget 1 or 2 of them…the train leaves the tracks.

      Reply
  5. Andrew

    You mean I’m not going to break the course record this weekend after lessons from Monte…..Da%*$# I want my money back. 🙂 Luckily even with my bad swing my buddies are still about 10 strokes behind me. If I was nice I would tell them about this blog…..IF

    Reply
  6. seveonsunday

    So I’m guessing if my swing feels like I’m carrying a bag of rabid weazels over my shoulder and I have the power of an 80 year old lady its natural? and I’m doing somthing right? I guess if it feels different somthing new must be happening. One thing that has puzzled me is when after making a huge swing change should you start playing again or never stop in the first place?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      You should always stick with your normal routine. Even if you aren’t working on your swing…playing more or less than you usually do will change your feel.

      Reply

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