A Professional Approach

Sammy HansonSammy Hanson
Director of Instruction
Cypresswood Golf Club

There is a reason that pros make it look so easy… and as a result of that, people interested in playing this game expect it to be easier than it really is. The way professionals approach this game IS the reason why they make it look easy. They work harder on their games than any golfers in the world! I am going to break down the professional approach into three simple categories - mental, physical, and equipment.

First, the mental part of golf makes up about 85 to 90 percent of the game in my book. An example that I commonly use to open up peoples minds on how they can start the process to improving their games, is that of a professional’s reaction after a performance… compared to a high handicap golfer sitting in the locker room after their performance.

Listening to an interview of a professional from any sport, you will hear them most always refer to the mistakes they made and what they need to improve on. Listening to a midhigh handicapper after their round, the first thing they will want to refer to is the 300 yard drive they hit or the one birdie they made. If a golfer truly wants to improve, breaking down the mistakes made throughout a round of golf is the first step to creating a plan of action in this process.

Secondly, the physical approach to golf that professional golfers take is that of constant practice to develop their game. Now unless you have all the time and money in the world, the amount of time that the pros put into their games is unattainable for anyone with a job, who’s married, or has kids. Golf is a lot like life, in which people are always looking to improve, but are uncomfortable with change. A golfer who wants to get better… but wants an instructor to work with what they have is a common request from students. Now, I do not believe that a swing coach should ever try to have a student change in a way that their bodies simply will not allow. However it is what students have to work with that is not working for them. Professionals of any sport delegate the analyzing, as well as the direction of their games, to another type of professional… a coach.

The third category towards the professional approach, is equipment. In my teaching career, so many times I have heard people say, “Once I get better, THEN I will get fitted for some clubs.” Over half the people that come my way for help with their games are playing clubs that do not fit them. Now for beginners, I would rather develop a consistent golf swing and speed in their swing, before going through a club fitting for them. But for a mid-high handicapper, eliminating that variable of it being the clubs you are playing with can have a huge impact on your game. There are certainly club induced miss-hits in the game of golf and if you are playing non-fitted clubs, you will constantly be compensating to make them work Understanding these concepts and committing to this approach will most definitely go a long way in any level of golfer’s plan to improving their game.


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