I was told by my coach Steve Bann recently that there is more instructional material published/produced about golf than all other sports combined.
I don’t find this hard to believe. Why? Because all that supply is only responding to demand, or desire, and what do most golfers desire? A quick fix that’ll have them playing the best golf of their lives this weekend.
I was cleaning out the apartment recently and came across the mountain of golf books/magazines/dvds that I have accumulated over the years. There were the usual suspects: Hogan’s 5 Lessons, Bob Rotella’s golf psychology series, Dave Pelz’s short game bible and a collection of Golf Digest magazines big enough to build a fort with.
Apart from feeling disgusted with myself for being such a golf instruction whore, I couldn’t help but remember all of the emotions attached to my first experience with those golf tips. “This is IT!” I remember saying to myself. “Of course, THAT’S why Tiger can shape the ball at will”, “I think this is the final piece of the puzzle” and other ridiculously early calls.
I knew many girls in high school who spoke of boys the way I used to speak about golf tips. “I think this is the one”. Of course, one disastrous weekend later there were tales of betrayal, of sorrow from which there was no recovery. “I can’t believe he did that”, Vicky would say. “I can’t believe I couldn’t break 80” I would say. “My life is over” cried Jessica. “I’m never playing golf again”, said I.
Yet next weekend there we were again, trying out a new tip, or you know…
Now I’m a glass half full kind of guy, but (bitter) experience has taught me the difference between optimism and plain old wishful thinking. There is no such thing as “The Secret” to golf, any more than there is a perfect, flawless partner for you in life.
Yet you still see happily married couples don’t you? You still see incredibly successful professional golfers don’t you?
There are numerous ways to play this great game. Find one that you like and are comfortable with, and STICK WITH IT. You have a much better chance of succeeding that way than if you flit from tip to tip, method to method in search of “the one”.
Don’t be a golf instruction speed dater.