A golfer’s dream is to play the perfect game with consistent swings that lead to high scores. While practice makes perfect, you chase the aspiration of consistency and spend time on the range playing, yet your scores are all over the place.
How do you improve your swing to play a better, more consistent game? By working on not only your technique but also relaxing and having fun. To understand these things better, below, you will find the ten reasons your golf swing is inconsistent and how to improve your performance.
- Your Golf Swing Isn’t Sound
- Your Frustration Begets Inconsistency
- You’re Think Too Technically
- You’re Not Staying Calm Under Pressure
- You’re Golfing Technique Needs Improvement
- You’re Not Seeing the Club
- You’re Not Keeping Your Body Quiet
- You Don’t Use a Constraints-Based Approach
- You Can’t Accept that Sometimes You Will Play Poorly
- You’re Not Having Enough Fun
Let’s examine together these possible reasons why your golf swing is inconsistent and ways to improve your swing consistency and improve your overall performance.
Your Golf Swing Isn’t Sound
It may come as a relief to you to understand that all golfers are chasing uniformity in their swing. Swing inconsistency is the first problem you will need to tackle and one of the most frustrating parts of hitting a ball down the range on a golf course.
A fundamentally unsound swing is a big reason people are up and down in their scores. To have a consistent swing, golfers must be fundamentally sound in their set up, grip, posture, and positive outlook on the swing before it is carried out.
If any of these fundamentals are missing or, misaligned inconsistency will result.
One way to correct the problem of an unsound swing is to practice, practice, practice. Go out on the range as often as you can and study videos of golfers and golf instructors explaining plus demonstrating good form in their golf swings.
Your Frustration Begets Inconsistency
The third reason your golf swing is inconsistent is that you are aware of how much being inconsistent in your swing is affecting your scores, and that is frustrating, to say the least.
The frustration you are feeling will cause you to implement techniques that do not work for you making your scores lower and your swing even more inconsistent than before. However, it may be that your technique is not the problem at all, as your frustration level has become the apex of your problems with your swing.
The more frustration you feel, the more erratic your swing and vice versa leading to a merry go round of emotion and lack of consistent action.
Clearly, it is not your determination that is changing and causing your frustration, so what is it? Tension and nervousness cause muscles and a slice to form in your swing leading to lower scores. The more you are tense, the worse things become. It is nearly impossible to have a consistently good swing with so much muscle tension in your body.
You’re Thinking Too Technically
Research suggests that thinking too much about your technique reduces your performance and affects your ability to perform under pressure. Called the intentional focus effect, it means that the more you spend thinking about your technique, the more stressed you become, and the more inconsistent your swing.
One way to stop thinking so much about your technique is to practice using analogies. Many top Pros use simple analogies to not get too technical when improving their golf swings. One such analogy for new golfers is to pretend the golf club is a hammer. This technique teaches the fundamental way their wrist and arm should play together to hit the ball.
Using analogies will relax your body, allowing for a better and more consistent swing and making playing the game much more pleasurable.
You’re Not Staying Calm Under Pressure
Being on the golf course and playing against other golfers may seem daunting. Your heart starts to beat faster, and tension builds in your body, causing your arms to shake a little and your body to feel taut. However, allowing your body and mind to dictate your swing when it is aroused in such a way is highly detrimental to your golf swing and technique.
One way to gain control and remain calm under such circumstances is to learn how to breathe. While that may sound strange, when humans are tensed, their breathing tends to become shallow and be performed from the top of the lungs instead of the diaphragm. Practicing before a match to relax using deep breathing techniques is very helpful in both your attitude toward the game and your swing consistency.
To practice deep breathing, you must breathe purposely from your diaphragm (your lower belly) and pull in the air slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Allow the tension you are feeling to drain away with each breath. The beauty of this relaxation technique is that you can do it anywhere and at any time without others knowing what you are doing.
Within moments of using deep breathing, your body will relax, and you will have better luck hitting consistently, and your scores will improve.
You’re Not Seeing the Club
While seeing the club and hitting the ball is a basic tip, it is vital to maintaining control and gaining consistency in your swing. By seeing the club hit the back of the ball, you improve the quality of your play as you will be more likely to hit the ball solidly and with good contact.
While many equate this movement with keeping your head down, it is different because you want your shoulders to turn through the ball on the way down. It is okay to move your head some through the impact with the ball if you are watching the ball all the way through.
You Don’t Keep Your Body Quiet During the Swing
While maintaining control over your bodily movement, or lack thereof, is important, it is doubly important when putting. When using a putter, become aware of the parts of your body that need to move together to sink the ball. Your shoulders, arms, and hands need to naturally follow what your shoulders are doing.
When you swing, control of your shoulders is vital as you must eliminate as much unnecessary movement as possible to keep from missing the putt. Your lower body must remain perfectly still as should your head and torso below the shoulders.
You Don’t Use a Constraints-Based Approach
While it can be tempting to insist you have no problems with your golf game, if you are experiencing strong inconsistencies in your swing, you do need to work harder to improve it. A very important way to do so is to find and work with your weaknesses.
Finding your weaknesses and strengths in the game enhances your ability to perform well when competing against other players. By working with your body and the constraints (talents or lack of abilities), you will vastly improve your swing consistency, score, and enjoyment of the game.
A constraints-based approach involves understanding that your golf swing consists of three interacting motions:
- The task at hand (putt, short clip, etc.)
- Individual constraints (such as height and previous experience)
- The environment in which you are playing (playing surface, weather)
Constraints can make a world of difference in how well you perform on the course and understanding yours can make the difference between a consistent versus inconsistent swing. To
improve your swing consistency, first, realize that you must practice (there’s that word again) working within and with your personal constraints.
You Can’t Accept that Sometimes You Play Poorly
It is impossible to always play a great game of golf. There are many mitigating circumstances that can cause your game to be “off,” such as physically feeling ill or having too much on your mind to concentrate on your game. By remembering that all golfers, even the pros, play bad games sometimes, it will enhance your enjoyment of the sport and lower your stress level, which will ultimately lead to better performance in both swing consistency and scores.
You’re Not Having Enough Fun
Make sure and have fun because, unless you golf for a living, there is no reason not to enjoy being on a beautifully manicured golf course in the fresh air with friends. You will be amazed by how much better your swing consistency and scores will improve by simply having fun on the course. Even pros understand that the idea of golf is to get exercise while being in the sunshine and fresh air, so why don’t you do so as well.
Utilize your time on the golf course to relax while practicing your backswing, follow-through, and finish using the time away from the stress of work and home to improve your health. Golfing is a great way to maintain a good weight while enjoying socializing with others, and that is vital to your mental as well as physical health.
Your brain is doing a marvelous job of processing the information it is given. If you are to swing as consistently as possible, you can rely on your brain automatically do the calculations for you if you can only get your mind out of the way. In other words, your brain works better at swinging a club when you allow it to do the work and not concentrate so hard on your technique.
Seven Tips to Improve Your Technique
Learning and maintaining a consistent golf swing is tough no matter who you are, but it can be achieved by gaining a good technique through golfing lessons and watching videos of people performing well on the golf course. Your golf swing doesn’t need to remain inconsistent, as there are several methods to practice and improve both your score and technique.
Below are some sound methods that will improve your consistency in your swing and cause your scores to improve remarkably.
- Mix it up. Instead of thinking too much and focusing on just one thing, allow yourself to experiment with different swings and techniques, allowing yourself to have bad days as it is from your failures that you will learn best how to maintain consistency in your swing.
- Don’t be in a rush. It is easy to rush yourself in taking a golf swing, but this can lead to any number of bad results, including an inconsistent swing and a lower score. Take time to develop your speed gradually over time and pay attention when you face a transition between your backswing and forward swing.
A faulty transition is also where you will face problems with the outcome of your game. Don’t rush through your swing and remember unless you are a pro golfer the idea of golf is to enjoy the game, not to see how quickly you can play through. Relax and enjoy the experience and companionship.
- Relax your grip. Having a relaxed grip promotes club head speed and a clean strike on the ball. If you grip too tightly, you lose power in your swing and will also experience high inconsistency with your swing.
While you need to grip the club tightly enough to maintain control, your grip should remain relaxed enough so that the pressure allows a free swing. Always keep in mind that tension in your body is an enemy of a consistent swing and allowing yourself to relax your grip while maintaining a quiet demeanor will vastly improve both your swing consistency and your scores.
- Use quiet hands while swinging. Often amateur and pro golfers alike have problems with their hands being too active during the takeaway phase of the swing. This robs the player of consistency in their swing by placing the club off the plane by the time the backswing is finished.
It is important to practice keeping your hands out of the takeaway while allowing your shoulders to do all of the work. Focusing on your wrists during the early part of the backswing keeping your wrists quiet and stable, will vastly improve consistency and scoring.
- Eliminate sliding. Sliding during your swing will definitely cause inconsistency in your swing and inferior performance. Sliding away from the ball and allowing your body weight to move with the club is incorrect, and so is sliding during the transition by allowing your body to move toward the ball without rotation.
To avoid these two mistakes, focus on the position of your body, specifically your right knee and hips during the beginning of your swing and the transition. The knee needs to maintain its position while the swing starts, and to eliminate the slide during a transition, turn your left hip open to the target as your downswing begins.
- Finish your swing. Achieving balance during your swing is vital to maintaining control and increasing your swing consistency. Golfers who exhibit a full and well-balanced finish position are seen holding their finish until the ball has landed on the target. By practicing increasing your balance and finish, you can reach the stance you see pro golfers exhibit to gain great consistency in their swings and high scores.
Golfers who have a full and well-balanced finish position use their bodies correctly through the backswing and downswing but players who do not need to make corrections.
- Shoot for the stars when it comes to your finish. Don’t be embarrassed to try and look like the pro golfers you see on television with their beautiful finish stances. Experiment with your finish and try to mimic the pros and see how much it improves both your enjoyment of the game and the consistency of your swing and the increase in your scores.
Remember You Are Only Human
A good reason your golf swing is inconsistent is that repeatedly hitting a golf ball in a completely consistent manner is impossible. It is vital to remember that no one, not even the pros, is capable of swinging a club exactly right every time. It is impossible because humans cannot carry out such a complicated maneuver one hundred percent correct every time.
They have done PET scans of amateur and professional golfers when performing a short putt repeatedly, and no two swings were the same, meaning the brain processes each swing as a brand-new motion.
However, you do retain many of the important things you know to swing a golf club correctly, but your brain processes the motion differently every time and is not capable of mimicking a swing every time.
Recapping What You Have Learned
Golf is a unique game in that the players, like you, are yearning to improve their score through a high amount of consistency in their swing. By utilizing the ten tips listed above, you too can gain the control or near to it that the pros enjoy when golfing.
To recap, the main emphasis on improving a consistent swing includes practicing your stance, grip, and finish while remembering other vital techniques. You need to practice to get good at anything, and golf is no exception.
By practicing every chance, you can also learn to relax into the game so that the frustration won’t interfere with your performance as you address the ball.
Above all else, enjoy the game. Take some deep breathes while golfing and allow your body to melt away all the stresses from work and home.