Welcome to "27 Ways To Not Improve at Golf," a unique and satirical guide to becoming a better golfer by exploring the opposite of what you should do. The inspiration for this post comes from the concept of inversion thinking. An approach used by the likes of Charlie Munger, that I first saw in a YouTube video by Alex Hormozi. Inversion thinking is a problem-solving method where you look at a problem in reverse. You ask the opposite question to uncover valuable insights.
In our case, instead of asking "how do I improve at golf?", we ask "how do I not improve at golf?" This approach reveals common pitfalls and mistakes that many golfers make. We can then learn from these errors by doing the exact opposite. In this post, you'll find 27 satirical tips that say the wrong way to approach golf improvement. These tips are meant to be to be humorous and lighthearted. Yet offer valuable lessons by illustrating what not to do on your journey to better golf.
After reading through these 27 ways to not improve at golf, you'll find a section at the end of the book that inverts these tips. This is my genuine, practical advice on how to actually improve your golf game. By understanding the pitfalls and the best practices, you'll enhance your performance on the course. Please enjoy the playful tone, and get ready to learn the secrets to golf improvement through the power of inversion thinking.
1. Never take a lesson.
Always depend on your own ideas and don't listen to golf teachers who have spent a long time learning about golf. Don't worry about the important details of golf and be surprised when you don't get better at the game.
2. Take lessons but only before important rounds.When you do this, you'll try to learn too many new things at once and won't do well when you actually play golf. Instead of being consistent and learning a little bit at a time, try to learn everything at once.
3. Take a lesson. Don’t practice.Go to a lesson and think that you'll get better without practicing what you learned. Ignore the fact that you need to practice to make your golf swing better. Let your swing go back to the way it was and be surprised when you don't improve.
4. Expect a coach to “fix” you in a one-hour lesson.Don't think about how getting better takes time and hard work. Expect your coach to make you an amazing golfer in only one lesson. You'll be upset and sad when that doesn't happen.
5. Avoid discomfort in a swing change.Keep doing what you're used to and feels correct to you. Especially when practicing. Don’t exaggerate any swings during practice. Stay comfortable, even if it means not hitting the ball the way you want.
6. Take advice from bad golfers on how to get better.Don't ask good golfers for help. Instead, listen to the people who aren't very good at golf and try to do what they do. You'll probably keep playing badly, just like them.
7. Work on whatever your friends are working on.Your friend goes and gets a lesson. They tell you what they worked on with their coach. You notice that you do the same thing. You start working on what your friend is working on. Better yet, if your friend watches a youtube video, and now you both have something to work on together.
8. Practice without a plan.Go to the driving range and hit golf balls without thinking about what you want to work on. By not having a goal, you won't get much better and might even get frustrated.
9. Plan your practice. Stop doing it after a day.Spend time making a plan for how to practice, but then give up after only one day. Enjoy feeling like you did something good for a short time before going back to your old habits.
10. Find something that works, then stop doing it.When you find a way to play better, stop doing it and try something new. Don't worry about being consistent or practicing something until you master it.
11. Except drills to be easy the first time you do them.If a drill doesn't make you pure in a day, it's the wrong drill. Practice a new drill today. Try another one tomorrow. Repeat. Even though you need to focus and practice one thing to get better at it. Your golf game will stay the same because you're always doing something different.
12. Practice with no feedback.Never pay attention to feedback from coaches. Don't use any training aids. Especially not alignment sticks. If you have some in your bag, don’t ever pull them out. Never record your swing on video. You won't know what you're doing and can practice what feels comfortable. That will make it challenging to get better.
13. Buy clubs off the rack.Don't get clubs fit for you. Buy anything that is in stock, even if they don't feel good when you use them. Your golf game might not be as good as it could be solely because of this.
14. Never clean your clubs.Keep your clubs dirty. Hit so many balls with dirt on your clubface that the grooves are packed with it. This will make your ball flight erratic. It doesn't matter if clean clubs could help you play better.
15. Only hit balls to warm up. Or don’t warm up at all.Use the first few holes of your round as your warm-up, or don't warm up at all. Who needs a proper warm-up to avoid getting hurt and playing your best?
16. Don’t track your scores or keep stats.Don't write down your scores or any numbers that could show what you need to work on. Simply play golf without knowing what you could do better.
17. Avoid working on what matters most.Don't practice the things that you really need to get better at. Instead, work on things that you're already good at. That way, you won't really improve your overall game.
18. Only play with golfers who are worse than you.Play with people who aren't as good as you, so you always feel like you're the best. You won't learn from better golfers, but at least you'll feel good about yourself.
19. Blame course conditions and complain.Whenever you hit a bad shot, say it's because of the golf course or the weather. Don't take responsibility for how you play, and just blame other things.
20. Complain about your skills, but don’t practice.Talk about how you want to be better at golf, but don't spend any time practicing. Just hope that your golf game will magically improve.
21. Only practice and play when conditions are perfect.Only play golf when the weather is perfect, and don't try to get better at playing in different conditions. When you play in real games with different weather, you’ll be less prepared to do well.
22. Focus on your swing looking good over being functional.Make sure your golf swing looks nice, even if it doesn't help you hit the ball well. It's important that your swing look like your favorite golfer's swing than to play better.
23. Talk a lot during practice.Use practice time to talk to your friends instead of working on your golf game. Who needs to practice when you can have fun chatting instead?
24. Make a mistake, then repeat the mistake.When you do something wrong, don't try to fix it. Just keep making the same mistake, and hope to get a different result. That way your golf game won't get any better.
25. Pick aggressive targets. Swing conservatively.Always go for the hero shot. Aim at every pin. Hit it through every tiny gap in the trees. Then focus on a few swing thoughts during your swing. This will quickly lead to more missed greens and penalty shots.
26. After each bad shot, tell yourself you suck.Say mean things to yourself when you don't do well, which will make you feel bad and hurt your confidence. This will keep you from playing your best golf.
27. Do something different before every shot.Change your routine before every shot. Following the same steps every time can help you play better. If you keep changing things, your golf game will be unpredictable and probably not very good.
Now that you've had a good laugh and learned what not to do. Let's flip the script and focus on the positive side of golf improvement. In this next section, we'll invert each of the 27 satirical tips. You'll get practical and actionable advice to help you become a better golfer.
Apply these recommendations to avoid the common pitfalls we covered earlier. You'll quickly set yourself on a path to golfing success. Let's dive into the real tips that will elevate your game and make you a force on the golf course.
1. Take lessons from a golf coach.Find a qualified golf coach to guide you through the basics and help you improve your technique. A good instructor will identify issues in your swing and provide advice specific to you. Regular lessons with a quality instructor speed up development and make learning enjoyable.
2. Take lessons consistently throughout the year.Don’t be the person who plans a golf trip months in advance and starts practicing only the week before leaving. Maybe you’ve got a big tournament coming up, a charity scramble with your boss, or high school tryouts. Get lessons months before and practice. Don’t expect a golf coach to solve a lack of practice time.
3. Practice after each lesson.Deliberately practice what you learned during a lesson. Take notes after the lesson and practice what you learned as often as possible. It’s better to practice 20 minutes a day, 6 days of the week, than 2 hours one, day a week. Practice can be done at home without a ball, or a foam ball. Stick to what your coach told you to work on. Make sure you’ve practiced it many times before going for another lesson. Consistent practice is key to improvement.
4. Expect improvement to take some time and effort.Understand that becoming a better golfer takes a lot of patience. Improvement won't happen overnight. Don't expect a single lesson to solve all your problems. Stay committed to the process and celebrate small victories along the way.
5. Be okay with feeling weird when working on swing changes.If it feels good, you’re probably doing it wrong. Embrace the discomfort that comes with adjusting your swing. It might feel strange or awkward at first but trust the process and keep practicing. Eventually, changes will feel natural and lead to better results on the course.
6. Well-intentioned golfers will give you advice, you don’t have to apply it.Pay attention to skilled golfers and coaches. Both in person and through instructional content. Learn their techniques, strategies, and mindset to help improve your own game. Don't be afraid to ask questions and learn from their experiences.
7. Focus on what you’re currently working on, hopefully with your coach.Assess your strengths and weaknesses and develop a personalized improvement plan. Focus on the aspects of your game that need the most attention. Set specific goals to work towards improving those weaknesses. Regularly reevaluate your progress and adjust your plan as needed.
8. Make a practice plan. Especially if time is limited.Set clear goals for each practice session and work on drills designed to help you reach them. Having a purpose for your practice will keep you motivated, focused, and improving. The less time you have, the more structure and focus you should have in your practice.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
9. Once you’ve got a plan, stick to it.Commit to your practice plan and follow through with it consistently. Improvement requires dedication and persistence, so don't give up if you have a bad session or a bad round. Remember that hard work and consistency will pay off in the long run.
10. When you see improvement, keep doing what’s working.This is like when the doctor tells you to finish taking the medicine even if you are feeling better. If you see improvement, it’s not time to stop working on it, or switch up the process. When you find a drill that helps your game, keep practicing and refining the same drill and process.
11. The best players sometimes do the same drill for years.Think of pros with alignment sticks in the ground, umbrellas they avoid hitting, or a blow-up ball between their elbows. When you find a drill that creates the changes which you’re looking for…keep doing it. You’ll likely go back to your old habits at some point. Focus on perfecting that one drill. Give yourself ample opportunity to develop and master the skill.
12. Practice with feedback.Use video analysis, swing radars, and training aids to get feedback during practice. Feedback is essential for understanding what you're doing right and what needs work. It is a key to improving faster.
13. Get fit for your equipment.Imagine running a marathon in your friend’s shoes. A custom fit set of clubs will make it easier for you to setup to the ball and swing athletically. Invest in clubs tailored to your body and swing instead of fighting with off the rack equipment.
14. Clean your clubs after every shot.Dirty grooves make your spin very inconsistent. Spin is necessary to keep the ball in the air, and make it stop on the greens. Have a wet towel with you and wipe your clubhead clean after every shot. When done consistently It only takes a few seconds and will make a huge difference in your shots. You can also clean your grips with some soapy water to extend their lifetime.
15. Warm up to hit balls. Instead of hitting balls to warm up.Have a warm-up routine that raises your core body temperature. Include a variety of movements and dynamic stretching. A proper warm-up helps prevent injuries to keep you in the game longer. It also helps you perform at your best from the first tee.
16. Track your scores and stats.Record your scores and other relevant statistics to see your progress over time. Analyze the data to identify trends, strengths, and weaknesses in your game. This will help you to make informed decisions about where to focus your practice efforts.
17. Work on what’s costing you the most strokes.Focus on addressing the most significant issues in your game. Be honest with yourself about your weaknesses. Then dedicate time to turning them into strengths.
18. Seek out golfers that are better than you to practice and play with.Learn from better golfers by observing their techniques and asking for advice. At the same time, play with golfers below your level to gain confidence and leadership skills. A mix of playing partners will contribute to a well-rounded golf experience.
19. Focus on what you can control.Embrace the challenges that different courses and weather conditions present. Adapting to the situation will improve your decision-making, shot selection, and golf IQ. The more you experience, the better prepared you'll be for any situation on the course.
20. Stop complaining. Get to work.Understand that improvement requires consistent effort and dedication. Schedule regular practice sessions. Commit to working on your game, even when progress seems slow. Over time, your hard work will pay off, and you'll see the results on the course.
21. Play and practice in all conditions.Gain experience playing in various weather conditions, such as rain, wind, and heat. Each condition presents unique challenges that require different strategies, adjustments, and preparation. Learning to adapt to these elements will make you a more versatile golfer.
22. Function over beauty.Develop a functional swing that delivers consistent results. Even if it doesn't look textbook perfect. Create a go-to shot that you can rely on. Focus on a consistent setup and swing that works for your unique characteristics.
23. Create a focused training environment.Stay focused and engaged during training sessions. Use the time to work on your game instead of socializing. Treat practice time as an opportunity to improve and grow, and you'll see the benefits on the course. When practicing with friends, compete.
24. Learn from your mistakes.Identify errors in your approach or strategy and work to correct them. Seek feedback from coaches, or statistical and video analysis to pinpoint areas for improvement. Addressing mistakes head-on will lead to a more consistent and reliable game.
25. Choose conservative targets. Make aggressive swings.Choose realistic targets that align with your skill level. Trust in your abilities and commit to your shots. Swing aggressively and you'll see more success on the course.
26. Be your own #1 fan.Maintain a constructive attitude after making mistakes. Use them as opportunities to learn and grow. A positive mindset will help you stay focused when faced with challenges on the course.
27. Create a consistent pre-shot routine.
A consistent pre-shot routine will prepare you mentally and physically for each shot. This routine will promote better focus and execution. Which will lead to more accurate shots on the course. Consistency breeds consistency.
I hope this post helps you improve some of your practice habits. Even just changing up a couple of these things has huge potential to help you with your game. Try some out and let us know how it goes.
As always, Practice With Feedback.