The golfer so easily gets caught up in knots. He os she feels the only way to improve is to develop technique. Yet a technical change feels horrible…it feels hard. But there is another way to improve your golf and subsequent scores. You don’t have to feel like you’re swinging in a straight-jacket to deliver golf improvement. Here are my thoughts on golf skill. Let’s get one thing clear first – technique and skill have a relationship, but they are not one and the same. Technique is the ability to perform a physical task vs skill is the ability to perform a task in a game setting. It is one that shouldn’t be ignored.Developing golf technique is different to developing golf skill. Technique is a component of skill – you most to know that. Technique doesn’t do anything that you can imagine. Technique is only a part of the process. Golf demands the ability to control the ball over an ever-changing terrain in an ever-changing environment. And competitive golf demands you do this, under pressure. Isolating the golf swing and working on it is not the golf course formula for success. It’s the practice ground formula for success. Training yourself to hit from one spot with one motion is not golf skill. It’s driving range skill. Training yourself to stroke from one spot with one motion is not putting skill. It’s practice putting green skill. It is completely wrong to seek to improve your technique to improve your game. So from now on just think about that. That’s my interpretation of the difference between golf technique and skill as applied to my golf lessons. Talk about golf is not the same as golfing, but if you can do everything you talk about golf then you have a lot of skill. Skills tests like the above focus your mind and help you experience performing under pressure and they help you build confidence (you need that in a tournament,). SKILLS FOR ME IS EVERYTHING! I like my golf students to spend a lot of time engaged in developing golf skill. This means I ask them to do a lot of skills tests. As yo complete skills tests you are building skill. You are teaching your brain to react to a target. You are practicing coordinating your muscles and you are practicing striking a golf ball (but doing so whilst focused and under pressure). And you are building skill through skills testing without tying yourself up in knots through a shift in technique. Let me be very clear. I am not saying that technique is irrelevant. Inted that, technical is necessari and important to having a repeatable motion. That’s my tip: Developing your swing technique but don’t forget to improve your golf skills. What I am arguing is that to be the very best golfer you can be, you need to practice in a manner that helps you improve your golf skill and not just your swing and stroke technique. You need to be able to package your technique so that you can transfer it onto the first tee under competition pressure. You need to practice in a manner that focuses your mind and builds confidence. To build golf skill it is important to work on good technique. But it is not the only form of practice that helps you develop your game. Skills testing is a critical must in your practice log book.
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