A Lesson in How to Learn and Improve Your Game Faster

One of the areas where golf coaching has improved over the years is understanding how people learn better and improve faster, which provides more enjoyment and leads to better scoring. There is also another element to this which is the bigger picture of growing this great game of golf. Perhaps we as coaches "missed the boat” with people that return after the standard lesson where they left hitting the ball great and return hitting it exactly like they did before. Maybe it wasn’t because the student didn’t practice enough. Maybe it wasn’t because they didn’t understand, or maybe it wasn’t because the information wasn’t great. Perhaps we didn’t help them learn in a way they can retain it and thus actually transfer those things to the golf course.

The introduction of neuroscience to the masses of golf coaches is becoming more and more popular. How the brain learns, in combination with what research shows us about elite performance, has given us the opportunity to become better coaches and help players become better sooner, as a result.

Being out on the road at various professional events, you can see this with some of the best players in the world as well. The past few years have seen players jump from coach to coach more often than in the past.  Mostly, this in search of better technique. Now I think all coaches will start to understand the neuroscience better. Although a vast area to understand and a huge undertaking, I think most coaches will learn the basics which in turn will help players improve more. There are a lot of golf coaches out there these days, a lot of good ones.  Heck, we are all looking for every bit of improvement we can get.  Even the smallest incremental change in better scoring averages can mean the difference between winning a trophy or finishing in he middle of the field throughout the course of the year.

Amy Yang on the LPGA is no different in the sense that to achieve her goals it is important to look and analyze all possible areas for gains.  She is currently ranked No. 8 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and looking to get even better. Does that improvement come from hitting more greens, more fairways or more up and downs?  Perhaps it could, which is why keeping regular stats is important, but in Amy’s case a lot of it could come from practicing in a more realistic way… one that mimics the real situations one encounters on the golf course in tournaments.

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By Kevin Smeltz, BGGA Director of Instruction