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6 Reasons You May Not Be Improving

By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Published on

I’m sure you’ve heard something like this before…The average golfer shoots over 100 for 18 holes (and it's likely higher than that because many don’t play completely by the rules). You’ve probably also heard that the average score, even with all the advancements in the game in recent years, has remained consistent for decades.
According to data from the National Golf Foundation, only 26 percent of all golfers shoot below 90 consistently on regulation 18-hole courses; 45 percent of all golfers average more than 100 strokes per round.”
Why is this the case? Why do so many struggle to get better?
1 - Failure to Address the Things that Really Matter
  • Many golfers tend to believe that one aspect of their game is the culprit for their bad play over all others…and many times, their hunch on what that is, happens to not be the issue at all. A great example is those that think their putting is to blame. Many times, when you look deeper and do so using statistics from your rounds, you will uncover that proximity to the hole on approaches that hit the green and proximity to the hole from shots from around the green is more of the problem. There are many fantastic mobile apps out there that can track all aspects of your round as you play. Taking a sampling of several rounds can open your eyes to what actually is leading to the scores you shoot and give you a better idea on what needs the most attention with your game.
2 - Unrealistic Expectations
  • In the broader sense, many golfers feel they are capable of shooting scores that they are likely not able to achieve. With this thinking, the pressure to shoot a number that is unrealistic may eventually lead to not loving the game as one once did, and eventually, not trying or even quitting altogether. In the micro sense, many golfers may think they are capable of pulling off a shot that is not realistic for their current skill set. This leads to that death spiral we commonly see, and a big number on the scorecard. Having realistic expectations of where your game is currently, combined with proper practice and a positive outlook, will help many to get closer towards improvement.
3 - Have Never Taken Instruction
Instruction and coaching does indeed help golfers improve. Just take the following from the National Golf Foundation…
  • Golfers that take 1-5 lessons = 28% break 90; 97.6 scoring average
  • Golfers that take 6 or more lessons = 55% break 90; 88.7 scoring average
4 - Little Time to Practice or Not Maximizing Your Current Practice Time
If you don’t practice, even in smaller time frames with more frequently, you will struggle to improve your game. Focus on my first tip to really maximize whatever time you may have to practice.
5 - Too much Noise
There are countless ways to gobble up golf instruction information. It can sometimes get very noisy with all that’s out there. Do your best to whittle down the things you listen to from social media, YouTube, TV and from people, face-to-face.
6 - Forgetting to have Fun!
Above all else, never lose the love of the game and always try to have fun and enjoy the experience!