Every golfer wants to hit the ball perfectly each time especially when in a match or medal when it matters more.
Having a consistent swing is a major part in trying to achieve this. But for most of us we are inconsistent and so are our swings, so let’s look at the reasons why this might be the case.
Your golf swing could be inconsistent because of poor balance, using the wrong clubs, thinking too much, having poor technique or an inconsistent setup. You can improve these by using pre-shot routines, making practice swings, controlling your breathing, giving up control and not overreacting.
Even if you practise these regularly it is still impossible to get a 100% consistent swing every time you play.
But understanding why you are making some of these mistakes and some of the ways to fix them is vital to improving your game.
As you are constantly moving, on the golf course, the length of your swing, the shape you try to hit and the terrain you are playing the shot from will change.
All of this affects the way you swing the club, what you are doing while you are swinging, and the general reaction that you have after you have hit the ball.
Why It Is Impossible To Be Truly Consistent
Simply put, it’s impossible because there are too many factors and variables that change how you swing. Not even the best golfer in the world can swing consistently the same for every shot.
When you see someone that has a great swing it’s because they have been training and practising for years.
You will see that golfers on the driving range that try to practice doing everything text-book perfectly but they are usually the ones that do not do so well out on the course.
This is because a large part of playing good golf is being adaptable and choosing to play the right shot at the right time.
The ability to adapt and change as the terrain, wind and distances change is what will help you become a better player.
Some Of The Reasons For An Inconsistent Swing
Here are six things that higher handicap golfers do that cause inconsistencies in their golf swings.
- An Inconsistent Set Up
- Balance Issues
- Not knowing where the low point of their swing is
- Using The Wrong Golf Clubs
- Poor Technique
- Thinking Too Technically
Each of these is in the control of you the player, and all of which happen before you even hit a shot, and so they need to be looked at when your game becomes erratic.
A lot of golfers know that they need to practice, especially if they want to become better, but not all players put in the practice. Golf is great that you usually only get out of the game what you put in to it.
Also an inconsistent golfer is usually a frustrated or even an angry golfer.
One that often loses their patience and sometimes their cool, which in turn causes them to lose focus and start swinging wildly and playing rash shots.
Let’s have a look at each in a bit more depth
An Inconsistent Set up
The posture you have will greatly affect the way you are swinging, with each club in your bag requiring you to have a slightly different posture.
Having a good understanding of the right setup and posture will have your muscles remembering how to do everything.
Here’s Rich to take you through the fundamentals of good set up
If you are almost falling over after every swing then you have a balance issue, this means that while you are swinging you are also unbalanced.
This greatly affects the overall swing you are making and will cause each swing you make to be wildly different.
Not knowing where the low point of the swing is
This is a mistake that shows several things are wrong with your swing. If you fat or thin your shots regularly then looking at the low point of your swing is a great place to start.
There is a misconception that the low point of the club is where you make contact with the ground, but when done correctly it’s around 3-4 inches ahead of the ball. Which is why you see a divot after the ball position once a shot is made.
If you can hit the ball then the turf you will have a much better chance of hitting more consistent shots.
Using The Wrong Golf Clubs
For less skilled players you should try to play with Golf clubs that are more forgiving.
These game improvement clubs allow for you to hit off-centre shots and still get a good result.
It’s more fun to hit the fairways and greens than it is to hit tops, fats , thins all all manner of hacked shots.
If it’s the first set of golf clubs that you own then there is a good chance that they are the spec for your game especially if you haven’t been custom fit for them.
This could include playing the wrong shaft set up, having the incorrect lie angles, two fat or too thin a grip.
You could be using old tech that isn’t as helpful as its modern counterpart. Maybe you’re using blades ahead of cavity backed clubs, or vice versa.
Having the right clubs for your current game is important to help you with consistency, but remember when you are custom fit, the club-fitter builds the specs based on the way you swing the clubs that day.
Having Poor Technique
If you are unbalanced, have the wrong posture, and using the wrong club your overall technique will be wrong.
Once you start recognizing the mistakes you are making it becomes obvious, however, if every single swing you take is wildly different then you need to take a look at your technique as a whole.
For newer and higher handicap golfers, the root cause of their poor swings is having a poor grip.
Here’s Rich to show you how a poor grip can affect your swing in general
If you think you have a poor grip check out the article I wrote about How To Grip A Golf Club
Thinking Too Technically
Another common problem, especially for players who have watched a lot of YouTube lessons and have practised a lot of different techniques, is their way of thinking, as they prepare to swing, they’re thinking of everything they need to do.
This causes overthinking and leads to more inconsistency than anything else as your head becomes filled with what you did wrong instead of focusing on what you are doing.
This is often referred to as paralysis by analysis, or simply getting stuck in their own heads.
Some Ways To Improve Your Consistentcy
There are some simple things you can do to help you become more consistent.
- Pre-Shot Routines
- Don’t Over react
- Give up Control
- Relax And Have Fun
Most golfers quickly learn how to overcome these challenges if they go golfing with friends, as it becomes easier to see what mistakes you are making when you look at someone else, or your friends may just help you recognise where you are making mistakes.
Each of these can be practised and overcome alone, however, we do recommend working with someone as practising alone can lead to bad habits if you are practising the wrong things.
Pre Shot Routines
Having a pre-shot routine is a great way to get your mind and body in the right place to be able to hit your next shot.
This sounds simple but you will be amazed at how few Amateur golfers take the time to develop a consistent pre-shot routine.
Don’t Over React
Bad swings, bad shots and just bad days. This happens to all of us at some stage, but if you start to lose your cool after each setback then you are going to lose focus, which will result in further bad shots.
The only way to improve after a mistake is not overreacting, simply accepting the mistake that was made and moving on. This is easier said than done but something that you need to take the time to come to terms with.
The sooner you manage this the sooner you will stop wracking up big scores om holes.
Give Up Control
The pros seem make it look so easy. And when you first starting out it may seem like there is a lot to do in a just a few seconds.
Trusting your swing and giving up control, of where the ball is going to go, is a skill that you will learn the more you play.
Here’s Rich to explain in a bit more detail
Breathing exercises are not just meant for athletes on the sports field running around for hours on end.
When you are playing golf you need to try and stay calm during each shot. Becoming aggressive is the best way to become erratic, which leads to inconsistent decision making and poor shot making. So staying calm is in your best interest.
This can also be true of when you are playing well and think you may have a chance of beating your best score, an adrenaline rush can often kick in and which usually result in you hitting the ball further than you have planned
If you find yourself losing the plot or having an adrenaline rush try to take some deep breaths to help you stay calm.
Relax And Have Fun
Even if everything has gone wrong, you are losing by too many points to count and you are willing to give up it is important to relax.
Remember this is meant to be a fun game, so try to relax, enjoy the scenery and have fun while playing a sport you enjoy or you may find that you enjoy the game much less than you actually could.
Having a swing that easily adapts to what is needed and what is happening on the course is much more important than always having the same swing. You can improve your swing greatly by practising the right things.
Whatever you are doing on the golf course, be sure that you are having fun while doing it, as this can affect the performance of even the greats!