Consistently good golf

Most golfers say they want to be consistent, little realizing that they already are. What they want to be is consistently good, a claim few golfers can make.

Today’s post was written twelve years ago by Bob Madsen for the defunct website, lessonsingolf.com. Madsen is a PGA pro and currently Director of Instruction at the Sycuan Golf and Tennis Resort in El Cajon, California.

It is the best piece I have ever read on what it takes to become a consistently good golfer. Honest, straightforward, and valuable.

Here is “Do the Reps and Work Your Way Up,” by Bob Madsen:

“One of the many things my students are asking for is more consistency. ‘I just want to be more consistent’ comes the cry.

“Well, this seems a valid request as we all know how much fun it is to do well repeatedly. Better worded though, we might all be asking for more ‘repeat ability.’

“Repeated success gives us a feeling like, “Hey. I can really do this!” Isolated success does not. Being able to repeatedly, for example, hole out putts from four feet brings joy and refreshment, not to mention lower scores.

“Anytime we can really do it and do it over and over and over again it feels good. And isn’t that what we all want – to feel good?

“Repeat ability is therapeutic. As you gain in your ability to repeat a skill – like being able to get out of a bunker – you will just plain be better off out there. You will be more relaxed, friendly, fun to be around and full of confidence. Repeat ability really is the source of trust.

“So, we have a few concepts here that I urge you to get a grip on. Consistency really is just repeat ability. And repeat ability will give you trust and confidence.

“Now for the kicker. How do you get more repeat ability? There is only one way and that is by repetition. You must spend time doing the reps. You will not become more consistent while reading Golf Digest or watching the Golf Channel.

“You are not going to be more unfailingly skilled by going off of the latest tips and pointers, band-aids, and quick-fixes. You will not find more consistency while you are in line at Starbucks. You will also not get better if you are out there on the range flailing and failing over and over again with the latest big head driving club.

“The only way to get more consistent and really be able to repeat success is with lots of repeated success in practice. For example, if you want to hole more putts, you have to go spend hours and hours sinking putts. I am talking about starting six inches from the hole if you have to. Hole 100 in a row. Then, move back an inch.

“Here is the recipe. Find something you know you can do and do lots and lots of it. Then, go for a LITTLE, tiny bit more.

“If you want more repeat ability so you can dazzle your friends and really leave the golf course refreshed, practice succeeding. Succeed over and over and over again.

“I promise, before you will ever be able to hit the driver consistently, you will have to be almost tour caliber with a seven iron. You’ve got to work your way up. You’ve got to earn consistency. It is well worth the effort.”

Thank you, Bob, for your permission to reprint this tip.

2 thoughts on “Consistently good golf”

  1. I love this post. One of the most depressing things I have ever read. 🙂

    The lament of the recreational golfer: who has the time?

    I hope all is well with you and yours.

    1. Actually, you do. The subtitle to my book, Better Recreational Golf, is Improve Your Game in the Time You Have. And it shows you how to find the time and what to do with it.

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