Golf is Not a Game of Pretty

Jeff Fisher
Director of Instruction
Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club
Mesa, AZ

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Often times, golf is not pretty. And it really doesn’t need to be!

Sure there are some swings that you look at and just know that they are great. Adam Scott comes immediately to most people’s minds when thinking of best looking swings on Tour. But you need only look at the top three finishers at this years’ U.S. Open as well as the dominant player on the LPGA Tour to understand that pretty is not what always gets it done. 

Certainly not many instructors would teach the finish of Arnold Palmer, and when he first rose to prominence Jack Nicklaus was ridiculed for his flying right elbow. Lee Trevino had something homemade by the conditions he learned to play in, and Bubba Watson absolutely does things his own way. My point here is that the search for the perfect swing is something that too many golfers get way too caught up in. I look for two things only when deciding whether a swing is good or bad; repeatable and predictable.

Those are really the two characteristics that allow someone to play their best golf. If you stand on the tee with a driver and have no idea if the ball is going to go right or left, low or high then you do not meet either one of those criteria. But if you know that a high percentage of the time that ball is going to be a high draw or even a low fade, then you have a chance at playing good golf!

Every day I get people who come on to my lesson tee telling me they want to fix one thing or another about their golf swing. I always ask them to hit some balls for me so that I can first see if the issue they want to fix really exists, and second if the issue is actually causing them a problem. You would be amazed how often either the issue is not truly there or that it has nothing to do with why they are not playing to their full potential.

Predictable and repeatable. For most golfers that means hitting the same shot probably just more than half of the time. If you are a low handicap player, then that number probably should jump to about 70-75% of the time. Most golfers do not have the time, desire, patience, etc. to go through swing changes that are very substantial. And most of them do not need to. They need to establish a ball flight that they can predict a majority of the time and understand how to move their way around a golf course and fit that ball flight into each shot that is put before them. 

I have said it before and I will say it again, it is easier to get someone to think differently than to swing differently and if your real goal is lower scores then stop looking for pretty and start looking for repeatable and predictable.

Jeff Fisher is Director of Instruction at the Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club. Jeff can be reached at 480.414.9330 or