19th Hole

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

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Be a Better Cheerleader

I watch golfers all the time berate themselves over bad shots and I wonder how they would react if someone else was talking to them the way they talk to themselves. I bet they would not stand for it for very long!

As a coach, I believe in people’s ability to get the most out of themselves. Most of the time all it takes is a push in the right direction. So let me give you a little push. Stop only seeing the bad in your game and appreciate the good. If that sounds easy well that’s because it is!

I don’t mean to tell you to be blind to the things in your game that need work. And, I don’t mean for you to convince yourself that you are better than you are. But I think most golfers see things backwards. They find the things they think are wrong with their games and try to avoid or eliminate them. I would rather see you define the things that are good in your game and add to them.

If you hang around a golf course on a daily basis you will hear many more people cursing than you do cheering! They hit a perfect drive right down the middle and simply put the club back in their bag like they do that all the time. But, when they miss a 4 foot putt you better duck because that putter may soon take flight!

When do we ever take a moment to pat ourselves on the back for a good shot or a good round? There is way more moaning going on in the 19th hole than cheering or celebration.

One tip I like to give to my students has to do with a post shot routine. Quite often, after a golfer hits a shot they don’t like, they will stand to the side of the tee box and make a bunch of practice swings reminding themselves of what they just did wrong. I tell my students to do just the opposite. When you hit a bad shot put your club back in the bag and move on. However, when you hit a shot that you like, take a quick second to stand to the side of the tee and make a practice swing or two focusing on what you just did right in that swing to produce a good result.

Doing this kind of post shot routine will accomplish two things. First, it will help you replicate the good things you do on the course. And second, it will certainly give your opponent a moment of pause when after your drive splits the fairway you start making practice swings as if you just hit a bad one!

If you work harder at being your own best cheerleader rather than your own worst critic you will likely have more fun on the course and more fun almost always leads to lower scores!

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 jfisher@obsports.com.