Improving Your Game: Who to Mimic?

The other day while searching through a few archived Internet articles on the subject of golf game improvement and average trends, I came across a rather interesting article the first appeared on the NY Times website in 2005 which focused on this very topic. As the article states, despite all of the technological advancements in golf equipment, golf lessons, and other game technologies over the past few decades, the average amateur golf score remains 100. No matter how much farther we can hit the ball, or how much more spin we can generate on the greens, or no matter how many Medicus drivers we practice with... hackers are not getting any better.

So where does this leave the majority of amateur golfers who actually give a damn about how they score and how to lower a handicap? For the most part, it appears that golf lessons remain the best option... however only if the "correct" type of lesson is being administered.

For example, if a typical hacker wants to "swing the club like Tiger Woods" when seeking professional assistance, he or she might be doing themselves a huge disservice. Again, as the NY Times article references:

"They watch golf on TV, and then they all want to hit it far, like Tiger Woods," said Dr. Bob Rotella, golf's best-known psychologist and a best-selling author. "Well, good luck. They should be going to their teacher and saying, 'I want to hit it like Fred Funk.' Physically, they are much more like him. That would make a lot more sense" (2005).

Basically, learning how to manage a golf course or round of golf with a player's present talent level could be more effective than trying to learn a golf swing that is a mirror-image to a famous player. Or, at the very least, perhaps the struggling golfer should focus more on an "average golf physique" as opposed to the athletic specimen similar to Mr. Woods.