‘The road reaches every place, The short cut only one’ – James Richardson
All golfers are unique and individual. Golfers also differ in how they learn, not only in how they take on board information (visual, kinaesthetic, auditory), but also in their learning preferences, what they want to get from their game and ultimately their end goals. Every golfer wants to feel they have an opportunity for improvement and it can be a natural instinct to want to improve as quickly as possible. This is completely understandable and there is no rule saying there is anything wrong with this. However, it does raise the question, ‘can I improve instantly with a quick fix, or do I opt for a longer term plan of development?’
Quick fix versus long-term development: what are the differences?
Both options will give the golfer a solution. However, the key differences lie in how long will the solutions last. A quick fix is generally a tweak within some aspect of the set up or swing that will potentially create a cure for the near future, the next round or competition, or maybe a little longer. There is absolutely no problem with this, providing it comes with the understanding that it may be temporary.
Quite often a quick fix is offering a compensation for a fundamental issue potentially happening elsewhere in the golf swing, it acts as a band-aid on the effect rather than targeting the root cause. There is no denying that there are times when a small tweak is all that is needed to provide some relief and improvement within your game, even if it simply provides a lift in confidence and enjoyment. However if you are finding that under pressure the same problem shot consistently gets you into trouble, the band-aid unfortunately, at some point, may give way and the quick fix option may not be the best solution.
A long-term approach provides the opportunity of bringing lasting results and a better understanding of your game as a whole. This alternative option can, however, sometimes seem slightly less appealing. There is often a misperception that the swing must be completely broken down and remodelled with months of frustration, painstaking hours on the range and involves taking a huge step backwards before going forwards. This doesn’t have to be the case. Your professional will of course be instrumental in helping you through the process. Where possible, try not to be swayed by the well-meaning advice of your playing partners as this will potentially extend progress time. In the long-run, repetitive experimentation without the help of a coach may drag improvement out further.
‘Long term development’, doesn’t have to mean long term, as in the time it takes to improve. Yes it may require a little more time than the quick fix, however, adopting the longer term development approach enables you to identify the root cause of any issue, gain an understanding of your swing, its correlation to the ball flight/contact and develop the most effective practice plan for your needs. It is worth noting that effective practice also plays an integral role in speedy development. Part of your long-term development may also involve using a more holistic approach, assessing fitness, mind-set and any areas in need of change to help support development. Ultimately ‘long term’ means an approach that will provide consistent results further down the line and assist in achieving greater success when faced under pressure.
Owing to the uniqueness of each golfer and with each wanting different things from their game and their methods of progress, both options, quick fix and long-term, are widely available. There is not necessarily a right or wrong, the key lies in understanding and acknowledging how each operate and what they can offer to your game. With this knowledge brings free will and the choice of personal preference.