What is ‘consistency’ in golf and how important is it?

This week on the Monday Club I wanted to discuss the most used word in golf (other than Fore!), which is consistency. I must hear it 50 times a day when I’m coaching and a consistent golf game seems to be the holy grail that we are all searching for. It got me thinking – what does it really mean?

To start, check out the 4 PGA Tour players below and the still image of their top of the swing position. All completely different I’m sure you’ll agree!

My thoughts on consistency start with a few questions:

What needs to be consistent? The outcome? or the process? or both? or neither?

Does golf require me to do the same every time?

Our aim in golf is to achieve a successful completion of the task presented without cost. That task changes shot to shot. Therefore, do we actually need to be more adaptive than consistent? 

There are certainly positions and movements I like to see in a swing to make golf easier, and if you’ve had lessons with me you’ll probably know a couple of them, but no one specific movement will on its own lead to disaster (see the flat swing of Rickie Fowler or the steep cupped position of Matt Wolff). Instead it’s about how we then move and adapt the positions to get the clubhead to impact.

I suppose the debate is: Is the chase the consistency actually unattainable to a certain degree? I hear so many players who are disappointed with shots that really aren’t bad or are unhappy with their swings that happen to be quite functional. When coaching players my biggest consideration is not the look of a swing but how we can best achieve movements to make it more functional to improve your scores.

What we will see when we watch the Masters this coming week, for example, are a group of adaptive movers who know how to get from their unique swing positions to hit the ball closest to the hole with the most skill. Look no further than 2 time champion Bubba Watson for the ability to adapt movements to create results.

In summary, what I think is important is that we find the best way to score lower. There may be unique positions that you deal with but I’m certain that they can either be adapted or counteracted to help you hit the shot you need to hit. There may be better swing positions but there are no perfect positions. Will any human ever hit 14 drives or make 14 driver swings in a round of golf exactly the same with the identical curve, distance, carry and roll – NO. Be careful with what you expect yourself to do and don’t get too down if you’re not hitting the ball great – I’m certain a slight adaptation here or there will get you right back on track.

I can proudly say that no 2 clients that I teach have exactly the same swing. There may be some similarities in drills and practices but I can assure you that your swing is just for you and you only!

If you have any question or thoughts on this piece feel free to get in touch.

 

Lee Wilson; April 2021