It takes a village: How to improve at golf.

coaching Jun 05, 2020

Roy: I’m catching it on the hosel, right?
Romeo: Yeah right, right, right.
Roy: Moving my head?
Romeo: Yeah
Roy: I’m laying it off?
Romeo: Well that too.
Roy: I’m pronating.
Romeo: Well you’re not supinating.
Roy: I’m clearin too early, I’m clearin too late. My God, my swing feels like an unfoldin lawn chair!
Romeo: All right…take all your change and put it in your left-hand pocket. Go on, do it Roy.
Roy: All right
Romeo: Alright now, tie your…left shoe in a double knot.
Roy: Tie my left shoe?
Romeo: Right now Roy, do it! Turn the hat around backwards. Turn your hat around. Do it, Roy! Now take this tee and stick it …[pause] …behind your left ear.
Roy: Stick it…I look like a fool!
Romeo: Well what the hell you think you look like shootin them chili peppers up Lee Janzen’s ass? And you do it right now or I swear to God I’m gonna quit. I swear to God I’ll quit.
Roy: All right
Romeo: All Right, good. Now, Take this little ball, and hit it the hell up the fairway. You’re ready…[sigh]
[Roy hits the ball straight]
Roy: How’d I do that?
Romeo: Because you’re not thinking about shankin, you’re not thinkin about the Doctor Lady. You’re not thinking period. You’re just looking like a FOOL!, and you’re hitting the ball pure and simple…
Roy: That’s it?
Romeo: Yeah, That’s it. Your BRAIN was getting in the way.

We are all on this golfing journey together and sometimes, okay, a lot of times, we need a little help from our friends [at True Motion Golf]. Even the great ball-striker Roy “Tin-Cup” McAvoy needs swing knowledge dropped on him, and he obviously needs cabeza training performed by his “Doctor Lady” head shrink.

Romeo does a masterful job of removing the technical jargon and gets Tin Cup to stop getting his “brain in the way”. But there’s more to golf than some on range swing band-aides. Roy didn’t almost win the U.S. Open on his own; he had help, a lot of help. We too need help to fully understand the swing like Roy does, understand psychology, train our moves, and even more importantly, take all this knowledge, simplify it, and “get the ball up the fairway”.

Where do WE, #AverageJoeGolfers and #AverageJaneGolfers, go if we don’t have Romeo as a caddy, a Doctor Lady psychologist, or a “Team” like Jordan Spieth? It Takes a Village, so we build one. Reading about golf online is just one very small aspect of building your Village and improving your game. We need knowledge AND we need to arm ourselves with a host of skillsets and build our own Village on the cheap, particularly since we don’t have Tour Player bankrolls?

Each part of your Village can be thought of as a cog in a machine, and if you remove a cog, or it gets rusty or doesn’t fit right…you get the picture, your Village won’t help you hit the ball straight or score well. While adding additional villagers is important, to improve, you need to have exposure to every one of the following factors, and True Motion Golf is here to help ✅.  

✅1. Find a Coach – Your True Motion Golf Coach, Tim Overman has a diversified set of golf knowledge from various sources, aka a high #Golf-IQ. He’s also someone with good communication skills and has a ‘Village Philosophy’ as opposed to a “My Way” of doing things. He is a voracious researcher of the golf swing, is agnostic to one “swing theory”, and isn’t afraid of the process of creative destruction, which means he’s constantly searching for ways to get better and utilize input from a multitude of sources. [Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t wavering and doesn’t change your move each week, he is simply a knowledge sponge.] He listens more than he speaks, has a training plan that is focused on making students “do the reps”, and participates in playing lessons and situational practice routines with each of his students. Tim also explains the “why?” of what he’s teaching, and arms me with the knowledge to be my own coach when he isn’t around. Be selective because unfortunately, Tim is part of a small subset of quality instructors, so do your homework! Tim is also a huge contributor to this, and future, articles by the way.

✅2. Read & Listen – A good place to start your Village is in the absorption category. Tim and I both try to read any books we can get our hands on relating to psychology, course management, swing theory, teaching, and the game of golf. You may want to throw in some entertaining books in the mix as well; start with Dead Solid Perfect, Golf in the Kingdom, and A Course Called Ireland. We like to listen to podcasts of world-class instructors to get their perspective on instruction. Start with Earn Your Edge by Cameron McCormick and Corey Lundberg of Altus Performance. Caution: Don’t head out to the range or worse your local muni with all your newfound knowledge looking for the secret; the Read & Listen suggestion is primarily to arm yourself with knowledge. We’ll get to the ‘How to get better?’ in a bit.

✅3. Prepare Psychologically – The easiest way for #AverageJoeGolfers to prepare mentally is to work on the head game. For starters there are some online affordable games you can sign up for that will help you concentrate, check out THINQ. Another option is to work with your buddies. Play rounds where you mess with each other by coughing, jingling keys, or allow other sensible distractions while playing. The key here is to have fun with distractions as opposed to being annoyed by them. It’s hard, a lot of people struggle here, but the effort will pay off hugely as you improve as a golfer. See #2 (Read & Listen).

✅4. Train your Move – It doesn’t take a country club membership to get better at golf, all you need is a little space in your garage, living room, or backyard. You need to put in the work, start slow, and do reps without that little white devil staring you in the face. The ball tends to make us make funky moves that don’t resemble what we need to do to have success striking a golf ball. So we want to train your body to move properly before we introduce a club or ball. We strongly believe you can make massive improvements in the comfort of your own home in front of a mirror or camera.  We offer drills in our BASIC ACADEMY  and LIVE Training in our GROWTH ACADEMY

✅5. Ingrain your Move – When you transition from moving your body to moving your body with a club in your hand and then moving your body with a club in your hand and a ball in front of you, you need to add complexity slowly. You also need to do a lot of chunky practice to make sure you are moving properly. Think about learning to drive…You didn’t jump into the seat and enter the Indy 500 a week after you first got your permit; you learned in a classroom, got in a simulator before live action in a parking lot, then put around backcountry roads, and finally you took your mom’s Thunderbird to the dragstrip to see what it could do. 

✅6. Situational Practice (with a Purpose) – Once you feel your move is properly ingrained into your muscle memory, you’ll want to practice under stress (golf isn’t played on a driving range). This is the opposite of heading to the range and raking ball after ball in front of you, mindlessly hitting at air targets. Go to a muni at night, find a tree, put a few balls behind it and try to work the ball around it, and then switch to different situations that are progressively more difficult. If you can’t find a muni or course where you can hop on to practice shots, use your imagination at the range.

✅7. Get Fit for your Clubs – Make sure your clubs fit you, Full STOP!

✅8. Get a Routine and Warm Up before rounds – You can time PGA Tour players with a stopwatch, and they’d all have similar times it takes them to pull a club and then hit their shot. This is a simple adjustment that you need to train into your game, and it takes zero skills and pays huge dividends. You should also warm-up prior to rounds if your muni has a range, and even if it doesn’t, hit some chips and get your green speed nailed down before your round. Scoring will greatly improve. Check out our video and Free Download here: PRE SHOT ROUTINE

✅9. Join a Community – True Motion Golf is a community of like minded golfers, all trying to get better, and all committed to their own golf improvement journey.  You can also get out in your local physical community.  I play in the Harding Park Men’s club for less and $200 a year and train virtually with Tim, my partner, coach, and good buddy. Tim and I also challenge each other on how to train, what to do to improve, how to dissect new swing theories and what we can do to help others like you in a simple and effective way.

We train, we read, we research, we listen and absorb the teachings and coaching of some well-known, and some less well known, instructors. This makes us feel like we have built a pretty good VILLAGE. To “Make the Big Dog Eat”, and ensure that that “Tuning Fork Rings in Your Loins” more often than not, make sure you Build Your Village.


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