There are certain skills in golf that every golfer works on mastering. Call them the golden goose, if you will, because every player seeks to perfect them, but the journey to do so never stops.
Whether that be generating more club speed off the tee, understanding how to read the greens more accurately, or something as simple as how to avoid topping your hybrids, part of what makes golf fun (and frustrating!) is that constant search for consistency.
But there are so many aspects to improving your overall golf game that it may be tough to determine which skills in golf are the most critical. To help put things into perspective, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Cameron McCormick is here to prioritize the most important skills.
McCormick, who is the swing coach of pro players like Jordan Spieth, So Yeon Ryu and Beau Hossler, among others, recently took to Instagram to give his thoughts on the most important skills in golf.
1. Prepare to perform
Not every round of golf is created equally. Conditions change, courses differ, stakes get higher and many other factors come into play. But the one constant that every golfer can control is their focus.
For instance, if you find yourself approaching the final round of a tournament the same way you would when you’re playing a practice round, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
2. Power skills
Look, not everyone has the ability to bomb a tee shot over 320 yards. Regardless, whether you’re in the camp who does (or in the one looking for more distance from the tee box), take the time to perfect four elements: range of motion, sequence of movement, acceleration and deceleration.
3. Tactical skills
Want to know part of the beauty of golf? It’s that you never have the exact same shot. Sure, you may hit a drive off of a familiar tee box, or putt from a green on a course you’ve played hundreds of times before, but every shot is different due to many factors. This is where McCormick says a player’s tactical skills come into play — meaning you must know how to process all the elements of just one shot.
4. Golf IQ
We often hear about NBA players with “a high basketball IQ”, but McCormick specifically calls out golf IQ as one of the most crucial skills in golf for overall improvement. This doesn’t necessarily mean studying up on the game and learning every minute detail. It does mean preparing for what your next round of golf has in store for you.
How will your game be impacted by weather? Are you still able to hit your 7-iron as far into a headwind as you did in pristine conditions yesterday? What effect will the pin placement have on your round? These are the types of factors every golfer needs to consider to sharpen their golf IQ.
5. Mindset skills
An absolute no-brainer, any golfer who wants to improve must master the mindset. Top players like Max Homa (fresh off a Farmers Insurance Open victory) credits a shift in mindset as a major asset for his improved form, mentioning his work with a sports psychologist as something that “opened my eyes.” McCormick agrees, saying a player must focus on who they want to become, and to model their game off of that vision.
Over the past week or so, McCormick has taken to social media to share a few different tidbits for golfers to learn from. Considering he’s a Top 100 Teacher, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to make some notes and try to apply them to your own game.