Have you ever played a round of golf and shot 82, and then the next round, you shoot 92? You may feel like you can’t quite figure out exactly what is causing these issues in your game.
I get it, as I’ve been there too; inconsistency in the golf swing is a major problem, but the good news is it can be fixed.
These eleven reasons why your golf swing is so inconsistent have been issues I have dealt with through the years, and focusing on them has helped me become a much better player.
Why is My Golf Swing so Inconsistent? (Key Takeaways)
- The golf swing has a lot of variables, and you should understand where the issues are that are causing your game to be off.
- Wrist angle controls the clubface, and if your wrist angles are not correct at setup, the top of the swing, and impact, you will struggle with your shot direction.
- Make sure your equipment is not the cause of the inconsistencies in your golf game.
- Spend time practicing the right things, not just standing there hitting golf shot after golf shot.
- Work on physical conditioning so that your inconsistency is not a result of being tired on the golf course.
- 11 Reasons Why Your Golf Swing is So Inconsistent
- Your Grip is Not Always the Same
- The Clubface is Not Square
- You Skipped Too Many Days at the Gym!
- Practice Shouldn’t Always be Pretty
- Eliminate the Number of Variables
- It Could be Time for a Golf Club Fitting
- You Don’t Know Where Your Feet Belong
- Getting Handsy Can be a Problem
- Eliminate Some Swing Thoughts
- The Pre Shot Routine Varies Too Much
- Golf is Hard
11 Reasons Why Your Golf Swing is So Inconsistent
The primary reason your golf swing is so inconsistent is that you are not doing things the same way every time. It’s as simple as that.
Golfers like to fight me on this concept and ask how it’s possible to swing the golf club the same exact way every time. I know; it’s not 100% possible to repeat the same swing.
However, you can get a routine down, focus on the most critical features and eventually start repeating your swing the majority of the time.
Improve your game in two weeks, even if 'wrist mechanics' sounds like rocket science.
Your Grip is Not Always the Same
The golf grip is funky.
Do you remember when you first started playing, and you gripped the club naturally, and then your instructor told you to basically put your hands in a position that is the exact opposite of natural?
Your hands are the only connection you have with the golf club. If they are not on the golf club the right way, the chance of you swinging the same easy is essentially zero.
Fixing the Grip
I suggest practicing your grip more than you ever have before.
Training grips are available, but I just like keeping a club around. Even if you don’t swing it, keeping a club in your house or office and practicing the grip daily will make a big difference.
You can also use the HackMotion device to work on grip consistency. The wrist angles at setup will give you some insight into how your hands are positioned and if you are putting them on the club the same way each time.
Remember when working with the HackMotion there is no perfect angle for your grip and whether you have a strong or a weak grip will impact the wrist angle. The key is to start to grip the club the same way every time.
Here are a few great resources for getting the perfect grip:
- Golf Grip 101: Complete Guide with Tour Player Insights
- Strong vs. Weak Grip: Which is Better?
- Getting The Perfect Golf Grip (Coach Lockey)
The Clubface is Not Square
I have noticed that when placing a club down at an address, the clubhead is not always square.
You would think that golf clubs are all made to be square, but it’s not quite like that.
What looks square to me might not look square to you. Your inconsistencies in your game could be because you are putting the club down at a different angle each time.
Fixing an Open or Closed Clubface at Setup
My suggestion here is to learn what square looks like.
Take each of your clubs and setup to a door jam or a 90-degree angle on a board. This is what square looks like. When the sole of the club is square at setup, you give yourself a better chance of getting it square at the top and then again at impact.
Depending on which clubs you are playing, if they are offset or have a draw bias, what square looks like could be a little different.
You Skipped Too Many Days at the Gym!
This is not the most fun fact for some golfers, but the game is becoming more athletic.
We are starting to see that coming down the stretch, when you need to put a ball in the fairway and make a solid closing par, you will have a much better chance if you are in good physical shape.
Golfers are dropping the hot dogs and beer at the turn and grabbing a piece of fruit and an energy drink (Don’t worry, the 19th hole hasn’t changed!). If you notice too much inconsistency in your golf game, it could be that you are not in the best physical shape.
When fatigue sets in, your clubhead speed will likely slow down, your ability to compress the ball decreases, and you almost always make sloppy mistakes.
Getting in excellent golf shape can be a major commitment, but even something as simple as going for a power walk on days you don’t play will start to help you gain some consistency.
Fixing Problems with Physical Strength
Start small and begin by adding some walking or light jogging into your normal routine. Remember that 18 holes of golf will have you covering 5 miles or more. If you can get 10,000 steps per day you are on your way to building more stamina and making it easier to stay tough near the end of the round.
Working on your golf game at home is another great way to avoid extra hours at the practice range but still get some swings in.
Practice Shouldn’t Always be Pretty
It’s fun to practice hitting long drives. However, trying to hit that 6-iron high and have it land softly on a green may be a lot less fun.
Don’t go to the driving range to try and be a driving range star. Hit the bad shots at the range and work them out. Go there with the intention of making progress in your golf game.
I like to practice the shots that I know could be better, and it really doesn’t matter how they look when on the range. In addition, work on distance control; make sure that you are able to control distance for each club in your bag.
When I returned to the course the next time, my game was much more consistent, and I had more confidence in the shots that I once feared.
But wait, there is another hidden bonus here.
Those shots that you don’t like they often cause you to make unnecessary changes to your swing. For instance, you may swing a four iron out of balance just to try and make solid contact. If you practice these four irons on the driving range and build up your aptitude and confidence, chances are the next time you swing it on the course, it won’t change your golf swing (negatively).
The bottom line here is if you can get comfortable with the ugly practice, your golf swing will get more consistent.
Developing a Practice Routine
Creating the perfect golf practice routine takes a bit of work and design. Identify your weaknesses and build the plan around them, but don’t forget to incorporate the areas of your game where you are good.
Eliminate the Number of Variables
I used to have this terrible habit of starting a round of golf with one swing thought and then changing that thought six times during the course of a round. This is a bad idea.
Pick something you are working on and stick with it for the majority of the round of golf. Of course, if there is some glaring issue, you can fix it, but try to stay consistent and eliminate the number of variables.
Try to think of being a scientist. If you are doing an experiment, you will want to ensure that all conditions stay the same in both tests.
If you change your grip on the first hole, the stance on the second, and the backswing on the third, what is your baseline? There is no baseline!
Introducing too many variables into a golf swing is a problem that so many golfers deal with, and the crazy thing about it is that you are doing it to yourself. There is simply no reason for it. Keep things simple, focus on one or two things, and make adjustments for the next round if you need to.
Here is a cheat sheet you can use if you come across an issue in your game that may need some attention.
|Variables||What You Can Solve|
|Grip||Incorrect grip position can cause slice and hooks|
|Swing Path||Allows for more accurate shots and more control|
|Backswing||Improves power, distance, and accuracy|
|Stance||Balance, weight distribution, and distance from the ball can improve accuracy in turf interaction and ball striking|
|Follow Through||Complete rotation and swing|
|Tempo||Better rhythm, timing and even balance at times|
|Ball Position||Ball flight, trajectory and ball direction|
|Weight Transfer||Can prevent hooks and slices if done properly|
|Alignment||Clubface square to the target|
It Could be Time for a Golf Club Fitting
Golf equipment can cause inconsistencies in your golf swing.
We can’t blame this all on the golf clubs, but I can give you a little story that will probably help you understand why the clubs you are playing with will matter.
Years ago, I was testing clubs at a demo day, and there was a set of irons that I loved. These were blade-style irons, and they were challenging to hit. However, that day I was swinging great.
I kept hitting the center of the face, and I was getting all the spin I needed with a high ball flight and plenty of distance. This was a two-day demo event, and I went back out to the range on the second day to give the clubs another try.
The results were entirely different. My swing was just off that day; I was losing ten yards of distance, and the dispersion rates were terrible. In the end, I realized that I needed more forgiveness built into the club head, or I could become a very inconsistent player.
With all of the equipment upgrades we have seen in the past few years, there is no reason to be playing with golf clubs that are not a fit for your golf game.
How to Know if You Need New Clubs
The age of your current clubs can sometimes be an indicator that you need new golf clubs. Most of the time when clubs reach the 7-year mark they are getting pretty outdated as far as technology is concerned.
In addition, go ahead and make sure that you know how your physical features (height, flexibility, arm length, etc.) play into your club fitting facts.
You Don’t Know Where Your Feet Belong
The stance, setup, and posture are a few of the things that professional golfers work on the most. If your feet are not in the right place, how is the rest of the golf swing supposed to fall into place?
Remember to practice your stance. Golf alignment sticks are cheap; they help you get into the right position, and you will ultimately start to get into the right setup naturally once you learn what that is.
All the golf books say that shoulder width apart is best for your feet; I have found that depending on the lie, something a little narrower or broader can help.
Therefore, the key is to find what your ideal stance is and then learn to repeat it. When you start to set up consistently, your golf swing will be much less inconsistent.
Building the Perfect Golf Stance
One of the best ways to learn a perfect golf stance is to experiment. Spend some time working on the driving range hitting shots with an open stance and closed stance. Learn how this changes your swing and the ball flight.
Here are a few resources to help you understand and learn the importance of a perfect golf stance.
Getting Handsy Can be a Problem
Certain great players learn how to use their hands in their golf swing. I won’t tell you that the hands should play no role in the swing because that’s not true.
However, if your hands get too involved, you can expect to see some inconsistencies in the swing and the game.
Players who are able to use their larger muscles like the core, shoulders, and legs will notice a more consistent golf swing. Larger muscles are easier to control, and when you swing the club at 100mph, they are also easier to feel.
Use HackMotion to Help
Hands are controlled by what the wrists do. HackMotion can teach you how to focus more on your wrist motion as opposed to the hand position. When your wrists are correct throughout the swing, the hands will take on the correct role and be less likely to get overactive.
Eliminate Some Swing Thoughts
Have you been told that it’s not good to have too many swing thoughts? That would be correct.
However, what is untrue is that having no swing thoughts is best. You still need to have the proper mindset about your actual plan to hit the golf ball.
I usually like to have one or two things. One of those is usually setup or stance related, and then the next is a thought for the takeaway.
After the takeaway, the only swing thought I have is to get to a full, balanced and complete finish. If I can get to this point, my body will be rotated entirely, and I know that I got a higher level of ball speed.
The Pre Shot Routine Varies Too Much
If you have ever watched a quirky golfer like Keegan Bradley, you can truly understand the importance of a pre-shot routine.
Bradley is fun to watch, until he isn’t. He makes a ton of moves before he hits, and there are adjustments and lineups and walk-arounds that occur before he’s able to pull the trigger. However, if you watch him play often enough, you can see that he follows the same pre-shot routine every time.
Why would he do this? Consistency.
How can he ask his body to complete the same exact swing without starting it the same way every time?
The pre-shot routine is like starting your lawn mower; if you don’t follow the steps, the mower isn’t going to start. If you don’t complete a pre-shot routine, don’t expect to get the same golf swing each time.
My pre-shot routine is different for the driver than for the short game, but that is acceptable. However, each time I hit a drive, I follow the exact same procedure.
This procedure is just as much a physical trigger as it is a mental trigger to ensure I’m going to end up in the proper position when I take the golf club back.
Putting Together a Pre Shot Routine
An excellent pre shot routine is to stand behind the hole, looking at the target, and take a practice swing or two. Come around the side of the ball, line up the clubface, look at the target one more time, and then take your swing. You can tweak your pre shot routine to work specifically for you over time.
Golf is Hard
I saved this one for last, but sometimes your golf swing is so inconsistent because golf is not an easy sport.
Many golfers are just entirely unrealistic about the results they can get on the golf course. Set your expectations so that they are reasonable, and then follow our other tips to get some more consistency in your golf game.
Improve your game in two weeks, even if 'wrist mechanics' sounds like rocket science.
Here’s the good news; you are not the only one with an inconsistent golf swing.
The bad news for those asking why my golf swing is so inconsistent is that it takes a bit of time to become a more consistent player. Implement the fixes I gave you, practice at the range, and become a more intentional player.
Even if you consider yourself to have a golf swing that isn’t great or is untraditional, you can still become more consistent.
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