Skill Testing & Why It Is Important
We’ve all seen it: someone with a very unorthodox swing or style, but can get up and down from anywhere. From the outside looking in, it would appear that one would need to change their “technique” because it does not reflect everyone else’s. For this exact reason, golf instructors and students alike need to understand how important skill testing really is.
How many people would look at Jack Nicklaus’ putting and say, “you’re too bent over, we need to get you more upright with a straighter back”? Or, refer to Jim Furyk’s pitching and say, “you’re too close to the ball and your lower body is moving too much!” The fact is, there is no ONE right way to play golf. The golf ball doesn’t understand what you look like; it only understands the moment one is making impact.
This is where skill testing comes into play. Skill testing measures your current ability to play golf and dictates what one needs to work on. Such as, if one has great technique, but has a hard time scoring, then perhaps there is more going on internally that would require Mental Toughness training and guidance. If one is not scoring because of missing a key skill, then skill training may be encouraged via lessons. The key is knowing that skill testing is never “cut and dry.” Because there are often many variables, it should be left up to the coach/instructor to determine the appropriate steps that are needed to improve the students’ game.
Personally, I have witnessed many unorthodox swings and styles produce very good scores when skill testing. I have also witnessed “good” technique produce very bad scores. Whether one is an instructor or student, always be sure to find someone who will test your skills first before making arbitrary changes to your individual game. Let the scores guide you on what you need to work on, and in what order. Know your game and make it better– skill testing can take the guessing out of this for you!
If you are interested in taking a lesson to improve your game, don’t hesitate to contact Ben Austin, PGA or Deerfield’s Head Golf Pro, Michael Tobiason! Click here for more details!