Golf Insider Performance Notes

This is an evolving set of notes, ideas and concepts surrounding golf practice, golf coaching and golf performance.


1º of change

1 degree of change in golf performance. man looking into distance with two dotted paths draw into the horizon

We’ve all heard of the notion that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, but walking this journey feels very different to looking retrospectively at how someone became an elite golfer. Here we’ll cover a key concept on the journey to becoming a better golfer, 1º of change.

Small changes in weekly habits

There are no big secrets involved in getting better at golf, instead there are one thousand mini lessons to be learned. Getting better at golf involves collecting all the small pieces of information and strategies that mould you into the best player you can be.

As a player you need to find these golden nuggets and turn them into weekly tasks and strategies that you can fit into your routine. You may fit in some extra putting practice, start a golf specific workout, keep better stats, or focus more on your target over every golf shot. The key is to ensure these changes stick.

Each change nudges your performance trajectory by 1º, you are now on a new path.

Walking your new path

The funny thing is that as a player walking this path you can’t always see the big picture. If you perform this new routine for 1 day you feel no different. One week or even a month later you won’t feel that you’re much different as a golfer.

However, if you can keep walking along this new path for long enough you’ll end up in a very different place as a player. It just takes time. Looking from a birds eye view it is clear to see that small changes will lead you to a very different place down the road, but it won’t feel like that when you’re the one walking along the path.

Lesson – 1º of change

What are the 1-2 things you could implement this week to make yourself a better golfer? How will you ensure that you can carry these tasks out consistently over a long period of time?

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A PGA golf professional, with a PhD in Biomedical Science and MSc in Sports Biomechanics & Psychology. I currently spend my time lecturing part-time at Leeds Beckett University and working with elite athletes. In my spare time I build Golf Insider UK.

5 thoughts on “Golf Insider Performance Notes”

  1. Good article, I will sometimes go back and look at a video of my swing a year ago and shake my head at what now I see are obvious mistakes. I’m spending more and more practice time on the short game and I can see that very gradual improvement.

  2. Sounds a lot like Theory of Constraints (TOC), which is a simple process improvement tool used in production/manufacturing. The idea behind TOC is that you intensely focus on fixing the one single thing that is “eating your lunch” in a given process that causes you delay or waste. Once the thing is fixed, you move onto the next issue and re-channel your focus on it, resulting in continuous process improvement. TOC is good for established processes and the 1% of Change concept seems better applied to a somewhat established golfer – not so good for new golfers.

    I have been re-tooling my game for the last year and have read many articles on this website (mostly putting & short game), which have been amazingly effective in helping me improve different areas of my game 1% at a time!!! Thanks for another great article.

    • Hi Steve,

      I think you’ve summed it up well. Systems and processes for elite sport are similar to those in many walks of life. I’m glad the content has been of use. I’ll do my best to keep the good stuff coming.

      Kind regards,



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