Women and Golf: A Simple Setup for Success

Confidence means success. But developing it? Think small. Think discipline. Think practice. Here's how FEI's resident PGA golf professional Jackie Cannizzo recommends women build confidence in their golf game.

How women find success in golf

Which comes first, confidence or success?

Most people think you need confidence for success. But how do you develop that? Specifically, how do golf pros do it?

I train and coach professional and amateur golfers of all ages and skill levels. For me, the answer is start small. Lots of small successes build confidence, especially when learning the game. In our DARE to golf coaching program in Atlanta, for example, which is a program for women only, we spend several sessions on skill-building following this routine.

Start with a disciplined approach to practice.

  • Have specific and achievable goals for each practice session.
  • Schedule practice and practice regularly.
  • Ask for and take feedback from your coach.
  • Repeat the same motion hundreds of times.

Take putting for example. To become a better putter, create a realistic goal and practice schedule. Then pick a drill and set a goal.

Women’s golf putting example

Try to make 10 three-foot putts in a row, without a miss. If you miss one, start the drill all over. If you can only make seven or eight in a row, then the next day set your goal to improve on that number. Stick with it until you reach your goal of 10 putts in a row and you will have your first small success.

Get feedback from your coach if you have difficulty reaching your goal. After several weeks of this kind of disciplined practice, you will be able to make 50 four-foot puts in a row, without a miss! This gives you confidence and leads to your success.

Women’s golf range practice

Apply the same principle when hitting golf balls on the range. Start with a swing fundamental that you want to improve or learn, set a goal and plan your practice. Consider the “takeaway” fundamental. Find a target on the range and hit it, only thinking of the takeaway.

Your teacher or coach can tell you what the ball will do if you master that skill, predicting the direction of the ball or the contact. Sometimes you may practice the drill without hitting a ball or you practice how to strike the ball a certain way. Practice until you achieve your goal. This is the golf pros practice routine. They start with one thing to master and they repeat it over and over, thousands and thousands of times until they feel like they have it.

Following this disciplined approach to practicing will help you build skills that make you confident and successful. If you have skill and confidence, you can achieve any goals you put your mind to.

Send me your question on women and golf

Questions? Items I should address in my next column? Shoot me a line.

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