AWSI: Cultivating Golfer Confidence is Doable – Part 1


Earlier this month there was an article in The Wall Street Journal bemoaning the fact that though plenty of people are taking up the game of golf for the first time, very few of them are sticking with it.

We asked Annie about this and boy-oh-boy did she let loose with some thoughts. The short video below will give you a sense of her game plan.

National Golf Federation Fast facts include:

> Roughly 2.2 million Americans aged 6 and older played golf for the first time in 2015, the most since 2002.

> That is up from a post-recession low of 1.5 million beginners in 2011.

> The overall number of participants still fell to 24.1 million, a marginal drop from 24.7 million in 2014 and down from a peak of 30 million in 2005.

> Nearly 90% of the people who left the game in 2015 never became regular golfers which the NGF defines as playing at least eight times per year.**

** Annie thinks this seems way low.

The leak isn’t coming from the core of the industry: a group of nearly 20 million people who play golf regularly and say in surveys they are likely to continue doing so. It’s coming from the people who never make it into that group.

While the first group’s pet peeves are that rounds take way too long and cost way too much. The low conversion of “newbies” to regular players has to do with two factors less often discussed: Comfort and Competence.

Aha! Now we’re onto something. Per Annie, comfort + competence = confidence. And when you are confident, you can step to the tee and play your game (she feels that keeping score is optional). The point is to get out of the round (time spent on the course) what you want just like you’d do with any form of working out (like running).

She has a lot of thoughts on the subject, so rather than make this a ridiculously long post, we will break it up into more digestible bites.

First Things First — Let’s Flip the Paradigm

She says to blow up any preconceptions you have about golf. As Yoda said, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

> Swing: Keep it Simple.

> Sticks: Carry fewer of them.

> Style of Play: Abandon traditional “stroke” for alternatives.

The Swing: Annie says she learned a single-plane style that pretty much guarantees that your club face is squared up when you hit the ball. Then hit the ball straight it is a matter of timing and where the ball is in your stance. The name to remember is Moe Norman. You can learn more about single-plane here.


Starter Sticks: She is a strong believer in carrying less onto the course. Start with basics and learn what they call “the gapping” — how far you can hit with each stick.

  • 6-Stick challenge: Driver, 3-wood, 4-hybrid, 6-hybrid, 8-iron, and a wedge The putter makes 7.
    Fewer sticks, lighter bag, more focus on getting from Point A to Point B. Pick a stick, swing and go.

As you get better and more confident, you can swap out and add more sticks.


What's in Annie's bag.

What’s in Annie’s bag.

She says she’s perfectly comfortable with her current setup that adds a mini-driver and another wedge.

Alternate Shot vs. Stroke Play — It’s more fun, less time consuming and a great confidence booster to team up and play alternate shot golf instead of the traditional stroke play where all players count their stroke totals and a score is based relative to par – under par, even par, or over par. The idea isn’t so crazy either. The Golf Channel has a reality show called “Altered Course” that shows the team approach in action along with other gimmicks that make for entertaining viewing.

Joy of teaming up.

Joy of teaming up.

In the next part of this series, we’ll talk about the various ways you can practice to build up your competence and confidence.

Thanks for reading!

-The Gang

Bonus Content:

The talk of teaming up made us think of this fine ad the Oakland A’s baseball team is running called “Unflinching Trust.” Enjoy! —

Swing Tunes
To be discussed in a future post. It’s okay to listen ahead.

Playlist of Golf Tunes

Golf Tunes

Enjoyed this read? Want more ponderables?

Sign up to our mailing list!

Our weekly DragonBustR Reader will provide you with a nice snapshot of what’s new and ponderable at Jedemi. Plus, you will get updates on The Jedemi Chronicles (Trilogy & Series).



  1. […] Note: You can find the earlier posts here: Part 1: […]

  2. […] Street Journal (Americans Want to Play Golf—Until They Try It). Annie let loose with her thoughts in Part 1. In case you missed it, the short video below will give you a sense of her game […]

Speak Your Mind