I see folks trying TOO hard at getting better and sometimes go through a very difficult period until they get tired and relax. When you’re practicing make sure you hold the golf club lightly in your hands. Take a breather after each shot. Grip pressure is a real killer if you don’t be careful.
In fact, many a golfer who says, “it was that last shot on 18th hole that keeps me coming back”….well did you ever think that maybe you just finally relaxed because you knew the round was over.
Nobody is shooting at you and they are not going to electrocute you if you play bad. Lighten up your attitude, grip and forearms. Nicklaus used to talk about soft forearms all the time.
Just like a receiver in football trying so hard he starts dropping passes you too can try so hard and think so much that you get yourself tied up in knots.
Overall on the golf course don’t think! Drill…drill…drill and forget it! Let the work you did on the range meld in to your golf game. Don’t take it on the golf course.
A great dedicated golf teacher Doc Prose once said; “Any system is better than not having one”. He’s right. If you’re focused on performing a specific movement and if you can repeat it time and again…even if it’s wrong…at least you have some predictability in your ball flight and you can plan accordingly. However some motions can cause you such difficulty that they just can’t be overcome such as a sever “over the top” swing path.
Many of the golf lesson businesses come up with cute descriptions of their method like the X Factor….whooooo…. the one plane or two plane swing…..wow which one am I…somethings it looks like I’m the fourth plane swinger!
I shy away from all these types of so called magic methods and so should you. Why? Because you can NOT force fit yourself to any one’s method. You would have to hit golf balls until your hands bleed to reprogram your body to move contrary to its natural tendencies.
That’s why I look at someones natural tendencies and chip away at the areas where most of the improvement would be recognized and enjoyed. Great players know THEIR swing. They ALL have nagging problems and they know how to keep them under control.
The latest craze is this “Stack and Tilt” thing. Well they got have of it right…the Tilt. The stack part actually makes the tilt more difficult to perform in my estimation and leans toward that dreaded “reverse pivot” that so many golfers worked so hard to alleviate.
Take a look at this video attached that shows what I’m talking about. The BIG move that most golfers miss is the tilt of the shoulders on the downswing. It is the turning of the shoulders that causes the over the top swing path.
I’ve asked many a student to hit me a shot while attempting to hold their body as still as possible. When they view the video playback they are always shocked at how much their body moved during the swing. So many of us try to do too much. Once you get on the golf course and your RPM increases the problem gets even worse. Too much movement with the body can destroy your golf swing and especially your consistency.
Work on swinging while holding your body still….a swing that feels to you like all arms. You’ll be surprised at how far you’ll hit the golf ball and how consistent you will be in ball contact.
The body needs to work as a support mechanism or base to work from. Yea yea yea, I heard all out the leg drive too but it’s a con. Don’t fall for it.
I once saw an article in Golf Digest that was an interview of Jack Nicklaus on his long career. The interviewer asked, “Do you credit some of your success to the strong leg drive you had?”
Nicklaus replied, “I’ve heard a lot about that and read it in many articles. Fact is I never thought about my leg drive. I always felt that having strong legs offered me the opportunity to swing my arms harder.”
You’ve got to Be kidding! How many golfers were totally screwed up because of all the articles about leg drive!
You Have To Be Willing To Make A Jackass Out Of Yourself!
There is one thing about learning a new language…you have to be wiling to make a jackass out of yourself and attempt to speak the language even if you’re making mistakes. I’ve met folks that claimed to have taken four years of Spanish in high school and then four more years in college and they still can’t speak a lick of Spanish!
It’s all in the application. If you were to move to a foreign country a be forced to speak their language you would learn it in no time or be very lonely.
Good golfers are wiling to go to the far end of the range and do their drills, hit short easy shots and look like a hacker but stay on target on what they are attempting to accomplish. They don’t care about knocking it out of the park or impressing the other golfers around them.
When doing drills. Do the drill dry three times first, (that means without a golf ball). If you’re convinced that you can perform the drill properly then hit a short shot with the drill. You need to have a way to monitor your finish and know that you did it properly. I like to call it taking inventory. Then and only then do you attempt to perform the drill with a full shot and again monitor or inventory your results! Hold your finish at least until the ball hits the ground and then look at the position of your hands, arms, your balance point etc.
You might look like a jackass compared to someone else knocking the snot out of the golf ball hitting one after the other as fast as they can…BUT…in my estimation the golfer hitting their balls in the way I just mentioned looks like the jackass!
There’s a golf web site out there called Hit Down Damn it! Funny title but they don’t give you the whole story. Bottom line is you need to compress the golf ball against the ground.
To compress the golf ball better you need to have what tour players call today “shaft lean” which is produced when the hands are in front of the club head at or just before impact. Not only does this position compress the golf ball but it also reduces loft on the golf club so you increase distance. Now, one much overlooked factor is the knees. I see a lot o golfers that “jump”at impact. They lift up thinking they will lift the golf ball up. Jumping sometimes comes from the knees straightening up at impact. The result of jumping is you catch the ball on the up swing and on the bottom part of the club face, (catch it thin).
Try and keep your knees flexed well through impact and swing out between first and second base, (for right handers). Don’t forget to start rotating your forearms well BEFORE you reach impact!
You can try some face impact tape on the front of your club face and if it shows that your impact is on the bottom edge of the golf club you’re probably jumping or flipping your hands at impact. If you don’t have any impact tape just come on out to Patterson and I’ll give you some to test your swing free.
Here’s a video with a drill on developing shaft lean. By the way…I’ve lost 27 pounds since this video was taken. I’ll tell you how I did it. My wife yelled at me, “STOP EATING YOU FAT BAS____! It worked!
I had the honor of attending a VMI football game with one of my students Dick Wise. If you’ve never visited the campus at VMI I highly recommend it. We need more VMI’s!
The history surrounding the facilities are magnificent. Not to mention the beauty of the handsome buildings that hold not only tremendous character but also the years of memories from cadets that had the honor of attending such a prestigious establishment.
Once you have the opportunity to meet some of the fine cadets at VMI you will begin to believe in America and it’s youth. I was so impressed with their kind demeanor, courtesies and outright politeness, lacking at many other campuses around our country today.
Oh yes and the alumni. The Alumni provide absolute proof that the systems at VMI are solid and successful. What a fine group of Amercians that were equally courteous and all around good citizens.
I can’t wait to get back and I am going to take my wife to Lexington for a visit just so she can see what real Amercia looks like. God Bless VMI, their Cadets and their Alumni. Our country is better off thanks to their commitment. I only wish my own son would have attended VMI but he did go to Hargrave Military Academy for Post Graduate Football and is now a Navy Corpsman assigned to a Marine Special Forces group and returned from Iraq safely.
I would recommend VMI to anyone with all the enthusiasm I can muster. Go VMI!!!
You might have heard about this “Stack and Tilt” rage that’s going on out there. Well they got half of it right. Unless you want a quick trip to the Chiropractor you need to forget the stack part but the tilt is right on. So many golfers think that the shoulders turn on the downswing…..big mistake. It is the shoulder turn on the downswing that causes you to go “over the top” or create an “outside in” swing path.
The first thing the shoulders should do on the down swing is tilt down. If you are a right hander, imagine that you are ringing a bell and the bell is so heavy that you have to pull down with your right shoulder and your arms to make it ring.
Once you tilt down with the right shoulder the arms swing out. Make sure you are rolling your forearms over on the down swing and then your right shoulder follows. We used to call it chasing the ball with the right shoulder.
To help you visualize this motion I’ve included for you a video of a lesson on exactly this subject.
Hope this helps. As always I welcome your comments on this or any other Blog I’ve posted.