Is Your Practice Swing Better Than Your Real Swing?

How many times have you heard, “you have a beautiful practice swing.”  We have all known someone that makes a wonderful relaxed practice swing only to look like a wild man when they actually go to hit the golf ball.

The example I have for you is not so drastic an example just mentioned but they’re out there.  I’ve taken a practice swing video and a real shot video and put them on top of each other so you could see if there were differences in the positions.  Yes there were differences and the differences would effect any ones ball flight and consistency.

I think the big difference is that in your practice swing you’re not focused on hitting the ball a specific distance.  You’re not as tempted to surge or pull with your body to accelerate the golf club.  The push, surge or transfer of weight to your front foot will cause your golf club path to get steeper on your down swing.  The push to your front foot will also make it more difficult to square the golf club up at impact because you have less room or time to operate in.

Confused?  I think the video will help.

Is Your Golf Swing Picture Perfect? Does It Need To Be?

The answer is…..only on the way down!  Having a picture perfect back swing only makes it easier to accomplish that very necessary picture perfect down swing.  However, this is only in theory.

Too many golfers spend years working on trying to make all the perfect swing motions shown in golf magazines and on TV, only to waste valuable years that you cold have been spent enjoying the game.  There are no points for technique here.  This is NOT the Olympics!

What about Lee Trevino, Jim Furyk, Tony Lema, John Daly, and yes even Sam Snead did NOT have a perfect back swing.  I remember seeing Sam for the first time in Miami at the Eastern Airlines Open and thinking, holy cow, he’s over the top on the down swing!  Not really, but I was only 14 then and learning.

Here’s an analysis of a very successful player, Jay Haas.  His back swing is certainly less than perfect.  It might be that one needs to have better tempo and balance to repeat a back swing that is not perfectly on the swing plane.  I have always said that great balance, rhythm and tempo will overcome swing faults.

Take a look at this analysis and see what you think.

Golf-Swing-Analysis-Jay-Haas

 

You Have To Be Willing To Make A Jackass Out Of Yourself!

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!

I’m Confused…Do The Arms Go First or The Body?

I’m Confused…Do The Arms Go First or The Body?

Well I had a lesson yesterday that also taught me a lesson. It is real easy for the student to interpret what you asked them to do and multiply it by four and get themselves in more trouble then what they are in in the first place. Don’t over cook it.

The student said, wait a minute….you told me to turn my body and now you’re telling me to lead with the arms and shut the body down? Yes. Well earlier this student had very little movement in the body and now exaggerated the first assignment to such an extent that he was moving all over the place. What some refer to as “swimming” in the golf swing.

What we’re trying to achieve is a balance and coordinated effort between the body and the arms. Under normal circumstance MOST people will feel as though their arms are moving faster than the body but in actuality the motion is coordinated. The arms do move faster on the downswing because of “angular acceleration” just like a line of soldiers marching a column left.

Moral of the story is don’t over cook it, and if you do don’t fret. Touring pros do it all the time. How do think pros can go from winning a tournament one week and then missing the cut the next! They had a good thing going and then they started to over emphasize it and it bit’em.

Now the pro has to start all over again. I don’t feel sorry for him…he probably has a jet plane!

Holy CRAP! My Swing Just Went To Pieces!!!!

Yes it will happen to you just like it has happened to me and every other golfer on the planet…yes even Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Sometimes it is difficult for me to get across that the best golfers in the world go through the same thing so why shouldn’t you?

Touring pros have a band aid that they apply and now you will too. Sometimes you can’t just “fix” your swing on the golf course. In fact trying to do so might put you so far down you need to reach up to touch bottom!

You have to get through the round and not set yourself so far back that you miss the cut or put yourself out of opportunity to make it up the next day. The PGA pro that taught me to play golf used to tell me as youngster that when I can play 18 holes and not hit a single green in regulation and still shoot par then I can consider myself a player. That’s what Nicklaus and Tiger have in common. They do not carry the best statistics for greens in regulations, fairways hit or least amount of putts. How do they win? They manage themselves better than anybody else.

Here’s what most pros do in a round when the wheels are coming off the wagon.

They try to shut down one system of the swing, namely the body. Usually your body and arms are out of sync so you need to shut one system down and fly on only one engine sort of speak. Just fly the plane back to the airport and fix it there…the driving range.

The reason why they generally shut down the body is because the body has a short distance to travel in the golf swing compared to the arms that generally the body or hips get ahead of the arms. This is the case with Tiger Woods which is why he worked hard on slowing his hips down. I might be telling some of you to speed them up. That’s because your hips are too slow.

Some pros accomplish this by first bringing their feet closer together in the address position. Why? Because with your feet closer together you are less likely to lunge at the ball with your body. Put you feet closer together and swing with all arms.

Another tip is to lighten up your grip pressure significantly. It may not feel to you that you are swinging faster than you should but it may be happened none the less. Tension is a killer of a smooth repeatable golf swing.

If needed, try taking one more golf club on a shot than you normally would. Hit a 5 where you hit a 6. Swing easy with only your arms you might be surprised to find yourself over the green under the TV tower. (Well you could pretend anyway)

Bottom linme is when your swing goes out of sync it is usually tempo related or a tugging of the body trying to excellerate the golf club beyond your capacity or best tempo. There is a BEST tempo for every golf swing and every golfer.

You need to find yours and stick with it and NOT go beyond the boundaries. Swinging hard on that long par 5 so you can get there in two may ruin the rest of your golf game. That’s why tour players NEVER get involved in long drive contests. They won’t risk loosing their tempo for a quick buck in a driving contest.

Hope this helps and you know where to find me,
Bobby Lopez, PGA
www.bobbylopezgolf.com
804.378.7456