Golf can be a crazy game. For a few holes you can be on top of the world. Then, all of a sudden you hit a bad shot and for the next 14 holes you feel like you have never swung a golf club before as everything feels wrong! “How can things go bad so fast?”
Or the opposite can happen. You’re playing terrible and then all of a sudden, something “pops” into your head – you try it and its magic. You now feel as if you’re just a few good rounds away from playing on the PGA Tour. “Why can’t I always swing like that?”
Well I found an interesting article in the Golf Global Post – one of a myriad of golf newsletters, electronic magazines, press releases and news alerts I receive every day about golf and the golf business. Yes, it does seem that all I do each day is either read, write or talk about Golf. It’s a tough gig, but it has its perks.
In the article – it told of how PGA Tour Player Nick Watney was 7 over par for the first 43 holes of a PGA tournament and then all of sudden something “popped” into his head. During the remaining 11 holes of the 3rd round he scored 9 under par! Did you hear me? 9 under for 11 holes!!! He ended up scoring a 28 on the back 9 holes!
Now, this is one of the best Players in the world, however the same relative experience can happen to anyone of us. We’re playing somewhere below average — and then “pop” – something just comes to our mind, we try it and we play well.
So what was it for Nick?
He made a slight adjustment in his set-up. Yes, it was as simple as fixing something he wasn’t doing well before he even swung the golf club. He then shot 9 under par for the next 11 holes. On-the-other-hand, from what I have seen whenever I see Golfers making adjustments during the round – it usually has to do with something in their golf swing like their takeaway, or swing path, or shoulder turn, or the release of a club. But rarely do most Golfers look to see if it is something in their set-up that has changed slightly. They are always searching for what’s wrong in their golf swing – as opposed to looking to see what they could improve pre-swing.
What we must remember is — that many times a lot of the issues in our golf swing are being influenced by issues we might have pre-swing. For example: our balance while standing over the golf ball will influence how our bodies move when we swing the golf club back. If we’re not balanced at set-up – our bodies will need to counter-balance during the back swing to compensate for the unbalanced set-up. Thus, while your brain is feeling that you’re starting to become unbalanced – it starts to tell other parts of your body to compensate so you don’t fall. Thus, such things as your hands and arms and legs have to make compensations for your bad set-up.
Compensations Equal Inconsistency! The more you compensate in your golf swing – the more inconsistent your golf swing will become.
The whole process of the golf swing is a chain reaction where everything one part of your body is doing is affecting another part of your body. If you’re not balanced at set-up – one part of your body will need to compensate for it during the golf swing. And a second part of your body will need to compensate for that first compensation. Then a third body part will need to compensate for that second compensation. Etc., etc., etc. Thus, throwing off your timing and your entire golf swing – as you become more and more frustrated at your inconsistency on the golf course!
Does that sound familiar?
However – the more compensations you eliminate – the more consistent you become. Obviously Nick Watney eliminated a whole slew of compensations during the back 9 holes! How did he do it?
Now Watney went from 7 over Par for 43 holes to 9 under for 11 holes. Wow – that still blows my mind! In Nick’s words: “I felt like I bumped my weight to what felt like 65% on my front leg. I guess I was setting up too far back or something. But for whatever reason, I started hitting really nice after that.”
Now, please keep in mind a very important word that Nick used. He said “felt” – “I felt like I bumped my weight”. For all you ‘Golf Tip Junkies’ — that doesn’t mean he actually set-up with 65% of his weight on his front leg!!! It could mean that when he was playing ‘bad’ that he might have been setting up with 65% of his weight on his back leg. Thus, Nick feeling like he moved 65% of his weight to his front leg might just be the rebalancing of his weight to 50% and 50%.
Who would’ve thought that a PGA Tour Player’s problems could’ve been caused by his set-up? Isn’t that interesting? Because I’m sure Nick is thinking about and practicing his set-up more than you are – yet he was having a serious issue that he didn’t notice for at least 2 ½ rounds of golf. And if a person that is one of the best in world takes that long to notice a “small” issue like set-up — well, I wonder how long you have been playing with your set-up issue.
The Monkey will go out for their next practice session and continue to focus on taking the golf club more inside on the backswing … or something similar to that
The Player hasn’t even finished this article as they’re already looking at their set-up in the mirror
Go ahead, come to GMS and learn to become a Player