There are several actions a struggling Golfer can try in their attempt to find their golf swing … or as we like to say: “Getting out of your Bad Streak and moving into Improvement Mode.”
Unfortunately for these Golfers … many of the techniques they use prolong the Bad Streak or sink them even deeper. As it can be said about a Golfer with a struggling golf swing: “A Desperate Golfer often searches for problem solving golf tips which leads to a chronically Frustrated Golfer!”
To give you an idea of how prevalent this is amongst those who play golf – we’re constantly speaking with Golfers that say something similar too: “I’m really struggling with my game. I was a 14 handicap and now I can’t break 90. My handicap has moved up to a 22. Everything I have tried has just made my swing worse.”
What’s happening to these Golfers to make them play worse and worse?
It often stems from something as innocent as hitting a couple unexpected bad shots with a normally trusted golf club and then having a knee-jerk reaction of trying something new in your golf swing.
Now this doesn’t mean that you tried to totally change your golf swing. It could be as innocent as you hitting a couple of 5 irons behind the golf ball … and then someone suggesting that you move the golf ball back in your stance as they’re thinking you may have it too far forward.
But after changing your ball position, you will likely hit the golf ball with the clubface pointing slightly to the right, as it has less time to straighten out before impact. So by innocently “fixing” your ball position … you’re now hitting shots that are flying offline.
Which now leads you to make another adjustment to fix your direction issues by strengthening your grip so your left hand is more on top of the club. Because this will allow you to more easily close the clubface through impact. But, within a few swings of making this additional adjustment … the golf ball starts going very low and to the left.
So now you decide you need to fix this by aiming your feet more to the right. Yet, the more to the right you aim your feet … the more the golf ball starts curving to the left.
Which now puts you in panic mode because you are totally lost and messed up with your new ball position, new grip, and new alignment. So you breakdown and get a lesson from a local Pro who says the reason you’re hitting it low and to the left is that you’re getting ahead of the golf ball at impact. And what you need to do is keep your head behind the golf ball.
So as you continue to work on staying behind the ball at impact … you’re now hitting the ground before the golf ball even more frequently … and whenever you do hit a solid shot … the ball is still curving to the left. And what once was limited to your irons … has now spread to your Driver.
Which means that what initially started as a small problem of slightly hitting behind the golf ball with your 5 iron every-once-in-a-while … now has turned into a huge problem of chunking and hooking all your clubs!
From a fairly consistent 14 handicap to a desperate 22!
But you’re hopeful because you were given some reassuring advice from the Pro that should give you comfort: “Don’t worry about it … it’s going to take some practice to get it. And you’re going to have go through a period where you get worse before you get better.”
Yet during this time of trying to fix a small problem … you have gone from a 5 handicap to an 11, or a 14 handicap to a 22, or a 24 handicap to a 33 … whatever your initial handicap was … you’re basically getting worse and worse.
So how do you make sure this doesn’t happen to you? Or if that has happened to you … what do you do to reverse the trend?
The key is to not panic … don’t go searching on youtube for golf videos about “how to stop hitting behind the golf ball”. Because you’ll probably find pages of videos … each proclaiming what you’re doing wrong, followed by a solution. Yet these methods often are just more adjustments that are going to lead you farther down the path of creating more inconsistency followed by you adding even more adjustments.
The initial solution (before changing everything) for the Golfer above could have been to get away from taking full swings on the driving range for a day or so … and move over to the short game area to hit 15 yard wedge shots. And most likely with the smaller golf swing hitting to a short target … you would start feeling and controlling your movements a little better than you were with your full swing 5 iron.
Then, after starting to regain some control, move to slightly longer swings by hitting 35 yard shots. Once you start gaining control of the longer swing … increase your Length of Swing for 60 yard shots. And once you gain control of these … move to longer swings.
There is a huge difference in “fixing” your golf swing with this learning style vs. trying to change something in your golf swing or set-up. In this style of improving you are learning to feel your golf swing while making natural, almost unconscious corrections that get better and better without much thinking involved.
You’re basically focused on small, rhythmic swings … and improvements pretty much happen without you having to think about it or consciously make adjustments.
Whereas the Golfer that tries to change something as innocent as ball position often creates even more problems which creates the “merry-go-round effect” of continually searching for solutions that often create more problems.
The Monkey is always looking to fix things in his/her golf swing
The Player is always looking to feel his/her golf swing
Go ahead … Be A Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life