Why is it that some people never seem to be able to “get” the golf swing? They try to improve, they take lessons, they hit golf balls … but they continue to struggle.
And then there are others that don’t seem to put nearly as much effort into improving … but they seem to swing smooth and hit a good ball whenever you see them play.
What’s the difference between these two Golfers?
We find that many of the Golfers that continually struggle are being held back by what we call “The Checklist”. Every time they step up to the golf ball – these Golfers have to go through a checklist of all the “Do’s and Don’ts” in their swing.
Thus, before you even swing, these Golfers are struck with “paralysis by analysis”. Which means … making a smooth, consistent swing is almost an impossible task.
What’s on your checklist? It depends on the Golfer and what they were taught in their prior golf lessons, but often seems to include: “I need to make sure the v’s of my hands are pointing to my right shoulder. Bend my knees. Straighten my spine for good posture. Then I need to bring the club straight back while turning my shoulders, keeping my head still and not letting my body sway.”
It’s no wonder you have trouble making a smooth, consistent swing thinking of all that stuff. What’s even more disheartening to many Golfers is that you have to get up over the next shot and go through that checklist again. And now that there is a group of Golfers waiting on you after another bad shot … you need to go through “The Checklist” even faster!
Which leads to a very quick, out of control golf swing.
It’s a scary transition for a Golfer to go from having a checklist that is causing too much thinking to becoming a Golfer that walks up to the golf ball with nothing but smooth swing thoughts. However, it can be done – I’ve seen it happen.
But it needs to begin with you making a commitment to a Practice PLAN that is focused on not thinking while standing over the golf ball.
This Practice PLAN starts with the idea of using drills that are based on understanding what you’re trying to accomplish. Put simply – “practicing using drills is like putting brains in your muscles”. By doing so, you’re training your body to feel the motions necessary. The movements on your checklist become second nature, automatic …. so you don’t have to consciously think about every facet of the swing motion.
For example: we have a drill we use called the Belly Swing. With this drill, it trains a Golfer to feel the movements of the back swing and forward swing. In addition to the club moving correctly, it trains you to feel the proper sequencing of your hips, shoulders and weight transfer. Thus, you’re not just learning the swing path … you’re training your muscles to feel the exact timing necessary.
Whereas a Golfer that goes to the range and practices taking the club back on the proper line isn’t doing anything more than adding one more to think about. Just because the club is moving back on a better path … doesn’t mean you’re making a good backswing.
The sequencing of how the rest of your body participates is just as important as the swing path.
The Golfer that uses this drill will be engraining a movement that will eliminate the need to think of at least 5 swing thoughts. The Belly Swing for example will train the Golfer to: set-up with good posture, keep your left arm straight, turn your shoulders, turn your hips, shift your weight to the right foot so that you’re loaded up on your back foot without swaying, as well as having a proper backswing path.
Thus, by practicing this drill – you have eliminated thinking about all of the above … plus you’re learning to coordinate these movements naturally. As opposed to trying to go through a checklist that doesn’t allow for proper sequencing. Thus, a herky jerky, inconsistent golf swing … even though you’re trying to swing correctly.
Now, the above example of the Belly Swing doesn’t even include how the drill trains you to make the critically important smooth transition from back swing to forward swing, as well as training you to turn your shoulders and hips correctly on the forward swing as you make a properly timed weight shift that moves the club on the correct swing path through the ball and having you end up with a full follow-through into a balanced finish.
But the problem is many people are being taught to play so that you’re thinking about all these little things as you stand over the golf ball. Giving you “Paralysis by Analysis” before you even swing. However, a cleverly designed drill … eliminates all that thinking.
The Monkey is thinking of their Checklist before and during each swing
The Player has a Practice PLAN based on using specific drills that put all these thoughts into their muscles … as opposed to in their head
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life