Last week we finished Part 1 by saying that we’ll continue with the Mantra of the Golf Instructor – “when all else fails – teach Compensation #8”. Which unfortunately is something you’re most likely trying to do on every golf swing. If you missed Part 1 and would like to catch-up and see how we got to Compensation #8 – click here.
The Mantra of the Golf Instructor? When all else fails, tell the Golfer they need to swing more from the the inside out (Compensation #8). Or in other words for anybody that has never heard that phrase before – it’s the feeling of swinging to the right. This maybe the most abused Golf Tip ever created – and if you’ve ever had a typical golf lesson – I’d bet every dollar in my pocket that you have been told to do Compensation #8 at least once.
Though, what often follows after learning and then spending hours upon hours practicing to swing more from the inside – is that you start to push the golf ball out to the right even more. Then, because you’re hitting the golf ball too far to the right – you’re now told that you need to start turning over your wrists and/or forearms at impact so that you can close the clubface to make the golf ball go straighter (Compensation #9).
Yet, because of Compensation #9 – you start to develop an annoying pull/snap hook every once in a while. So you’re told that your wrists are flipping through and that you need to start holding the angle of the club by setting your wrists at the top of your swing and holding them through impact (lag the club by holding your wrists); which turns out to be Compensation #10.
Which now officially means you’ve turned into that cartoon of the Golfer trying to hit the golf ball with way too many thoughts in their head. Meaning – you now might be going through your Checklist of things you need to do on every golf swing before and during every golf swing – starting from Compensation #1 and running through Compensation #10.
And then because you start losing power because you’re holding your wrists for too long – you’re told that you need to snap your wrists at impact at just the right time (Compensation #11).
However, what’s scary is that all these compensations have become bad habits in your golf swing, regardless of whether you’re thinking about them or not on every golf swing. And what becomes even more frightening is that the next time you play – you’ll consciously and/or subconsciously end up adding more compensations to those compensations because you’re on a quest to find a way to hit the golf ball better.
And pretty soon, you have a golf swing that’s built on one compensation compensating for another compensation that’s compensating for another compensation that’s …. well, I’ll spare you the repetition.
Now, where did your Compensation Overload begin?
Your very first compensation probably started the second time you swung a golf club. Why the second time? Well, after you swung at the golf ball the very first time – you watched the result of your shot – then based on how close you were able to produce a perfect shot– you came up (consciously or unconsciously) with a compensation that you felt would bring you closer to that shot.
Now, we can go on and on and on – because the majority of Golfers reading this have more compensation in their golf swing then listed above. Some might have the exact compensations listed above – others may have other compensations that weren’t listed. Though, everyone does have compensations – from Tiger Woods all the way down the line.
The key to remember is – Compensations Equal Inconsistency
Meaning the less compensation you have in your golf swing – the better and more consistent you are. For example: Tiger Woods has less compensation in his swing versus the Golfer that’s ranked #125. A 3 handicap probably has less compensations than a 10 handicap; and a 10 probably has less than a 20 handicap; and so on.
However, whenever all your compensations align, regardless of your skill level – you hit a great shot. And even for the higher handicaps – it is possible for those compensations to align for a few swings or more. For example: a 25 handicap may have those compensations align for their drive and their second shot on a Par 4 and have a 3 foot putt for birdie. And then on the next hole; hit the biggest, ugliest slice you ever saw and make triple bogey.
On the other hand – the 10 handicap doesn’t have as many compensations to align on every swing; so of course those compensations will align much more frequently and allow for those 2 great shots that set-up a Birdie to happen more often. Additionally, because they don’t have to align as many compensations on their next drive, instead of hitting a huge slice; they may hit a power fade that stays in play and allows them the opportunity to make Par or better.
The more compensations in your golf swing – the harder it is to become consistent. The less compensations in your golf swing – the easier it is to become more consistent.
So what’s the simple answer in the question of how to improve your golf swing? Eliminate compensations.
How do you do that? First you find the Strengths of your golf swing. Then you find the Weaknesses. And it’s amazing how simple it is to get rid of these Weaknesses when you use a Results Based Approach. As opposed to the Theories and Assumptions Approach that so many frustrated Golfers use that is similar to what we have described this week and last week of just piling compensations on top of compensations in order to fix simple faults.
Eliminate your compensations and you’ll be amazed at how consistent you can become. The question many ask is: How is it possible for GMS to have all those Testimonials on our Website and display 2 Testimonials in each GIW? Because these Golfers have started the process of eliminating compensations from their golf swing. Now, you’re never going to eliminate every compensation – but the sooner you start reducing your compensations one at a time – the sooner you’ll have a Testimonial on the GMS website about how well you’re playing.
As opposed to the traditional approach that most Golfers use of trying to fix swing faults by adding compensations. And we have found that that’s why some Golfers never improve and GMS Golfers are constantly improving!
The Monkey tries to fix a bad habit by adding compensation
The Player is more focused on finding the cause of the bad shot and then eliminating the compensations that were created because of that cause
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life