We always talk to Golfers that come to see us and ask them “what are you currently working on in your golf swing?” After a brief pause we often get an answer that goes something like this: “I’m working on trying to take the club more on an inside path on the way back. To do this I need to keep my right elbow in closer to my body while turning my shoulders and shifting my weight.”
Now, if that is not already too much to think about … the Golfer often continues by saying: “and I also have been told that I need to keep my left arm straight as I go back because I often bend it too much.”
So you have 5 things you’re working on in your backswing? Inside takeaway, right elbow close to the body, turn your shoulders, shift your weight and keep your left arm straight? Do you think that’s enough to think about?
“But Marc, I then really need to think about pausing at the top of my swing because if I don’t … I get too quick on the downswing. So I need to make sure I wait so that the club stops at the top of the backswing. And then from there I need to initiate my downswing by dropping my right elbow down to my side … but without letting my hands release. So that I hold the angle.”
Can I stop you there? We really need to talk about your golf swing.
“Why? Is that incorrect. Am I forgetting something?”
We have found that Golfers can only think about one “swing movement technique” and two “pre-movement techniques” at a time. By “pre-movement techniques” … we are talking about what you’re doing to get ready to swing as far as your set-up. Whereas a “swing movement technique” is what you’re trying to do as the club is moving.
Now, if you’re thinking of more than one swing movement technique during your swing … you’re going to struggle. So what we have done is segment your golf swing into two categories: “pre-movement techniques” and “swing movement techniques
As we talk about pre-movement (your set-up to the golf ball) … everyone will tell you it is important. Yet, it is rare to ever see someone that is truly set-up well to the golf ball. Basically everyone we see has an issue when they set-up: too much weight on toes, or too much weight on heels, or too much weight on left foot, or too much weight on right foot, or left foot not turned out enough, or butt of club pointing too much at center of their belly, or aiming too far left, or aiming too far right, or, or, or.
And each one of these errors are important because they influence many of your errors in your golf swing – Cause and Effect. Meaning: if a “pre-movement technique” is just slightly off … it will negatively effect your swing movement.
Just like the Golfer that was working on taking the club more to the inside while keeping his/her right elbow in. Maybe that is something they need to feel. But maybe the reason their club is not naturally moving in that direction has something to do with what they are doing pre-movement (in their set-up).
Maybe the club is going a little too outside on the backswing because their left side isn’t engaged on the backswing … causing your arms to do all the work. And maybe the left side can’t be engaged because there is to much weight at set-up towards your right toe. Where if you did try to engage your left side on the backswing with your weight towards your right toe … it would throw you off balance and cause you to reverse pivot.
This is just one of thousands of examples of how the golf swing resembles the “Domino Effect”. One thing influences another thing which influences another thing, etc.
So most likely those 3 or 4 or 5 swing movement techniques you’re working on in your golf swing is coming about from one simple pre-movement technique where you’re just need a slight adjustment.
To better understand where it goes wrong – a Golfer usually doesn’t start with 5 swing movement techniques they need to work on. It usually starts innocently enough with just 1 technique. But Golfers are collectors … golf tip collectors. We keep think we need to work on all these things in our golf swing … so we’ll keep adding and hoarding swing tips.
Yet the most consistent Golfers have learned to focus on just 1 swing movement technique.
Many Golfers we have worked with have told us they have that same backswing problem as the Golfer above and spent a lot of time and money on trying to fix it … while never consistently getting it. Yet, they are amazed that the reason could be as simple as their balance was almost unnoticeably towards their toes … causing the club to constantly go outside too much on the way back.
That is unless your brain tries to compensate for the outside swing and has your right hand take over by trying to force the club more inside. But that’s a whole other Domino Effect of compensations that is caused by bad balance at set-up.
For example: if a 200 pound (90.7 kilograms) person had 1 pound (.45 kilograms) of weight a little too much towards their toes … your club will most likely go too far outside on the back swing. Now think about this: that 1 pound is basically .5% of your body weight. It is very hard to feel if you’re .5% too much towards your toes as you’re standing up to hit your Driver on a 400 yard par 4 with other Golfers watching
However, if you’re as little as 1 pound off in your pre-movement … you’re going to be even more off during your swing movement as your body is going to have to counterbalance and compensate somewhere in your swing to keep you balanced. Which often means that you’re creating an inconsistent swing plane, swing path and ultimately … and inconsistent golf shot.
While most Golfers are thinking about 2, 3, 4 different swing thoughts for their swing movement … the more consistent Golfers are able to limit themselves to 1 swing thought.
However, the only way that is possible is if your pre-movement (set-up) is correct. Because once your are set-up better … many of your swing movements will be instantly corrected without having to think about them. Thus allowing you to play an entire round of golf with just 1 swing thought.
The Monkey is thinking of all the things they need to do in their golf swing … but rarely is able to do any of them correctly
The Player understands that their golf swing movements are directly related to their pre-movement techniques
Go ahead … Be A Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life