Connect with us

Instruction

Here’s why your “perfect” practice swing doesn’t work when there’s a golf ball in the way

Published

on

Have you ever wondered why your absolutely perfect practice swing doesn’t produce better shots? 

Your practice swing is perfect; you feel powerful like Tiger Woods, stay in balance like Rory Mcllroy, it looks effortless like Ernie Els, and your technique is flawless like Ben Hogan. It should produce the longest, straightest shots that you are physically capable of executing. But when you actually step up and place the golf ball in the way, your perfect practice swing disappears, and it’s the same old swing flaws that produce terrible golf shots.

Frequently, the answer lies within your practice swing. You’re not correcting the root cause of the problem! Take a look below at an example of what I frequently see up on my practice tee.

This golfer struggles with hitting shots too high, therefore not maximizing distance. His club head frequently reaches the golf ball before the handle does, with his hands behind the ball at impact, so he constantly works on getting more shaft lean into the ball. He wants to see his hands closer to his target leg at impact, which will help him de-loft the golf club and encourage a more solid, lower, penetrating ball flight with more distance.   

When he films his practice swing, he sees his perfect technique! There is more shaft lean, his hands are closer to his target leg, and the overall motion is great. So why can’t he execute this swing for real? 

A closer look at the impact position of his practice swing notes that his face is WIDE open. If this golfer executed his practice swing with the golf ball in the way, he would hit the ball dangerously right, probably out of bounds if he even found the club face. So while his practice swing movement is what he’s striving for, he hasn’t fixed the root cause of his swing issues: the club is wide open at impact! In order for this golfer to execute his practice swing during his real swing, and get the results he wants, he must fix his grip to achieve a more closed club face at impact. Once the grip is fixed — the root issue of his golf game — he will then be freed up to use that practice swing when it actually counts. 

So how can we ensure that our perfect practice swing works? Look at what your club face is doing at impact. Study where the bottom of your swing arc is. Is the bottom of your arc where you want it to be when you’re taking practice swings? Are you taking practice swings starting where your ball position would be for the given shot? Look how you deliver your golf club. Is it on your desired swing path? Is it with your desired angle of attack? Study these components to ensure that your practice swing has an opportunity to perform more efficiently, and ultimately replicate your real swing. 

The moral of this story: there are always reasons why your perfect practice swing doesn’t show up when you’re trying to execute your real swing, including the pressure to actually perform! But, if you fix the root cause of your swing and actually use a practice swing that works for the shot you want to hit, then you can replicate your practice swing and hit better shots, even under pressure.

Your Reaction?
  • 41
  • LEGIT8
  • WOW1
  • LOL2
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP9
  • OB5
  • SHANK49

Certified Teaching Professional at the Pelican Hill Golf Club, Newport Coast, CA. Ranked as one of the best teachers in California & Hawaii by Golf Digest Titleist Performance Institute Certified www.youtube.com/uranser

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. blue

    Aug 25, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    FYI… incompetent golfers have a psychological fear of a golf club… believe it or not… it’s true…

  2. geohogan

    Aug 25, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7A9HrkUSG3Q&feature=youtu.be

    Crude in presentation, but to the point.
    In one hour a right handed golfer takes a lesson to swing left handed and succeeds, not be practice swings but by not looking at the ball.

  3. jason z

    Aug 24, 2018 at 8:16 am

    Let’s say your practice swing happens to be excellent with the club bottoming out in the right spot, the face angle square to target and swing path in-out (all verified by high frame rate video) but your real swing is dramatically different. Any advice on how to get them to match up?

  4. Jack

    Aug 24, 2018 at 5:24 am

    LOL yes totally agreed. I’ve actually replicated practice swings when I’m hitting, and it doesn’t end pretty. Problem is practice swings are done without a ball in mind and as much as we would like to just let the ball get in the way of the swing, most swings are not good enough for that. Also we just do practice swings without regard to path/clubface. If we did it would be just as unnatural (for amateurs that is) as the real swing.

  5. geohogan

    Aug 23, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    IMO, when we play.. dont practice.
    We dont need to give golfers reasons to take more and more time to take a shot. Can you imagine waiting on a golfers as they check impact, path etc etc, with every practice swing. Some will keep at it until they think they get it right….more golfers will quit the game.

  6. Jerry

    Aug 23, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I thought you were going to say something about the mental game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instruction

How a towel can fix your golf swing

Published

on

This is a classic drill that has been used for decades. However, the world of marketed training aids has grown so much during that time that this simple practice has been virtually forgotten. Because why teach people how to play golf using everyday items when you can create and sell a product that reinforces the same thing? Nevertheless, I am here to give you helpful advice without running to the nearest Edwin Watts or adding something to your Amazon cart.

For the “scoring clubs,” having a solid connection between the arms and body during the swing, especially through impact, is paramount to creating long-lasting consistency. And keeping that connection throughout the swing helps rotate the shoulders more to generate more power to help you hit it farther. So, how does this drill work, and what will your game benefit from it? Well, let’s get into it.

Setup

You can use this for basic chip shots up to complete swings. I use this with every club in my bag, up to a 9 or 8-iron. It’s natural to create incrementally more separation between the arms and body as you progress up the set. So doing this with a high iron or a wood is not recommended.

While you set up to hit a ball, simply tuck the towel underneath both armpits. The length of the towel will determine how tight it will be across your chest but don’t make it so loose that it gets in the way of your vision. After both sides are tucked, make some focused swings, keeping both arms firmly connected to the body during the backswing and follow through. (Note: It’s normal to lose connection on your lead arm during your finishing pose.) When you’re ready, put a ball in the way of those swings and get to work.

Get a Better Shoulder Turn

Many of us struggle to have proper shoulder rotation in our golf swing, especially during long layoffs. Making a swing that is all arms and no shoulders is a surefire way to have less control with wedges and less distance with full swings. Notice how I can get in a similar-looking position in both 60° wedge photos. However, one is weak and uncontrollable, while the other is strong and connected. One allows me to use my larger muscles to create my swing, and one doesn’t. The follow-through is another critical point where having a good connection, as well as solid shoulder rotation, is a must. This drill is great for those who tend to have a “chicken wing” form in their lead arm, which happens when it becomes separated from the body through impact.

In full swings, getting your shoulders to rotate in your golf swing is a great way to reinforce proper weight distribution. If your swing is all arms, it’s much harder to get your weight to naturally shift to the inside part of your trail foot in the backswing. Sure, you could make the mistake of “sliding” to get weight on your back foot, but that doesn’t fix the issue. You must turn into your trial leg to generate power. Additionally, look at the difference in separation between my hands and my head in the 8-iron examples. The green picture has more separation and has my hands lower. This will help me lessen my angle of attack and make it easier to hit the inside part of the golf ball, rather than the over-the-top move that the other picture produces.

Stay Better Connected in the Backswing

When you don’t keep everything in your upper body working as one, getting to a good spot at the top of your swing is very hard to do. It would take impeccable timing along with great hand-eye coordination to hit quality shots with any sort of regularity if the arms are working separately from the body.

Notice in the red pictures of both my 60-degree wedge and 8-iron how high my hands are and the fact you can clearly see my shoulder through the gap in my arms. That has happened because the right arm, just above my elbow, has become totally disconnected from my body. That separation causes me to lift my hands as well as lose some of the extension in my left arm. This has been corrected in the green pictures by using this drill to reinforce that connection. It will also make you focus on keeping the lead arm close to your body as well. Because the moment either one loses that relationship, the towel falls.

Conclusion

I have been diligent this year in finding a few drills that target some of the issues that plague my golf game; either by simply forgetting fundamental things or by coming to terms with the faults that have bitten me my whole career. I have found that having a few drills to fall back on to reinforce certain feelings helps me find my game a little easier, and the “towel drill” is most definitely one of them.

Your Reaction?
  • 10
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW2
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP2
  • OB0
  • SHANK8

Continue Reading

Instruction

Clement: Why your practice swing never sucks

Published

on

You hear that one all the time; I wish I could put my practice swing on the ball! We explain the huge importance of what to focus on to allow the ball to be perfectly in the way of your practice swing. Enjoy!

 

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Instruction

Clement: This is when you should release the driver

Published

on

The golf teaching industry is slowly coming around to understand how the human machine is a reaction and adaptation machine that responds to weight and momentum and gravity; so this video will help you understand why we say that the club does the work; i.e. the weight of the club releases your anatomy into the direction of the ball flight.

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending