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The 3 best ways to train your golf swing

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Understanding how to effectively train and practice is critical to transferring skills to the golf course.

In golf, I view training as a thoughtful, deliberate rehearsal of a motion to develop technique. This is better rehearsed away from the golf course. Practicing golf consists of developing your skill to take to the golf course—an example being learning to hit shots in certain winds and shot shaping.

“A lawyer will train to be a lawyer, then he or she will practice law” – The Lost Art of Golf

I find the below examples the best ways to train effectively. These techniques will also help facilitate a swing change and make your training and practice more efficient.

Mirror Work

I like my student to implement what I call “mirror work”. This is done by looking into a mirror from the face-on position.

This is a great way to get external feedback (information delivered from an outside source). Learning by external feedback will help facilitate the required body movement to produce a particular shot. It’s also a cheap and effective way to train. Research suggests observation in a mirror is considered external, so the use of mirrors will elicit external feedback, enhancing the learning process.

I prefer students to only check positions from the face-on view. If a player starts checking positions in a mirror from down-the-line, moving your head to look in the mirror can cause your body to change positions, losing the proper direction of turn.

Train Slow

Learning a new motion is best trained slow. At a slower speed, it is easier to monitor and analyze a new motion. You will have increased awareness of the body and where the shaft is in space. At a faster speed, this awareness is more difficult to obtain.

I often use the analogy of learning how to drive a car. First, you took time to learn how to position your hands on the wheel and position your foot next to the break. When comfortable, you put the car in motion and began to drive slowly. Once you developed the technique, you added speed and took the car on the freeway.

In martial arts, there are three speeds taught to students: Slow-speed for learning, medium speed for practice and fast speed for fighting. Again, the movement was trained slow to start. Once comfortable, the motion was put into combat. This should be similar to golf.

Finding Impact

Use an impact bag to get the feeling of impact and an efficient set-up. If you don’t have an impact bag, a spare car tire, bean bag or something light and soft that can be pushed along the ground can be used.

I like to refer to the impact bag as a “Push bag”. Start by setting up into the bag, lightly pressing the shaft into the bag. You will notice how your trail arm slightly tucks in and as your right shoulder drops below the left with your body leaning forward, an efficient set-up.

To get the feeling of impact swing the club back and down into the bag while maintaining your body shape. Don’t move the bag by hitting it, rather pushing it. Note how you maintain your wrist angles while pushing the bag (not flipping) and the right side of your body moves through impact.

Train your swing with these three training techniques to play better golf.

@KKelley_golf

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Kelvin is a Class A PGA golf professional in San Francisco, California. He teaches and has taught at some of the top golf clubs in the Bay Area, including the Olympic Club and Sonoma Golf Club. He is TPI certified, and a certified Callaway and Titleist club fitter. Kelvin has sought advice and learned under several of the top instructors in the game, including Alex Murray and Scott Hamilton. To schedule a lesson, please call 818.359.0352 Online lessons also available at www.kelleygolf.com

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Mark

    Sep 19, 2020 at 1:32 am

    It would be polite, professional and respectful of you to acknowledge it is Seve Ballesteros in the photograph at the top of your article.

  2. Alex Fong

    Sep 18, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    Mr. Kelly, I’ve used the same thoughts and methods for decades to evolve to a 5 index, but mirror work both helped and created problems that I was unaware of, and now at 67, find it very difficult to overcome. My mirrors are on sliding doors in a bedroom, so there has never been room to swing free and wide. Mirrors are great for setup and takeaway, but I expect that many players would be a situation similar to mine, so they should be aware that they might tend to create narrow swings with bent elbows to avoid damaging their surroundings. Mounting a mirror in a large room or garage would be an excellent suggestion, and much better yet, a Live View Golf Camera. If you are not familiar with it, it is easily set up and wirelessly connected to an ipad, which can be placed in front of oneself, so you can watch yourself move without turning your head and losing your posture. FO and DTL viewing are great, and one can record and draw lines for analyzing. At 350+, it’s not cheap, but a new driver costs more and does less, lol. I really wish I had it when I started playing. Btw, I do not work for whatever company makes the camera. Just another golf nut, lol. Have a great day!

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