Friday, July 31, 2009

Better Preparation - Better Golf Shots

One of the most difficult aspects of playing golf is trying to determine the cause of a bad shot. There are so many factors that coming to the wrong conclusion is almost inevitable. For the vast majority of students visiting the United States Golf Academy the conclusion was that they have “bad swings”. Sometimes their conclusions are correct, but not always. More likely they have mechanically sound swings, but the ball is positioned in such they have to adjust. Need proof? Ask yourself, “Is your practice swing better than when you try to hit the ball?”

Imagine a robot with a perfect golf swing. In order to utilize this perfect swing we have to calibrate the ball position to the robot. Calibration is easy because the swing repeats. So all you have to do is place the ball at the bottom of the swing. What most golfers don’t realize is that good or bad your golf swing will repeat with remarkable consistency. So if you have a routine to find the correct ball position, this repeating swing will produce a consistent result. Good or bad, one problem is much easier to deal with than a variety.

These are the guidelines I teach at our schools to develop consistent pre-shot preparation. You can vary the manner you use to achieve the following steps, but you must maintain the chronological order. WITH YOUR FEET TOGETHER, place the club behind the ball and point the face the direction you want the ball to go. Next place your hands on the club, maintaining the face in the playing position. Now, adjust your arms and shoulders so they are parallel to the direction you want to swing the club. Finally, without moving your hands or shoulders, you can now set your feet. If allowed to move without influence your feet will automatically move to a position under your shoulders. The result is a parallel and balanced set up with the ball in a consistent position relative to your body. Now there is an easy way to tell if your swing is sound. Go through the procedure as written and then close your eyes and swing the club. Most hit the ball on the first swing; many feel a balance issue and fix it themselves within a couple of shots. All are shocked they can hit the ball with their eyes closed.

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