Prior to any lesson, at the United States Golf Academy, there is an interview session and often we hear comments of the same theme. Their game lacks consistency. They can hit some great shots and then some lousy ones, never knowing what might happen next. Our follow up question is, “Why, do you think your golf game is inconsistent?” This is when the student usually loses his or her patience with us and says something like, “That is the reason I am here, because my golf swing is never the same two times in a row!!!”
The longer I try to teach this game, the more I have come to realize that the idea of an inconsistent golf swing is probably the source of the problem. If you read this column with any regularity you have heard me rant against constantly trying to change your golf swing in an effort to fix the prior shot. We change the way we swing the club when the problem is probably not the swing at all. What we really need is to learn to use what we have, rather than search for something we don’t.
Go outside with any golf club and swing. No ball or target, just swing the club. You will notice that every swing will feel the same. You will move the club in a nice full motion with no inhibitions at all. This is a great start. It is proof that the swing will repeat if you let it. With that knowledge we can make the following statement; IF WE CAN REPEAT THE MOTION WE CAN FIND A BALL POSTION THAT WILL PRODUCE A GOOD SHOT.
So if we use our “practice swings” every time we will eventually learn to make contact with the ball. It might take a change in posture, or where the ball is positioned and it also will take some time for your body to learn where the location of the ball. But if you keep trying the same swing you will eventually make contact. This is when we need some patience. As all of you know, just because we make contact does not mean the ball will travel in the correct direction. We have to find out how to connect the golf club to the swing so that the face of the golf club is pointed the correct direction at impact. The goal becomes for the ball to travel in the same direction as the path of the swing. If the path is left the ball, should go left. If the path is to the right then the ball should travel in that direction. If the ball is not going in the intended direction the player has two choices. Learn to curve the ball to bring it back to the desired target, or change the original body alignment to match path to target. The end result in either case is better contact and more consistent results.