In a normal day of teaching golf I walk back and forth to the range numerous times. On this journey, I usually watch the different variations people have when they swing the golf club. Some of the swings are quite good and others need a lot of work. I usually think to myself that if only they could change the way they practiced they would become so much better so much faster. What do I mean exactly?
Well … 99.9% of all golfers I see on the range are just whacking golf balls out there. If this is you, I’ve got some bad news … you will never improve. So what should you be doing? If you are working on your swing, you have to work on your swing. This means you should forget about trying to hit every shot perfectly on the range. No pro can do this or even attempts to do this. It is called a practice range because you are there to practice what you have learned so you can take it to the course without having to think about it. If you have just been whacking balls on the range and not improving you should follow the outline below.
Find a Teaching Method That You Can Relate To
If you think you can figure out the golf swing on your own without lessons, books or videos you’re kidding yourself. What you think you’re doing is never what you are actually doing. Just when you think you have it, it’s gone. Wouldn’t it make sense to follow a step by step method that takes you through the various parts of the swing and explains them in a manner you can understand. There are many different teachers out there with many different thoughts on how to swing the club properly. I myself, teach the golf swing based on the 3 elements of the Iron Byron swing machine that was modeled after the swing of Byron Nelson. In my many years of trying to figure out the swing, I didn’t see it clearly until I saw Iron Byron hit a golf ball. Once I understood the simplicity of the machine and I related it to my own swing, the pieces started to fit together. If this sounds appealing to you then following my method would be a great idea. If not, lessons from your local pro or a quick search at a bookstore or on the internet will give you many other choices.
Create a Neutral Grip
Your grip is your connection to the club. If your hands are not placed on the club in a neutral position you’re really making the game much more difficult. I say this because if you have a faulty grip your shots will spin one way or the other. If this is the case, how do expect to consistently hit the fairways or greens? Once you learn the proper grip, you will not only be copying the pros but you will also narrow down the possible cause of your inconsistent shots. If the grip is not the problem, it must be something else that is causing your wayward shots. So now you can move on to fixing the other parts of your swing.
Square Alignment is Critical
In my last tip I explained the importance of proper alignment. To sum it up, it’s vital that you align squarely to your target. I say this because if you are aimed way out to the right or left and you hit a perfect shot it would go in the trees, water, bunkers or out of bounds. This means you need another flaw in your swing to get the ball on target with a faulty alignment. To make sure you are aligned squarely to your target, lay one club down on the ground pointing directly at your target, then place another club parallel to the first club about 1 foot away. Finally, pick up the first club you placed on the ground and hit balls from that spot with your feet parallel to the second club. This is known as being aligned parallel left of your target.
Do Tons of Practice Swings
Once you have chosen a teacher and a method it is time to practice what you have learned. Again, it’s not as simple as just whacking balls out there. You have been shown certain positions that you need to incorporate into your swing. The best way to do this is by doing tons of practice swings in a mirror or at the range. By doing plenty practice swings, you will re-enforce your new swing positions so you can do them consistently when you hit actual shots. The whole point of making a change is to make the change. By just whacking balls out there you will continue to do your old swing that’s full of flaws.
Hit Different Shots
Once you have made the necessary changes to your swing it’s time to hit various shots. Golf is not a just a game of hitting the ball 300 yards down the middle with your driver. The game also requires good fairway woods, long, mid and short irons as well as a great short game. Try to practice all parts of your game with all of the clubs in your bag especially the clubs you dislike the most. If you keep ignoring certain clubs you will continue to hit them poorly.
Take Your Time
Building a great golf swing takes time. If it could be achieved in a week everyone would be pros. If your changes are minor a few weeks or a month of consistent practice and practice swings should ingrain these new positions. If you are totally re-building your swing it may take you a couple of months or longer. This is because your new swing will present new problems like hitting the ball over the green or through the fairway because you are not used to your new distances. Once you have hit enough better shots you will be able to choose the appropriate club for the situation and you score will finally come down.
If you want to become a good golfer it’s time to change how you are currently practicing, understand what it takes to get better and create a game plan that you will follow religiously. If you start to make these changes now, you are on your way … if you start next week, you are week behind.
All the best,