Archive for February, 2012

February 20, 2012

A Change in my Takeaway

I have recently made a few changes to my swing and in particular my fundamentals.  These include my hip rotation on my back swing, my grip and my balance over the ball on the back swing.  I wouldn’t consider any of these changes drastic, but they have all had a positive impact on my swing thus far.  The biggest and best change I have made recently is on my takeaway.

The other day I was hitting balls and I was having a really hard time squaring the club face up at impact.  My shots weren’t terribly off line, but they weren’t flush and they weren’t as straight as I had hoped.  It was quickly pointed out to me that on my takeaway I was rolling my left forearm over too much.  The best way to describe this is if you were to stand up straight and put your left arm straight out in front of you and then rotated to your right as if you were making a back swing your arm would stay straight and the palm of your hand wouldn’t rotate up at all.  Mine was.  This was causing me to bring the club way too far inside and on the down swing I was really fighting to bring the club back to square.

In order to fix this, I got a great visual tip.  The tip I got was to picture that my left palm was going underneath the club on the takeaway.  At first I felt kind of weird with this, but it turns out that it really helps me keep my left arm straight on the back swing and not rotating to the inside.  When I pair this with taking my back swing to just above my right shoulder and not much further I get the club perfectly on plane and am able to release all the clubs energy down into the ball.

Out of all the small changes I am making this season this has been one of the most eye opening in terms of something glaring I was doing wrong.  Can’t wait to go hit balls again tomorrow and keep working on this.

February 15, 2012

The Average Golfer is Insane!

When I say that the average golfer is insane I mean that literally.  The definition of insanity is repeating and action over and over again and expecting a different result.  I include myself in this category, at least I used to.  I, like most average golfers, went to the driving range all the time to “work” on my swing.  I didn’t work on fundamentals, short game or putting that much.  I just wanted to hit the ball and I thought that if I hit enough balls I would figure it out and get better.  There are very few people who can go to the driving range and “figure it out” and become a good golfer.

Since I never took lessons growing up I was spending my time at the driving range hammering in bad habits and bad fundamentals into my swing.  This off-season I have put an end to that.  I took the time to find a swing coach that has gotten me to think about the fundamentals of the game and begin to understand the golf swing.  The funniest part about this is that it is the middle of the winter in Chicago, there isn’t an open golf course anywhere to be found, I am not hitting a ton of golf balls and I know that I am getting better every week.  It is possible to get much better over the off-season in golf by focusing on the fundamentals of your game and your physical fitness.

I will share more about my off-season regiment of drills and work outs later in more detail, but I wanted to share that it is possible to make positive progress in the winter time.  I used to think that winter was just a time to wish I was somewhere warmer so I could be out playing golf.  Not anymore.  It is an opportunity to really solidify the fundamentals of my game so when the snow melts my game won’t have any rust on it.  It will be ready to go and hopefully better than ever.

If you are like I used to be and love pounding balls at the range but have struggled to dip your handicap take a second to think about how you practice and prepare your game.  Are you working on things that actually help your game?  When was the last time you changed your practice habits if ever?  Are you repeating the same habits over and over again and expecting a different result?  If you are, STOP!  You are insane and need to make a change!  Don’t let an offseason, winter weather or old habits hold you back from seizing an opportunity to actually get better.  It is 100% possible to get better at golf, we all just need to stop being insane and start being more realistic with how we intend to get better.  I, for one, am doing it with fundamentals.  How are you planning to make your game better?