With countless golf books, magazines and articles on how to do the perfect golf swing, no shortage of golf clubs that help you achieve that and golf teachers offering computer analysis of your swing, does it actually help us or is it like putting a fire out with petrol?
We are the common denominator and we are unique, don’t you think it is about time that you took control of your golf game and become an explorer rather than a Sherpa?
Golf has been described as a journey with no end destination, if that is the case we must ask ourselves why we have chosen to travel, it could be for a number of reasons. I would love to travel with you, to share the journey, to show you the beauty that lies within you, your untapped potential, your natural abilities that have always been there but never fully appreciated. Come walk with me, put down that rucksack full of ‘does and don’ts’ and golf myths, its time to free yourself and breathe unpolluted golf air.
Over the coming months we will travel and explore together how you could play this wonderful game of golf. Let’s take our first steps together, ready?
There is no such thing as right and wrong when it comes to golf swings. There are no secrets, no ideal method to follow, but there are the rules of golf and rules of golf club designs which we must conform to, but after that we are free to do what we want.
But do we?
As I said we are unique, so surely we should play golf in our own individual way and not fall for the trap, changing what is natural to what is mechanical.
Everybody reverts back to natural movements eventually so it makes sense to use them as building blocks, something that repeats must be good news in developing consistency especially when you consider all the other variables. The biggest one is you and me.
Before true learning can take place clear understanding must be present, so you need to know how the tool (golf club) works. I am assuming you know how a golf course is set out and the objects of the different types of golf played etc. But did you know golf clubs come with two lofts on the face (angle of the face to the ground – more loft ball fly’s higher, less loft ball fly’s lower). The first loft is the one the club is made with, measured as a static loft. The second one and by far the most important is the dynamic loft, simply put: how we apply the club face as we strike the ball. It is impossible to hit a golf ball straight. Every golf ball hit has spin on it, so it will either move to the left or to the right as it travels up and down.
So let’s explore facts not fiction. The ball is stationary when we hit it, resting on either the ground or a tee peg. We are not going to be tackled and the target is not moving. We can decide when and how to hit it. The ball does not contain any energy of its own (although some people think it has a mind of its own)! So it’s up to us to apply energy in a suitable way in order to move the ball forward.
Nowhere in the job description for the golfer, does it actually say we have to help the ball in the air. The ball is designed to go in the air, the loft is designed to get it there, and it is a perfect arrangement. We need to apply the bottom of the club face to the bottom of the ball. A mixture of all these things will be too much for the ball to resist and it will willingly co-operate resulting in great happiness and pleasure for the golfer.
So here is your first bit of exploring!
Go to a golf range or your practice ground. Use a 6 or a 7 iron. 50 balls are more than enough, warm up, then choose a target and form your ball to target line (BTTL). The task is to hit golf balls as far right and left as you can from the BTTL. You are not allowed to aim the face left or right to start with and you must start from the same position, deciding before you hit the ball, your intention left or right.
You should end up with no golf balls in line with the target.
This is how you develop awareness: be aware of the feel of the golf swing and the golf shots it creates.
Practice the swing you intend to use to create the shot you intend to hit and see how close they are linked. Have fun and explore, remember there is no such thing as right and wrong, it’s about you doing suitable moves.
Mike Williams PGA Professional @ Glossop & District Golf Club
and Founder of the ‘Wackingdivots’ Golf Coaching