It is time to open Pandora’s Box! Based in Greek Mythology and morphing through the years, the present day meaning of “to open Pandora’s Box” is to perform an action that may seem small or innocent, but that turns out to have severely detrimental and far-reaching consequences. In the case of a golf swing, this statement is quite profound.
After much research and thought, last year I decided that hitting the ball further off the tee was the key to lowering my golf score. I felt confident that my short and mid game was strong enough to carry me most days, but by adding that extra 10-15 yards off the tee would exponentially reap the gains I sought.
After my quick lesson at the PGA Tour Canada Golf Clinic at Wildfire Golf Course, widening my stance seem to be the key to achieving my goal of hitting the ball further off the tee. Well, the domino effect of making this small change was unforeseen. By widening my stance, my alignment, set-up, swing plane and follow through all changed! I could not believe the dramatic effect this slight change had on the rest of my game.
Not to be defeated, I made my way to the range (many times) and worked on this minor change. Initially, I had success with my wider stance, but the challenge was that the rest of my swing was grooved to my old way of standing. Hence, my swing and stance were competing for dominance!
As I became frustrated with the early results, I kept reminding myself of the end goal of hitting the ball further and without degrading the rest of my game. I am still working on this change and my continued focused practice increases my confidence.
An important note about the entire process is to work on one thing at a time. Understanding the 80/20 rule and how the domino effect works will speed up the overall success of your focused change. Too many changes can spell disaster because of the uncertainty of which change impacted which part of your swing.
I know I will eventually conquer everything and close Pandora’s Box. At that time, my entire swing will feel natural again. I will be able to think less of the mechanics and actually not think at all during my swing. That day is just around the corner and I can hardly wait.
When you plan “to open Pandora’s Box”, be ready for some frustration, but keep focused on the end goal. Before you start, try to envision the domino effect of the change and to work on one thing at a time. It is not an exact science, but keeping your eyes on the prize will help improve your game and lower your scores.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!