Last night during my indoor golf league at Rhino Sports, I realized that a different golf swing is required for different course conditions. It was strange, but I had to adjust my swing to fit the hard playing surface of the indoor simulator to get distance with my clubs!
Normally, I trap the ball as seen in the video below. I have found that trapping the ball offers more distance and better control with my irons. However, this style of swing does not fit my woods or hybrids; so like many players I play a more of a sweeping swing with them.
The challenges I faced last night on the driving mats of the indoor simulator was when I tried to trap the ball, I lost plenty of club face energy resulting is shorter distances on almost every club.
When I adjusted to a more sweeping swing, that would normally result in little to no divot, I hit the ball much further with the same accuracy. I understand that hitting off a golf mat is not the same as on the course, but I started to think about the different playing conditions I experience through the golf season.
During normal conditions, the golf course is very receptive to my golf swing of trapping the ball. I take about 3 inch divot that is about 1/2 to 1 inch deep. The divot normally occurs after the ball and, for the most part, I hit the ball on number 3 to 6 groves on the club face. Additionally, I try to have no grass between my club and the ball. For the most part, I have consistent results with most of my scores in the 70s.
During wet conditions, my golf swing of trapping the ball is less effective. I find that my divot is deeper, the ground absorbs some of the energy from my golf club, and hitting the fall first is more difficult. I realize that this last point does not make much sense, but it is my reality.
To counter the wet conditions, I have to change my golf swing to more of a picking motion. How I do this you may ask? I stand a bit further from the ball and stand a little taller and place the ball slightly ahead of where I normally set the ball in my stance. These minor adjustments allow me to pick the ball without any divot. As a result I hit the 2-4 grooves on my club face.
During extremely dry conditions and the ground is very hard, I try to create a hybrid of the above two swings. I try to trap the ball just a bit and take a much smaller divot. During hard conditions, hitting down on the ball aggressively actually causes the same results as my indoor golf league when I hit of mats. By picking the ball as during wet conditions, I do not compress the ball as much as possible, thus I lose some yardage. So I modify my swing, I stand a little taller and back from the ball about 1 inch further than normal. This allows my swing plane to bottom out at the right spot in relation to the ball and the ground.
One very important point that is important to my three swings: it is the position of my head. As you have all surmised, my head changes position to accommodate for the different swings needed to play the various course conditions. To quote a regular visitor Rick Williams from mindbodygolf – “keep your head still!” As long as I keep my head still, I can execute these three swings with good consistency.
So that was my epiphany! Want do you think? Is it three different golf swings or just a modification of one swing? Do you make changes for the conditions of the golf course?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!