“Can’t see the forest for the trees!”
Most golfers are fixers or at least we think we are. We have a tendency to tinker with all parts of golf swing because we think that a tweak here and a tweak there is exactly what we need. Unfortunately, as the above quote suggests that many of us are too involved in the details of a problem to look at the entire situation.
Not focusing on the right fix, adjusting our golf swing can cause a domino effect of challenges. Most of us like to jump in and change something because it lets us think we are making progress and improving. However, I would suggest steaming ahead without looking at the whole process is folly. The holistic approach is critical to identifying the ‘root cause’ to any swing challenges
Many amateurs have unique golf swings. Generally, we are self-taught and pick up tips from our friends from time to time. We work on our game trying to find that golden nugget of success that will miraculously improve our scores. However, the result of our toil is adjusting many parts of our swing to point when our fixes need fixing.
If you research ways to fix your golf swing, there are several ways to approach swing changes. Your skill level, knowledge of the golf swing and willingness to change will directly influence your path. However, finding the ‘root cause’ is a process unique to each person. As I study the possibilities, I find that there are three basic methods to look at your whole swing to pinpoint that one fix area. Of course, these are very broad, but I think they are helpful to examine.
The first is self-diagnosis: grabbing a camera, videotaping your swing, and watching it over and over. This hunt and peck method works very well for experienced players who understand swing mechanics. They might be able to notice the root cause to swing challenges, however the average player will not. The method is allows for the uniqueness of your swing due to your physical attributes to remain part of the solution. This is the most difficult method to employ.
Using technology is the second method of analyzing your swing. Taping your swing and submitting it to an electronic swing analyzer works well for those who need some help understanding what they are looking at. It provides a visual example and potential solutions to fixing your swing. This method has great value for some players and can produce the results they need, but there is still a requirement to understand the mechanics of the golf swing. Using technology is generally simple and easier than the first method, yet I am not convinced it would be my first step to my holistic approach.
The last method is the traditional one of seeking professional help. This method helps you pinpoint some of your challenges and with right professional, understand how to fix it. Taking a lesson or two will help you focus on the correct things to change and will increase the expected results of lower golf scores.
Point of note: Before we go any further, I want to re-emphasize that it is important to know the difference between a teacher and a coach. I believe you might want to read one of my previous articles on this topic. Also, it is important you find a professional who wants to help fix your swing, not change it to match someone else’s swing. These two minor points will make the difference between in the outcome of your lesson.
Back on track. If I was a novice player again, I would follow the above methods in reverse order. I would take a few lessons, then use an electronic swing analyzer, and then head off on my own for a while. I would repeat this process in this order as often as required.
It is easy to become zeroed in on a proposed change without realizing the impact it has on your overall swing. Although I am a seasoned player, I do catch myself from time to time focusing on white noise instead of the root cause. How about you, can you see the forest?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!