Recently, a friend of mine asked me about a solution he found on YouTube about how to hit the ball more consistently off the fairway. Without going into a great amount of detail about the video he watched, it sparked the inspiration for today’s article. As a progressive golfer, I am always on the look for potential tips that would improve my golf game. I realize that I have limitations and some suggestions are just not in my wheel house, so I try to focus on changes I can actually accomplish. Keeping this in mind, through the years of sifting through the ‘white noise’ I think I have a nose for what suggestions are just band-aide fixes and which are legit swing improvements. Understanding this concept saves me time and frustration as I embark on another season to lower my handicap index.
First, I applaud any golfer who takes the time to search for resources to improve their golf knowledge. I believe that this is the foundation for overall improvement of their game. The challenge, as most of us have experienced, is to find that swing change that fits our unique swing. Not all changes work for all players. To change one thing invites a potential “domino effect” that might have detrimental results on several parts of our swing. Fortunately, I have three criteria that I use before accepting a potential tip. If any of these criteria fail, the tip is not for me.
First, am I capable of physically adopting the change. This might seem like an obvious limitation, but you would be surprised at how many tips I find that do not work for my physical limitations. Some golfers cannot twist, turn, bend, shift or slide like the tip requires. It is impossible to adopt any tip that requires us to move our bodies in ways describe if we are limited physically. Now, it is possible to train our bodies to move in a specific manner and if you do adopt this challenge, remember to be careful not cause injury when starting any physical training program. Remember, if we cannot physically do the movement required, then that tip is likely not for us.
Second, does the tip actually address my swing issues or does it compound poor swing techniques. Moving forward with this part of my process has taught me that quick fixes rarely work. I have tried adjusting my grip, stance, club face, and ball position to garner positive shot results only to realize that I fixed nothing. I was actually hurting my game more because the ‘band-aide’ approach was not sustainable. I think my biggest mistake was trying to adopt a stronger grip without changing any other aspect of my swing. It was suppose to encourage a draw, but all it did was produce a duck hook. I could have adjusted the rest of my swing in order to account for my stronger grip, but that proved to be a venture that I was not prepared to accept. This leads to my last point.
Lastly, what exactly am I trying to improve. I need a relatively specific goal in which to start my analysis of my swing challenges. What is causing my challenges? Am I focusing on a specific issue or am I using the ‘hunt and peck’ method of fixing my swing. For example (and in a nutshell), I want to improve my GIR this year. It is challenge I believe I need to fix in order to go the next level. I have identified two areas I need to improve in order to increase my GIR stat. The first is trying to gain 10 yards off the tee. And choosing the proper club when making my shots into the green. If you notice, one of the fixes is swing related and the other is course management related. I think both of these will accomplish my goal of improving my GIR.
As you can see, there is more to fixing our golf swing than just making a small adjustment which is nothing more than a ‘band-aide’ for my real challenges. It does take time to make changes in our game…..real changes! It is important that we continue to search for tips that might help our game, but be wary that not all tips are worth trying. If it seems to easy or to good to be true, it likely is.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!