Determining what happened during any golf swing is a challenge. Sometimes golfers, especially me on certain days, over analyze the tiniest mistakes and think that corrective action is required. Experience has taught me that waiting to see if this swing error persists over a round or two before trying to worry about making adjustments. If I do decide that something needs to be addressed, then I have to determine what is causing the problem before making any changes. This step is a bit more challenging because I find that the results do not always point the the cause of my swing woes. It really is a bit more complicated than it seems.>!–more–>
Any golf swing can be dissected into large, medium, small, and minute movements. The plethora of actions during any golf swing need to timed is such a manner as to produce a square club face on impact. Or at least the position required to produce the shot shape needed at that time. It really is a magical dance that has the potential for something to go wrong on every swing. Obviously, I cannot break down every movement because of the complexity of the interaction, but I do have a thought process that helps me narrow down my search and analysis.
The first thing I do is take a step back and look at the larger picture. Understanding the result of my consistent poor shots is is not always based in the where the ball finishes. Well, actually where the ball finishes is a big indicator, but not always. The point is that I think that it is important to look at the big picture of my poor results.
Next, I focus on my specifics. I watch to see what my divot looks like; I see if my ball is pulled or pushed consistently; Is my ball long or short of my target; how did my contact sound; how does my contact feel; or am I making the right course management decisions. There is a longer list of possibilities, but I think you get the point. There are many specifics that will give me a clue as too what the problems might be taking down my golf score.
So, the real question is do the results of poor results point to the cause of the golf swing? I would say probably. **Side note** I was going to stop writing my article right now, but I thought all the screaming at the monitors would be a bad thing 😉 ** I actually think that most amateurs should seek professional help to solve most of their swing woes. However, mature golfers, like Brian, Kevin, Lorne and BMc, understand their grooved swing enough to dissect swing woes without always seeking professional advice. We understand that consistent errors are caused by a plethora of possibilities. I think if you asked these sage players they would be able to tell you that results of their swings do indicated what the problems could be.
Results do help point out swing errors. The more experienced you are, the better opportunities you have to identify our swing errors. But until you are that level, seek professional help from your local golf pro.
I am grateful golfer! See you on the links!
6 thoughts on “Do Results Point to the Cause of a Poor Golf Swing?”
The second paragraph in Kevin’s post articulates very well my approach to getting back on track when I get off track, get back to the basics. I think it is important to understand what your own tendencies are so that you can make adjustments on the fly.
Personally, there are two things that happen most frequently when I get off track. Knowing that and why it happens saves a lot of grief and corrective measures can be started.
A smooth swing tempo is critical for consistency. My biggest rabbit hole is a tendency to get too quick and it leads to unconscious adjustments to setup, ball position and posture and so on. Frequently this is a result of fatigue or compensating for stiffness and aches and pains (A fact of life when in your late sixties). Concentrating on proper posture and ball position and slowing things down usually brings me back in sync. I find a slightly closed stance with care to make sure that my feet are properly spaced gets me back in balance.
The second tendency I have is to creep in on the ball, especially with my irons. Concentrating on my setup usually cures the problem quickly.
I believe an experienced player needs to understand their swing and tendencies. A lesson can be helpful if problems persist but won’t help you much at the time. After a mediocre round, if time allows, I go to the chipping green and hit a variety of 30-40 yard pitches for 10-15 minutes which generally fixes my tempo. I don’t have Kevin’s attention span to go longer.
In the last five years, my consistency has improved and I attribute that to playing with the vintage clubs. They have proven to be the best swing trainer for me. I don’t tend to get off track as much since smooth tempo is top of mind. I am more conscious of proper setup and it translates into whatever clubs I play. It has also improved my creativity and confidence.
So, I have learned not to overthink or micromanage my game. I have instead focused on trusting my feel and creativity. It has been fun and I am playing better as a result.
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You made my point perfectly. You know your swing well enough to understand the general challenges that might creep up. You also know how to fix them quickly and that comes from understanding your swing from years of experience. It does not eliminate the need for a lesson now and again, but your knowledge is gleaned from playing and working on your swing for years.
Jim, the greatest players in the world all have swing coaches. Trusted swing instruction from a professional is always the best way to improve. Left to our own devices, we often try too much stuff. A good swing instructor will get you focused on the right faults and fixes.
This year, I played less than half the normal amount of golf that I usually do for a variety of reasons. That includes no swing instruction for the first time in five years. I’m hoping to re-engage in both in 2022.
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Knowing your swing allows you to pinpoint your challenges easier. We do this until we cannot. I think your experience is a great help, but not a replacement for professional advice. I hope you are on the links more in 2022, this is always a good thing.
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I think you may be giving us more credit than due. Sure I know if I see a really deep divot that I’m either coming in too steep, or I’m too close to the ground. Why I am is another story. I don’t try and dissect a problem per se so much as I simply revert to the basics. Set up and take away are where I concentrate to resolve any issue I find myself having.
Trying to dissect always leads me astray. Double checking all the basics, posture, hands, foot alignment and spacing, ball position, take away, and then swinging with a little less power. Those are what bring my game back.
I couldn’t get in to see the pro until this coming Friday. I guess I didn’t expect as many Canadians would be down here yet clogging up my golf resources. 😂 I guess he’s a little more popular than I thought too maybe. He was taught by a Hall of Famer. Looking forward to him tearing my swing apart…Sort of. 😂 I’ve got an hour’s time so he’ll get his chance at most everything I’m sure. I know I said I was specifically going for the driver, but I of course hope to find him helping me find swing nirvana. 😎
So a pro will be helping me, and I continue to help myself. Tonight I spent the last hour of daylight hitting 90 shots from 20-30 yards to a raise green that sloped up from front to back. That’s important for me to remember. My intent of the practice tonight was hitting the shots from front, center, and back of my stance. Not to judge which is better but to judge flight, stopping power, distance, errors range. Things like that. Things that can help me make better decisions on the course. This is the kind of practice I think helps me the most. If you’re dialed in with your wedges, you’re making birdies. I see it every week in our skins game. It’s not a fluke to see 5 chips ins in a round in that foursome. It’s a slow day. This past week I dropped a sweet shot with a wedge to a foot and was the only one on the green. Not one, but two of them chipped in and kept me from my skin. lol One of them slices everything. Even his putts. But somehow he finds the hole far more often than it looks like he should. He knows his game and he plays it well. He’s actually the high money winner in one of the tournaments I’m told. I know he’s a character. Anyway, this is how I work my way toward scratch. Help, and plenty of practice.
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I understand that you will still take lessons, but when you have a swing challenge, I bet you can pin point it better than most. I was just trying to suggest that your experience helps until it doesn’t. Then you go see a professional. As far as Canadians being in your area, wait for it. It is starting to snow, so many more will be heading south for the winter.