The Uniqueness of the Golf Swing

The golf swing is best described as a 1000 minor movements flawlessly combined to create a smooth, rhythmic, effortless motion that transfers energy from the club to the ball. Of course many of us who try to accomplish this feat realize that the task of creating a golf swing is far more complicated that than. And any minor variance in those 1000 minor movements can cause disaster time and time again. Because of our different physical attributes, the each golf swing in unique to each player and the cookie cutter approach to improvement, in my opinion, causes more harm than good. Let me explain!

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Stop Complaining and Start Fixing Your Golf Game

It is funny how certain things pop up again and again. The idea of improving my golf game is never far from my thoughts. It is a journey I like to travel and most of the time it can be applied to my regular life. The following words of wisdom fits into these categories and something I believe is important to personal growth.

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What to Change In Your Golf Swing

When is the worse time to make changes to your golf swing? Depending who you talk too, anytime will be the most popular answer. However, experience tells me that this answer is probably not the best for trying to play consistent golf. Over the years, I have tried to make changes during the middle of a round and rarely, and I mean rarely, has it work out in my favor. But does that really mean that making changes mid-round is a bad thing. What do you think? Continue reading

Conquering Your Ego

ego2-drhannanA follow-up to my last post about ego, the email below is from my best buddy in the UK. Among other things, he and I have share the passion for golf. He moved to the UK a couple of years ago and has focused on his game. Only recently has he noticed the improvements in all areas of his game.  He is his story:

“This is an interesting dilemma for sure.  I know that I would NOT be willing to have higher scores, shorter drives etc over the short term for longer term gain.

However….

Because the course is open all year here, I made the decision in Dec to do exactly what you are talking about in the blog.  I changed grip (very difficult at first); I changed my position at address to be 3 inches off front foot for all clubs except driver (this was also difficult, however now is great); and I changed my attitude towards course management by hitting driver on all holes that were 380 plus (this proved to be the hardest thing as I hit lots of balls in unplayable areas and was forced to play 3 off the tee). Lastly, I changed my ball position while putting (this proved to improve putting numbers immediately)

Now…..

Things are great as I had the extra few months of practice to try all of these things.  It was frustrating for sure, however most of these months I was playing alone and had lots of opportunities to hit many shots without holding up others.  

Grip change has been the greatest change for me as it ensured that my hands (therefore club face) are square at impact.  I have learned that the back of my front hand is simply the club gave – where this hand points so does the club face at impact. Not many draws or hooks any more and certainly there are no slices.  Sometimes I find myself aligned incorrectly when playing other courses, however normally the ball flies on a straight path right or left and not due to hook or slice – I can accept this, however it is rare at my home course as I know where every tee box location fits my address position.

Having the few extra months has been like a 4 month practice session, however if I had the Canadian golf season, I would be reluctant to change anything – perhaps one thing of this magnitude each year.

I was scoring well at the end of the 2013 competition season and I hope the practice pays off for 2014.  First stable ford was 40 points, which grabbed me second place (31 competitors with full handicap allowance)

Looking forward to my six strokes aside so I can be competitive with you.”

What a great story! His tale is not uncommon for all golfers wanting to play better. He actually took steps, endured the frustration, and as a result is playing better. I am not sure I want to give him any strokes next time we play, but that will be negotiated at the time. I think the word sandbag may be floated around regardless of what we decide.

Interestingly, my friend said that if it was not for playing year round, he would not likely have made as many changes to be a better player. I can appreciate his point, but would counter that the process would be slower and possibly less painful. A big thank you to my buddy for sharing his story!

Conquering your ego always starts the same way….make the decision to change! The rest is just details.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

 

 

 

Your Ego and Golf

ego2-drhannanEgo is your best friend and your worst enemy! Ego helps drive our dreams and at the same time hold us back. Is it possible that ego could be the magic bullet that can morph your game from average to fantastic? The quick answer is yes and here is how.

Ego is the furnace that heats the dreaded fear! It is the great inhibitor that stops golfers from achieving their goals and releasing the great golfer locked inside their body. Many would argue that ego does not play any part in their game. They would state categorically that they are in total control of all aspects of their game and could improve all aspects if they desired.

Maybe that is so, however before drawing a line in the sand answer the following questions

  • Would you be willing to lose 20 yards on your drive for one month to increase your overall distance by 20 yards if it meant your scores would increase by 5-10 strokes for three weeks?
  • Would you be willing to change your grip to improve accuracy if it meant that for two months you would struggle with finding the fairway?
  • Would you be willing to change your approach to course management if it meant months of frustration, but eventually your new approach lowers your score?
  • Are you willing to examine your game, decide on a corrective course of action and work at it indefinitely knowing that eventually it would lower your score?

If you answer yes to all these questions, then congratulations you are one of the rare few whose ego plays no part in their game. If you answered no, then you are in the majority of golfers who like the idea of changing their game, but are unwilling to follow through.

Through the years I have talked to many players who took lessons from their local professional only to find that they reverted back to their old ways because the advice was just not working. After a casual conversation, they found the process to frustrating and decided to work out their challenges in other ways. This particular situation is nothing new and without realizing it, the players let ego stop them from becoming a better player.

Personally, I have experienced many attacks from my ego. In my early years, ego ruled my golf game. My focus was on hitting the ball hard and long regardless of direction.  Finally, when the frustration factor grew to high, I would try to make a change. After losing distance, I immediately reverted back to my grip it and rip it approach because I could not accept being 25 yards behind my playing partners. I seemed to overlook the fact that I was in the fairway and still had the same score. My ego blinded me to the success of hitting the ball straighter and in the long run improving my game. Fortunately, age and experience has helped me conquer my dreaded ego – most of the time!

During this year’s drive for scratch, I will see many conflicts with my ego. Fortunately, I am aware of the this beast and ready to do battle. My first battle will be to improve the performance of my 3-wood. At one time, it was the best club in my bag, but over the past couple of years it has become erratic and unreliable. I took my 3-wood granted and paid the price. The use of this club is critical to scoring low because I am not a long hitter and need the 225 yards (or more on a good day) on the par 5 approach shots.

If history repeats itself, this focused change will be both frustrating and rewarding at the same time. Regardless, I will not let my ego stoke my fear and prevent me from improving my game. I expect it will take two solid months before I will feel comfortable and doubt-free when hitting my 3-wood. This time will be well spent and for the greater good of my game.

Ego is your best friend and your worst enemy! This year, I have decided that ego is going to be my best friend! It is a constant battle, but those with the desire to improve will conquer their ego and elate in their success.

I am a grateful golfer!  See you on the links!