Say your on the driving range just getting a quick practice in before a class or on lunch break at your job. Things seem to be going great, your striking the ball well, everything seems to be going smoothly, so maybe you decide your going to hit it harder, or your going to start working the ball left to right or right to left. It’s very common to start doing this because your swing feels so good that day. Then all of a sudden without warning things go haywire, you start to hit terrible shots, and make swings you didn’t think you had. You might have even tagged a couple cars in the parking lot from such a bad swing. Here’s three ways to understand your swing to make for better practice and better your game:
1. You need to slow yourself down. It’s not a race to see who gets done hitting balls first. Your hitting these great shots then all of a sudden hitting awful shots because from the get go, you were in a hurry, and you were practicing bad habits. You were not going through your routine you were just thinking about getting done with that large 8 dollar bucket of balls you bought. Good practice is all about quality, not quantity. Sometimes if I find myself hitting atrocious shots on the range (try not to panic) I tend to exaggerate slowing my swing down. Slow everything down for that matter, slow your breathing down, your routine before you line yourself up to swing then make an extremely slow swing and connect with the ball. Don’t worry about where it goes, that’s why it’s the driving range and not a real golf round, your there to practice good habits. Slowing yourself down will not only keep you relaxed but it will help you critique what’s wrong with your swing and maybe you could make some adjustments.
2. Film yourself. I experimented with this method last year, and wow it made a huge difference. I was wondering why no matter what I did my driver would always go right. I was getting so frustrated, and I tried slowing myself down, but to me everything looked fine and everything felt fine. Now I had a swing coach and even he was looking at me with curiosity wondering why I had this problem. Finally he said let’s get you on camera and film your swing. We filmed my swing just on his iPhone, which is probably your best bet. Then we slowed it down almost freezing it using this app called V1Golf . Fantastic app by the way. It lets you break down each part of your swing, from the take away, to the top, all the way through impact. I noticed right off the bat that I was lifting my head. That’s it, that’s all that was wrong. I didn’t do what my dad would always tell me to do when I was 6 years old. I didn’t keep my head down. Sometimes it could be something so small that could turn your game around. Film yourself with all the other aspects of your game too, not just full swings but: chipping, putting, sand shots, half shots, everything.
3. Get a Lesson From your Local Course’s Head Professional. He’s there for a reason, to help you out. Again, for me, I didn’t like the idea, and sometimes I know those people can be quite intimidating to you and your game. However, you don’t have to ask them for a full ten sessions and change your entire game from start to finish. You could if you wanted to, but I know there are some things that you like about your swing even if nobody else does. Explain that to the Pro, tell him what you want out of a lesson or you just want help on one certain thing or maybe some drills or practice tips. It couldn’t hurt. I can tell you that I am a victim of getting lessons from a head professional. If your reading this and want to find the man who set me straight and have him teach the things to you what he taught me: Chris Gerdin is his name. He has a very good way of explaining things where you can understand them. He will work with you and make your game better, he won’t bring out anything you don’t want him too. He’s there for you.
It’s very difficult to go out and practice things if you don’t understand what to practice. You could be developing bad habits on the driving range or putting green. Just remember if you want to truly understand your swing and have a great feeling of what your doing right and be alert on what your doing wrong try and first slow yourself down, then see if you can have someone film you or try and film yourself somehow, and finally if all else fails there’s always a head pro somewhere that can help you.