So many golfers stumble through practice, never really making any progress. Most likely, they are either practicing haphazardly, or with inefficient technique.
Learning takes time. A real goal in my teaching is to share with people HOW TO TRAIN. Once that is established, it’s most often simply a matter of staying in the drills over time.
Golfers so often dabble in theory and method…. They try things and then move on….. That is a recipe for inconsistency.
Learn a few simple drills for putting, chipping, bunkers, pitch shots, and the full swing. Now train in them consistently and systematically, for a life time!
Improvement and consistency in golf have become relatively easy for those of us convinced of how to train properly. It’s a comfortable feeling knowing exactly what to do when we practice. The belief in method is strong. The understanding of the ESSENTIAL skills to be developed are clear. We trust, and we train for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years… for a lifetime.
In the comment section on my blog, Joe asked “Throwing the club” is the key concept promoted in “Extraordinary Golf”. It may be difficult to implement, but have you or David Lee ever considered developing a drill whereby the student actually throws the club at the true target?”
Here’s my answer:
Joe, Extraordinary Golf is a fantastic book written by Fred Shoemaker. One that I recommend everyone read. One of the coolest experiences in my teaching career has been watching people literally throw clubs out to their targets…. I did this for years when I was in Gainesville, Florida.
Everyone had ‘lag’. No one EVER came ‘over the top’. Posture, grip pressure and balance ALWAYS improved…
When a student could transfer the feelings of THROWING to the golf swing, I saw INSTANT changes in their swings, for the better. Truly a remarkable drill.
*the challenge is finding a space to throw. I learned real fast after students hit buildings, cars, lost clubs in trees, etc…. that I need a vast open space in which to THROW. Because golfers have a kill instinct directed at the ball, they flip the hands early on the first few throws and sling the club dead left or even backwards…. It’s hilarious and really dangerous! Love the drill… But if you try it… start with really small swings, and be in a very large open and empty space.
**The range at Snee Farm is too small to throw clubs…. I’ve done it a couple times at the back of the range, and one time thinking I was brilliant, I brought a student out to hole number 18. At about 180yards from the green, I had him set up in the middle of the fairway and THROW a club down the fairway…. The club ended up getting stuck in the big live oak to the left….. Think about that! Took us a couple of hours to get down.
When you set up, are you prepared to throw the club powerfully through the ball? (without letting go…)
You’re alignment, ball position, grip pressure and posture should be a response to the preparation to throw the club fully and freely ‘out there’.
Prepare to throw, and a lot of good positions will occur, without you having to think about them!
Golf is a difficult game. Very few golfers can just pick up the clubs once and a while and play consistently good golf.
Most golfers really want to improve, yet spend very little time on quality practice. Heard this comment for the umpteenth time the other day and it really makes me chuckle:
“If I practiced as much as he (put in name of good player at your club that practices) did, I’d be really good too…”
They say it as if being good doesn’t count if you practice hard. Makes me chuckle when I think of the endless hours most tour pros spend on their games.
My answer to that comment: “Yeah, you might be right.”
Practice consistently and systematically. Pretty please!
Golf is tough enough when we are swinging the club fairly well. Often times during the round, we get thrown another challenge when we discover we have no idea where the ball might go on the next swing!!!
I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had times when we’ve “lost it” on the golf course. By ‘it’, I’m referring to any sense of control over the ball’s flight….
How you react is a very important aspect of this game. Most golfers over compensate for their errors, creating different errors, and compounding the difficulties of the game. Many golfers use it as an excuse to play more aggressively, using more drivers off the tee, and more fairway woods in an attempt to reach the green after their lousy drives….. (this is the perfect recipe for disaster!!!)
A few respond to the challenge correctly. Here are a couple of suggestions for you. One great response is to play a smarter game. Admit that you are struggling with control, and play safer, smarter shots off the tee, play percentage shots from the fairway, and play safe shots around the green… The benefit of this is that with ‘easier’ shots, you may just hit a few good ones and kick start some confidence into your game! You are far more likely to hit some good shots playing more lofted clubs than by flailing away with the long clubs….
“Play with a conservative strategy, and a cocky attitude” -Dr. Bob Rotella
Another great response is to welcome the challenge. To take it as an opportunity to see how good you CAN swing, how tough you CAN be. Obsess yourself with thoughts of great swings, great shots. Walk, talk, think and act with more confidence, and prove to yourself that you can hit great shots (no reckless shots!) as the round continues!
Play smart. Believe in yourself. And as my wife, J, once told me; “Keep putting your best swing on the next shot!” Brilliant!
If there were one thing I’d like to see almost all golfers do better, it’s turning through freely on short shots. Until the body counterfalls and pivots freely, a golfer MUST make compensations with the arms and shoulders on ever shot…. That’s just too tough!
Once a free flowing pivot is developed, the arms CAN deadfall and be slung with great consistency through the ball. Impact, accuracy and distance control will all improve with path integrity.
This drill is very powerful. Master it, and it will change your game!
Click here to listen to David Lee discuss the crossfooted pitch