Less Than Full Swings, part I

For alot of golfers the less than full swing is a total mystery.  Even some tour professionals try to avoid the ‘in between swing’….  

Today I’m going to begin a discussion on this topic by giving those who struggle with the ‘in between swing’ some great advice. 

Specifically, I’m talking about that shot where the yardage seems to be right in between two clubs.  Can’t get an 8 iron there, but a 7 iron is too much!

This advice comes from a tour pro caddie, and I think it is fantastic!  It can really help golfers make more confident swings….

Let’s say you hit your 8 iron 140yards, and you hit your 7 iron 150yards.   Of course, you now have a shot from 145 yards away.  If it’s a middle or back pin, this tour caddie will say, “Hit a solid 8 iron.  You’ll have an easy uphill putt to the hole.”  He’s discussed with his player that a 140 yard 8 iron gets the player within 5 yards of the hole, that’s 15 feet….  Most golfers would be content with that shot and his player is far more likely to make an assertive and confident swing. 

If it’s a front pin, he would simply convince the player to hit 7 iron 15 feet past the pin.  Get the ball on the green, have a chance for birdie. 

In almost every instance, a low handicap golfer can freely make a full swing knowing that they can get within 30 feet of the hole…. 

Some golfers say that 15 feet isn’t good enough….  Maybe that’s true for a tour pro.  Maybe….  Remember, there are 18 holes out there.  A good player will have wedges in their hands 3-6 times during the round, and will also have another 3-6 ‘stock’ iron shots to hit.  Those will be better chances to knock it tight! (If only it were that easy!!!).  Be patient.  The key is to step up knowing you can make a comfortable swing! 

For higher handicap golfers,  this is a very important way to make free swings!  What’s the yardage you like to hit a full iron shot…  Find an area that is safe and close to that distance and swing with CONFIDENCE! 

So lesson number one:  Figure out a way to make comfortable swings as often as possible. 

Next:  How to improve on that ‘in between swing’….  

Impact- It’s ESSENTIAL

Hitting the ball pure and accurate is more rewarding than hitting it far. Don’t forget that, ever.” -Moe Norman

If golfers are to obsess (and many of them do), it should be about impact to the target, not about mechanics. 

Allowing the club to move through a golf ball, sending it off on a tangent to the club’s arc (no steering or guiding!!) should be a major part of one’s training. 

There is a reason that so many great players hit a ton of small shots on the range.  They are learning power and accuracy through IMPACT.  They are building skills that transfer to bigger swings….. 

Build your skills of impact.  Moe knows golf. 

Integrity of The Game

If you didn’t see the ruling that Charles Schwartzel got yesterday at the Memorial Tournament, you should go to golf channel and check it out. 

I was very surprised that he was able to take relief from his situation.  Maybe the angle on TV was misleading, but it seemed almost impossible for him to make contact with those sprinkler heads…. 

Funny how in the world we have sayings that back up both positions:

“You never know unless you ask.”   Charles properly asked a rules official for relief.  After a lengthy discussion, he received relief.  What he did was perfectly legal, and he benefitted greatly from the relief.  Perhaps that illustrates the benefits of asking….

“If you have to ask, the answer is no.”-Arnold Palmer 
This is a saying that I learned early in my golfing life.  The idea was that golf is a game based on two major premises:  1.  Integrity  2. Play the ball as it lies

In any type of competitive round, if it is not abundantly clear that you should receive relief, then you shouldn’t.  End of story.  If your ball is on the edge of the fringe/green and you want to know if you can mark and clean your ball….  If you are not sure, don’t mark it. 

I struggle with judging others simply because I agree with both of the above statements….  I was shocked he got relief.   I am in no position to say anything about his character.  *He did hit a fantastic 2nd shot from a perfect lie!

The world is not black and white.  Of that I’m sure….

What’s Your Image?

When you stand on the tee box, what are your images?  Throughout the round of golf, how clearly are you imagining the shot and swings you are about to make? 

“Every action is preceeded by an image”-Chuck Hogan

It’s often very difficult to picture great shots when you are struggling with your game…. However, it is crucial that you do.  See great shots as well as see and feel a great swing before you ever swing the club. 

Be clear about what a good shot looks like, what a good swing feels like.  It should be a high priority when playing AND while practicing! 

Now GO PLAY GOLF.  Stop THINKING golf swing….

*Btw, there is a huge difference between visualizing and thinking.