Calgary Golf Academy

Two ways to a solid swing

By Jeff Lubin

Did you know practice swings are a vital component of our golf game?
They help us to make changes when we are learning a new swing motion. On the course, they are a rehearsal for the upcoming shot. They could also be used as way to relieve the tension that builds up between shots.

I frequently hear golfers say they have a great practice swing but can’t repeat the swing with the ball. This is a problem for almost all golfers; the ball seems to cast a spell that prohibits them from making a good, efficient swing. This happens for two reasons.

One, when we take a practice swing we are doing just that, swinging. It is a fluid motion that swings out towards the target. When the ball is placed before us, the ball becomes the target and our major concern becomes hitting that ball.

The brain translates hitting into a downward blow that causes the club to crash into the top or side of the ball, the ground or anywhere except precisely into the ball.

Two, there is now a result by which we can judge ourselves. A lack of confidence takes over. Tension creeps in, and that smooth practice swing becomes quick and uncertain. The result is usually a bad shot.
Solution: Make a number of practice swings, concentrating on creating a fluid and relaxed motion. As your swing gets close to what you feel is your best swing motion, become aware of how it feels and what is happening. Once you believe you have made your best swing, tag it as your goal to repeat.

Now repeat the swing with the ball. Do not think about the ball or the result, only about repeating your best swing motion. You must now be totally objective and rate your ability to maintain the best swing motion with the ball. If your swing does not feel as good with the ball, you must go back to the practice swing and get the feeling of your best swing back. Repeat this until it becomes natural.

In order for this drill to be effective, it is crucial to be disciplined enough to keep your attention focused on the swing and not the result. During this process, you must give up concerns about the outcome and be willing to make a few bad shots.

This drill helps you close the gap between your practice swing and the swing with the ball. With time and practice, you will no longer look down at the ball and allow it to cast that spell over you. With the anxiety gone, you will be able to have some fun playing golf.

Reproduced with permission from Calgary Golfer magazine

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