The New Year is the perfect time to work on your golf swing. I’m skeptical of making changes – especially during the summer – but winter in Minnesota is time to work on your swing.
Alignment for most people is a problem – even for good players. Many years ago, I had a new assistant Pro who was a very good player. He was young, strong, athletic and very confident. However, he lined-up right of his target … and wouldn’t change. Lining-up right of the target, promoted over-using his shoulders when hitting the shot. That move feels strong (and is) … but leads to inconsistency … and golf is more about consistency than power. This young fellow wanted to beat me (at golf) but he didn’t … though he made more birdies, he also had a few blow-up holes due to his faulty alignment.
The problem with lining up right of your target is that it causes you to swing left. Swinging left is “coming over the top”. Basically that means stopping your hips from turning and overusing your shoulders.
Now we’re getting to the heart of the golf swing … but it can be confusing and is seldom explained very well. Please bear with me as I try to make this clear.
The golf swing is really a sweep … you sweep the ball off of the ground or a tee. Too many people either hit down at the ball or try to scoop it up in the air. The problems with their golf swing are a result of the wrong concept of the golf swing. Fixing the faulty parts of the swing doesn’t really solve anything if the concept is wrong. They will always revert back to the wrong swing if the concept is wrong.
Here’s how the swing should feel: Swing the club back waist high and hold it. Now, twist your hips to the left and let the hips pull the club through the shot to waist high level. That little half-swing is the golf swing in a nutshell.
I do this drill up in my office and hit little shots onto the couch. Do this during the winter in your home or office.
You’ll see how you need to line-up left of your target to have enough room to swing the club at the target. Otherwise you’ll be stuck or cramped and won’t have a good follow through.
Remember the story of the young Pro who didn’t line-up correctly? Well, he did finally give in and line-up left of the target. He didn’t lose yardage like he thought he would … and he became a much better player … a more CONSISTENT player. And, he started beating me. Not that I enjoyed losing … but I enjoyed watching how well he played.
This is your year to start beating your friends. Good golf is consistent golf. Consistent golf is a result of the proper understanding of how the golf swing should work. A good golf swing sweeps the ball out at the target. It doesn’t pull the ball at the target.
Happy New Year!
GM/Head PGA Professional
Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386