Instructional Tip - Banish Mindless Practice Swings By Sue Kaffenburgh
How many practice swings do you take before each shot on the golf course? If you’re like most people, it’s 3 or 4. You believe you will get “better” outcome to your shot. Research says you’re wrong! Worse, you’re slowing down play! Sorry, but there’s no positive correlation between your practice swing and the ball going towards your target. I bet you identify with many golfers who lament, “why are my practice swings so good, and my real swing so terrible?”
The problem is you have no clue what you’re practicing. Saying “I’m practicing my swing” doesn’t cut it. Golf is a target game. If you’re trying to produce swing thoughts relying on moving specific body parts, that won’t produce information that the golf ball can interpret for its journey to a desired target.
Next time there is a golf tournament on TV, watch the rehearsal swings the tour pros make. Their moves are small. They’re usually no higher than waist high, back and through, with keen attention to the impact zone. Copy them. Emulate the speed and size of their rehearsal swings to make your new practice swings purposeful, deliberate, precise, mindful, and slow.
The moment of truth for your golf ball is impact. Quite simply, the club head tells the ball where and how far to go. Paying attention to impact, and the moments just before and just after impact can reap huge benefits to propelling your ball towards your intended target. Get that part clear in your mind. Rehearse only that critical motion, once or twice, and your outcome will improve.
Need to know what impact feels and looks like? Find a stationary post and press your club face against it while assuming a normal stance. Really press on it. Notice your weight is significantly on your front foot, your handle is ahead of the club head, your front wrist is flat and your trail wrist is bent. This is impact and where you have to strive to be!
This approach will help your short game too. Not only will you have a plan for impact, but now your practice swings on the less than full-swing shots can reflect the correlation between swing speed and distance. Want 20 yards? Make your rehearsal swing 20 miles per hour. Want 40 yards? Think 40 mph…etc.