Do You Really Need a Swing Change?
When I was teaching full time, I could count on one lesson a day that went like this.
Golfer: “I need to change my swing.”
Golfer: “Because I’m hitting it terribly.”
Me: “Show me.”
Golfer: (Hits a perfect shot)
Now, of course I’m not suggesting that hitting one good shot means you have an ideal swing, but I am going to suggest most golfers are too quick to start changing things. In this lesson, I’ll suggest two things to do before you start tearing your swing down to the studs.
This Lesson Is For You If:
You’re thinking about changing your swing
You make a lot of “swing changes”
You’re struggling with your swing
Check the Basics
I can’t tell you how many golfers I’ve “fixed” by asking them to focus on the basics. Here’s my personal checklist.
Regular readers know that I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all prescriptions. If you’re hitting a 7I, I don’t care if the ball is in the middle of your stance, a little back, or a little forward [more on that HERE]. What I do care about is if it’s in the same place every time. How can you expect a consistent result if the ball is never in the same place twice? Get out the alignment sticks and make sure your ball position is consistent.
Target & Alignment
Before you decide that your swing isn’t accurate, pick a target and set down some alignment sticks. If you’re still spraying the ball all over the range, there might be a problem. More than likely, however, you’ll find that your shots are consistently on target, right, or left. If you’re not on target, a small alignment tweak will get you there with much less pain than a swing overhaul.
If you’re not using a consistent pre-shot routine, you’re not giving yourself the best chance to hit a good shot. There’s a reason that every player on the PGA Tour has a routine: they work. It doesn’t need to be long or complex. Stand behind the ball, see your target, step in, take a breath, swing. Having – and using – a routine is a much easier road to consistency than a new swing.
Is your golf swing the problem or is it the fact that you’re thinking about 999 other things? Modern life is busy, and we all have a lot on our mind. Don’t get discouraged with your swing if you’re not fully dialed in to what you’re doing.
Get a Reality Check
If all of your fundamentals are in order, take a little data on what’s happening with your swing. Are you actually “hitting every shot fat”? Is every drive really “slicing off the planet”? Or are you just frustrated with the few times when those things do happen?
Golf is hard. The best players in the world miss 4 out of 10 fairways. They miss more than 6 greens per round. They miss over half their putts from 10 to 15 feet.
No swing change will ever eliminate bad results completely, so think carefully about what you want to achieve before you start changing yours.