It really amazes me how many people come to me for help, spend their hard earned money, see and feel the benefits of my methods, and then abandon these methods a short time later because, “It feels funny”, or “Different”, or “It doesn’t work on the course”.
If you are one of those people that believes a swing change should feel good or natural right away, or be something we can just flip the switch and suddenly “You Got It”, you are going to be disappointed because it just doesn’t happen that way. There aren’t many things in a golf swing that are natural (yes, there are a few, just not many).
For those who are afraid of the changes that might be made in a lesson, or fear getting worse before it gets better, it’s OK. The last thing we want is for anything to happen other than to improve your game. If you don’t want to take the chance with a lesson or are too proud, at least pay attention to your favorite player(s) you watch every week.
We all have our favorite players on the various Tours. We talk about how smooth, how easy looking “our players” swings are. Look how easily they take the club back, that fraction of a pause at the top of the backswing, the smooth acceleration, letting the club get to the ball in its own time without being forced or jumping at the ball, and then finish nicely balanced over the left foot (or right foot for a left-hander).
Sure these players are terrific athletes who spend many hours each week working on their conditioning, endless hours practicing, and years refining that practice on the golf course to get to the level they are at. They know the very things you admire about their swings are the very things that give them the best opportunity to produce a good golf shot.
So, what’s our problem? I see a lot of people take the club back and then once at the top of the backswing there is a huge explosion of effort, like what you would do if you were trying to break a car window with a baseball bat, or split a log with an axe. This is not what our favorite players do!
They don’t explode at the ball, or attack the ball. They “smoothly accelerate, letting the club get to the ball on its own ..without being forced!” Got it? Without being forced!
Why does our favorite player’s swing appear to be so effortless? Because they release tension to hit the ball and most amateurs create tension to hit the ball. Creating tension does not generate speed, it creates tension.
Remember when you first tried to make a whip crack or towel pop by creating a lot of tension and swinging it hard and nothing happened? Then, your buddy takes it and smoothly accelerates the whip or towel and it snaps every time.
Swinging a golf club is about creating tension on the back-swing, not the down-swing. Create tension and then release it. Let the golf club do the work. The golf club is made to hit the ball. Perfectly! Every time! Let it. Quit trying to make the club do something. It knows what to do. You have your hands full making YOU swing the club with some degree of discipline and avoiding the natural tendency to attack the ball.
The golf swing is not a violent motion so don’t make it one. Take a hint from your favorite players and make a real effort to swing like they do, using smooth acceleration and letting the club do what it’s made to do. You may find you hit the ball longer and straighter, with less effort than ever.
You might also have a lot more fun! Have some discipline, swing like your idol, and enjoy the game.
Kim Anders is Director of Golf at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at Kanders@estrelladelmar.com or call 1.888.587.0609, Ext. 3010. Find out more about the golf resort by visiting www.estrelladelmar.com.