I’ve known Ron for more than 10 years, watched him make hundreds of swings, answered numerous questions about his golf game, but never worked with him in a formal lesson situation. He plays 3 times a week and has a somewhat “unique” swing resulting from being self taught combined with coaching from the 15 guys he regularly plays with.
It seems Ron has been expressing his disappointment lately with his lack of progress in golf, so his wife gave him an early birthday gift of a session with me. I was happy I could finally get a crack at him and give him some much needed help I felt he needed.
Before we got started I asked Ron what my job was - what would he like to accomplish during the session. He told me he would just like to break 100 once. He has been close on a few occasions but just couldn’t break through to double digits. I think I can help.
We had a good session and he “saw the light” in the adjustments we had made. He left the session happy with the additional distance he was getting and the lack of effort required to produce more power. And, the biggest thing was his bad shots went longer and straighter than before.
The following afternoon he came by and, looking like a 5 year old on Christmas morning, said, “Guess what I shot today?” I replied with 98? Nope, he had shot 96 - his best round by 5 strokes. I had never seen him so happy. It made my week!
A couple of weeks later I saw him on the course and it looked like he was making his old swing. Maybe he had a bad lie and reverted back to the old ways. The next swing…another bad lie?
I saw him later that day and asked him how his game was. He told me it was OK but not as good as after we had worked together. Was he still using the practice drills and two swing keys we had worked on? “Well, not really”. Why not? “Well, it just didn’t feel right”. Did it work? “Well, it did that one time, but it just felt…strange, so I decided to combine some of my old stuff and some of what you taught me, and now it feels better”.
I understand a change doesn’t always feel good or right. It takes time to make adjustments and feel comfortable with them, to trust the new and be confident it will really take care of you and be better.
Change in your swing mechanics may feel downright ugly for a while. But, you should begin to see positive results very quickly as long as you have discipline and continue to work on the practice drills, thought processes, and swing mechanics your coach gave you.
And I guess if it just doesn’t feel good enough or right enough, or it’s just too darn tough to have the discipline needed to make it all work, that’s OK. Just remember, when you did what I asked you to do you had one of the best days of your life! Your choice.
Kim Anders is a PGA Professional residing in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.