Feels Good, Goes Bad?

Kim Anders
Director of Instruction
John Jacobs Golf Schools and Academies Estrella del Mar Golf and Beach Resort
Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, AZ

More Information

I had been out of town for about two weeks and had barely been home ten minutes when I got an SOS call from one of my PGA LatinAmerica Tour players. He tells me he’s hitting everything great but his driver.  

We get together the next morning and as he’s loosening up he tells me a series of driver horror stories from the past 10 days. This one club has cost him about 30 strokes and, knowing him, at least a thousand dollars in his games with other players.  

He starts with the wedges and works his way up to the longer clubs – all’s well. He’s doing exactly what we had been working on and effortlessly hitting solid shots that carry long with a little draw at the end. I don’t see any reason he should have problems with any of his clubs.

Hybrid – beautiful. 3 wood – verging on spectacular. Driver – four swings and I think he hit balls in three different zip codes. Time out.  We adjust his setup, which for some reason, is substantially different from the other 13 clubs in his bag.

Twenty balls later I get him to stop working or manipulating the club throughout the swing and he looks like himself again, except his ball flight is starting to the right of his target line and then turning right.  Like it or not at least we have some consistency!

He hits a few more balls while I check him out and I’m getting stumped as to what in the world is going on – everything checks out good except for his ball flight. Then it hits me!  

He’s got one of those drivers where you can adjust all the angles and have something like ten thousand different combinations. And, he likes to tinker with it. I ask my guy when he last changed his angles and he tells me a couple of weeks ago. He looked like the cartoon character when the light bulb over his head turns on.

I love these new drivers that can be adjusted. Good swing or bad, anyone can adjust the club so they hit the type of shot they are looking for. The problem is people tend to fool around with their settings too much.

He had made an adjustment with his club and over the course of a few rounds it stopped working and he didn’t change it back. Instead, he started adjusting his swing to compensate for his now ill-fitted driver.

I see this sort of thing a lot. The swing feels pretty good but the ball isn’t going where we want. Rather than check your basic fundamentals like grip, alignment, setup, ball position, we tend to think our swing needs changing.

When your swing feels good and is producing a fairly consistent ball flight, even though the ball is not doing what you want, don’t blame your swing. Odds are the swing is fine. It’s your basic fundamentals that have become out of whack.  

If you can’t figure it out on your own, see your PGA Professional. He’ll get your fundamentals and your shots back on line!

Kim Anders is a PGA Professional residing in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at jkanders4@gmail.com.