I’ve been struggling with my swing lately and wasn’t sure if I had mechanical problems or just needed to get to the practice range. I knew I wasn’t playing very well but I thought it was because I hadn’t been out much and frankly, I’d have to ask directions to get to our practice area. So, I end up practicing on the course.
Our Head Professional told me my swing looked different the last time we played. Cesar had taken a video of one of my swings on his cell phone and had it on his computer. When I saw the video of my swing the club had only moved about 2 feet before I knew one of my old nemesis items had crept back into my swing. Occasionally, I will bend too much at the waist causing my shoulders to work on a more vertical plane than I want. I’m 6’4” and some days 6’4” is just too tall to play good golf!
Most golfers slowly gravitate to certain positions or motions that are either more natural or more comfortable for them. But, many times they aren’t the best for producing good golf shots. Then our game seems to fall apart – without warning.
I was working with one of the top junior players on the Mexican National Team last week who had just finished a mediocre round for him. I watched a couple of swings, told him he had moved farther from the ball than he was 2 weeks before when I saw him. He couldn’t believe he reverted back to this old setup. He asked me how to avoid sliding into those little setup and swing “issues” that cause his shots to start getting away from him. I gave him a couple of checkpoints to be aware of, and explained there will always be warning signs before the real costly shots happen. Your club and body will tell you when you are getting away from what you need to be doing. If you know what to look for, or feel, you can avoid having a big “train wreck”. The key is to know what your tendencies are and “listen” to what your club and body is telling you.
We take lessons because we get “out of whack” with parts of our game. It works for a while and then it stops working. We have a good setup and make good swings and then we slowly start sliding back into our old habits – what feels more comfortable or more powerful.
There is no way to replace your golf coach, but, you can stay closer to being on track if you know what your tendencies are. If you’ve worked with a golf coach you probably already know what your nemesis issues are. If you haven’t or don’t remember, go take a lesson and see what your coach has to say. Find out why your coach wants you to do certain things, what it should feel like, and what to watch for to avoid slipping back into old habits.
Golf is not a natural game. Knowing your nemesis allows you to take steps to keep your mind and body in control and avoid being derailed by what comes naturally.
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.