How to Change Your Swing

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Once you have reached a level of skill which allows you to consider yourself to be an intermediate skilled player, how you develop your game changes.  To begin practicing as an intermediate level player, you must be able to do four things ... 1. Make quality contact on every shot  2. Get the ball airborne on every shot  3.  Control the initial direction of every shot  4. Control the amount of curve on every shot

Quality contact means more than simply touching the the ball with the face of the club.  It means you have the skill to create a consistent swing path in both the horizontal and vertical planes.  This means your head does not yoyo up and down while the club is moving.  You have mastered the fundamental skill of looking at the ball (different from keeping your head still).  You have eliminated 90+% of your fat and thin shots.  You may not be perfect, but you have the basic confidence you will not lay the sod over the ball or cut the scalp off the top of the ball.  Getting the ball airborne is a matter of good weight transfer which comes from a correct rotation of your body while eliminating unnecessary hand action.  Direction is a matter of controlling your swing path and clubface through the impact zone.  Better players control their elbows which determines swing path.  At all times one arm is nearly straight while one elbow folds on each side of the swing to establish to your swing arc.  Better players also control their hands which in turn controls the direction the clubface is pointed.

As a beginner, you used drills as your primary learning method.  Drills are characterized by repetition and large swing movements.  You were focused on large fundamentals.  As you developed the big fundamentals (the ability to control your eyes, shoulders, elbows and thumbs) needed to create a circle around a swing center, the ball started to behave and your consistency and confidence improved.  Now the learning changes because the goals change from whole swing fundamentals to small, part swing, technical points of performance.  Now, it's time to get picky!

Making small changes is more difficult in some ways than making gross changes.  Patience is the key!  Be prepared to struggle, even get worse before you begin to see improvement.    Following a few simple rules will keep you on track while helping make swing changes with far greater ease.

One change at a time ... refining your swing is not the same as walking and chewing bubble gum at the same time!  It is imperative you isolate your practice to one and only one specific point of performance

E.I.C. ... eliminate, isolate and concentrate.

  • Remove the target, the ball, the club and most of the swing, then you can’t fail if there is no standard to measure success against; when the target and ball have been removed, you end up with a drill

  • When you are not worried about where the ball goes, then you can isolate your attention on a specific point of performance

  • Mimic the true movement while isolating a “mini” (specific) point of performance

  • Focus your concentration on the specific “feeling” for what you are trying to do right

The 60/21 plan ...  that's sixty correct repetitions for twenty one consecutive days. 

Use shaping and chaining techniques ... part swing learning/refinement must proceed in a logical manner.  You do not get to choose where to begin.  Smart golfers should be able to figure out their worst problem.  ALWAYS start with the worst problem

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