Ben Hogan was not instantly a great golfer. It took him years to figure out a golf swing that would give him a winning game. He also practiced until his hands bled. His frustration started with our natural tendency to swing a golf club the way that we swing a stick to hit a stone or a bat to hit a ball. After he figured out how to consistently hit a golf ball and to control for direction and distance, he knew it was not a natural swing. The golf swing had to be learned and practiced before anyone can ever become a good golfer. That’s why he made this famous quote:
“Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do and you will probably come close to having a perfect golf swing.”
Focus on these changes to become a better golfer:
Remain square over the ball during the backswing with your feet firmly planted. In baseball the body shifts back to build momentum as it shifts forward during the hit. This motion in golf will just create inconsistent hits.
Your leading arm should be straight during the backswing and down through impact to keep a consistent distance from your shoulders to the ball. In baseball both arms are bent to create more power as they straighten during the swing.
Power in golf comes from cocking your wrists in the backswing (creating lag) and releasing them at the bottom of your forward swing.
Power in golf also comes from a fluid motion from your backswing to your forward swing as you press with your trailing foot, rotate your hips, drop your arms and FINALLY release your wrists. In baseball your bat rests over your shoulder. It’s much heavier than a golf club so you swing it with your arms and shoulders AT THE SAME TIME AS you push through the swing with your feet.
In golf you have the opportunity to practice the perfect swing because that little ball is not moving. Then step forward and repeat the exact same swing.
In golf you need to finish your swing in a perfect balanced position on your leading foot as there are no adjustments needed to compensate for the ball position. In baseball the full swing pulls your body back on your trailing foot.
Your grip, relaxed mind, relaxed muscles and quiet environment really set the tone for a different game. So each time that you setup to hit a ball, realize that you are only playing this game against yourself. Take control of every swing and think of Ben Hogan preparing to make a real golf swing.
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