At the end of televised rounds of golf, commentators attempt to glean nuggets of thoughts from the pros. Often they never really answers the questions but occasionally you really get a good insight into the success for their game. Instead of flipping your PVR fast forward, you may learn some good strategies by listening to the pros. Every successful golfer has their own game plan.
I heard an interview with Brooks Koepkawho described his swing thought as “no thought at all”. He knew the swing that was needed to execute his draw or fade or height of shot to avoid trouble or land on a green. His mind blocked out any other thought as he simple executed the swing needed to make the perfect shot to the point where he wanted to land his ball. He couldn’t explain any thought process as his mind seemed to go into a blank zone as he executes the shot that he wants.
In the AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield in Scotland, after the 3rd round when Ashleigh Buhai, a South African, was leading that Major tournament by 5 strokes she was asked about her success. She simply said that she “followed her process”.She simply stuck to her routine for every type of shot. She knew what she wanted to execute and simply blocked extraneous thoughts from her mind after she made her club selection, setup her stance and fixed her grip. She actually visualized her past successful swings and swing speed in the image of another great South African golfer: Ernie Els. He made a deliberately controlled backswing and release through the ball WITHOUT TRYING TO KILL HIS BALL.
Ashleigh was actually building confidence with ever swing by focusing ONLY ON HER SUCCESSES. When playing on links courses in Scotland, you can only control the direction and length of your shot. The surface of every fairway can throw your ball in any direction. You can’t be focused on the result of your last shot. You can only apply your mind on making a success of your next shot.
Buhai,the 84th ranked player in the world, was leading the Women’s Open. She ultimately landed in a terrible bunker and lost her lead but won it back in a playoff. One mishit almost lost the tournament, but she stuck to her process,blocked the thought of losing and won the tournament. You may never be in her position, but you should keep your mind on the perfect swing that you practice. GOLFSTR+ is a training aid that helps you practice 6 key corrections in your swing. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Thought for the Day: The best wood for lowering your score is a pencil.
In a recent GolfersRX blogChristo Garcia recommend a driver swing setup that will help you generate longer, straight drives. When I tried his recommendation, I realized that his 2 suggestions were exactly what I have been doing subconsciously for my best drives. He suggested a STRONGER grip and keeping your trailing ELBOW CLOSE TO YOUR SIDE during the downswing, like Lee Trevino and Dustin Johnson. A stronger grip is easy to position during your setup, but the tight trailing elbow needs a flat or bowed leading wrist to create the inside swing path.
More Power for your Drives The Garcia recommendation uses an inside to outside swing path so that your trailing elbow almost grazes your rib cage. I understood what he was trying to describe when he commented about Jack Nicklaus who liked to play with a “PALM UP CUT”. He was adding power to his swing by forcing his trailing hand to swing through the ball as if he is swinging a hammer with his strong trailing hand on the backside of his club and into a wall as he swung through the point of impact.
Dustin Johnson bows his leading wrist at the top of the swing in order to swing with a bowed wrist as he powers the back of his bowed leading wrist up his target line. That forces his trailing elbow to narrowly miss his side during the downswing.
Another Suggestion If those 2 descriptions are not helping you understand how to swing with your trailing elbow narrowly missing your side, my personal option my help. As I approach the top of my backswing I remove any “cup” shape in my leading wrist by flatten my wrist. This shallows my swing path from the inside and up my target line. I’m not sure if my wrist is actually flat or slightly bowed, but I definitely shallow my swing plane and feel like I am hammering my club directly up my target line.
Slice Solution Hank Haney highlights the fact that an open club face at the point of impact will ALWAYS create a fade or slice. If you are trying the “hammer” swing and experiencing fades or slices, setup with a 1 or 2 degree closed face on your club. That should create a slight draw or at least a straight ball flight.
If you want more distance with your drives you need to hammer them with more swing speed. Practice with GOLFSTR+ to keep your leading arm straight and hammer the club face of your driver up your target line. Buy one today at www.GOLFSTR.com
Thought for the Day: The greatest sound in golf is the “Whoosh, Whoosh, Whoosh” of your opponent’s club as he hurls it across the fairway.