A Golfer's Instinct

It never ceases to amaze me how important instinct is in any golfer's swing - that instinct to position their body or the club in such a manner as to give any shot the best possible chance of finishing at the target. Good golf instincts are the result of years playing the game, but also to a lesser degree, a player's innate talent.

In order to test and better understand this instinct I came up with an idea - I would change my normal grip to 90 degrees open and then 90 degrees closed as shown below and test my ability to adjust to the vastly different clubface angles - yet still attempt to get the ball to the target.

Now, as you might imagine, with an approximate 180 degrees difference between the face angle for these two shots I didn't get up and hit it beautifully straight away, but I was amazed that it only took 2-3 swings with each to adjust and get the ball to fly pretty much toward the target.

The image below shows the drastic difference that was required at impact in order to produce an acceptable result for each option. (The "weak" grip option is on the left while the "strong" grip option is on the right) It's also important to understand that the difference you're looking at is not from grip alone, quite the contrary. It is primarily my instinct to get the ball to the target that leads to the changes.

The TrackMan data shows how much the change in face angle altered both the shape of the swing and my impact alignments. There was more than a 10 degree difference between my clubpath with each swing and the swing plane (VSP) with each swing - both numbers that golfers tend to be very consistent with.

What can you take away from this test:

  • A golfer's primary instinct is to have the ball finish at the target. This instinct might cause them to swing and respond in unusual ways, but they are doing all they can to generate a successful outcome
  • Face angle can greatly influence the appearance and effectiveness of any golf swing
  • An open face throughout the swing will often encourage an out-to-in clubpath, while a closed face throughout the swing will often encourage an in-to-out clubpath
  • An open face will often promote a lower swing plane while a closed face will often elevate the swing plane through impact
  • Practicing unusual techniques and methods that are well outside your comfort zone will actually improve your instincts to make the ball go to the target and ultimately make you a better golfer

The next time you go out to practice, work towards bettering your golf instinct. As Chris Como once said:

 Repeatability does not necessarily come from just trying to be more repeatable. Learn to solve similar 'problems' in a variety of ways...

Think, and practice, a little outside of your box.

Speedchain - Dynamic Power for Golf

View the HD video lesson HERE

 The speedchain is a tremendous teaching and training aid for just about any golfer looking to get a sense for what the body should be doing throughout the golf swing. And by now you should all know I am a big fan of getting the body to work correctly. While it may not be the easiest aid to use and "operate" it is superb at communicating the feel of the transition and downswing.

Ben Hogan has long been admired for his dynamic golf swing and the effortless ease with which he drove his weight up onto his front foot.  It often looked like he was "cracking a whip" when he swung a club. Training with the speedchain will get you to sense the hip drive and weight shift - just prior to - the arms and the club completing the back swing. A necessity for delivering maximum power and snap into the back of the ball.

The speedchain is made up of a sturdy grip attched to a length (20') of chain where the links get bigger and heavier as they extend out away from the grip. The weight of the chain forces the body to work as efficiently (correctly!) as possible. I would recommend using or purchasing the XX Strong Model (for all golfers) as the heavier chain limits the amount of whipping in the terminal end of the chain - it just seems a little safer.

Here's a teaching/training aid that is guaranteed to help your swing and as a bonus it offers an excellent core workout as well - I cannot recommend it enough!

FYI - I am in no way affiliated with the manufacturing or selling of the speedchain.

 For more information on Speedchains and purchasing click HERE

View the HD video lesson HERE

 

The Shoulder Pivot

An important factor in getting the body into position for a great impact is the manner in which the shoulders pivot. Far too many golfers are trying to turn too much and get their lead shoulder behind the ball.

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The 84 Degree Secret

The manner in which the body works through the swing is integral to achieving a proper and productive impact position.In fact, body motion is the prime fundamental for striking a golf ball correctly.By pivoting and loading the body correctly in the backswing, you set off a chain reaction that automatically directs your body to where it should be at the moment of truth: impact!

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