Tom’s Tip: Fall Season Quick Tips

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, October 11th, 2019

 

BY TOM WARD
TOMPWARD@SBCGLOBAL.NET

“Seek first to Understand, and then to be understood”
In my golf seminars, I usually start out with this wonderful quote
to make a point. Knowing that different words mean different things to
different people, it is critical that the teacher and student are on
the same page in order to reach the objectives collectively that each
desires. I find it’s incredibly important that I have an understanding
of what my students have been exposed to, and their impressions, and
interpretations on what they are attempting to do in the game. The
descriptions allow me to create a greater understanding on where they
are coming from, and how best to approach it in a way that they can
learn most efficiently.

The biggest problem in learning is communication! In future
articles I will deal with this subject at greater length.
While all golfers continue to look for the secret that will
perfect their swing, it is wishful thinking because there is no secret
to swinging the golf club. Even with the best of players no two swings
are alike. What works for one player doesn’t necessarily work for
another.

There are no two swings alike – similar, but not alike. I could
ask ten players what starts the downswing, and I would get ten
different answers. It has been said that golf is both an art and a
science. “To know a thing by its parts is science: to feel it as a
whole is art.”

It helps to understand the mechanics (Science) of a swing. It
also helps to understand how to develop the feel (Art). Once the
motion in your swing has started, there should be no interruption. It
should be a smooth flowing motion from start to finish; not a series
of abrupt actions.

To teach your muscles the proper feel is to realize that the
physical movements of the body determine how one swings the club. This
is why a correct grip is extremely important since it’s the only
contact you have with the club and controls the clubface angle.
Improper wrist action accounts for the majority percent of bad
shots. Why is this so common? The natural way to control the club is
with the hands and any attempt to use the hands encourages breaking of
the wrists. To explain wrist action: There are two directions the
wrists can move in the golf swing. That is the forward/backward or up
and down. I am going to refer to the forward/backward action as the
breaking of the wrists.

The up/down as the hinging of the wrists. Some teachers call the
up/down movements cocking the wrists. This is one reason that the grip
is so important. A faulty grip encourages breaking. One does not have
to learn this up/down (hinging) if the grip is correct, and the left
arm is in the correct position the hinging will be automatic. In order
for this action to happen keep the left wrist flat in relation to the
back of the left forearm and the back of the left hand. It’s as simple
as that! If the left arm is in the correct position the wrists will
hinge, if not there will be a breaking motion. Don’t try to cultivate
an independent wrist motion. Let it be natural.

Finally, to a beginner, hitting a golf ball might seem easy until
they try it. Golf can be a frustrating and time-consuming game to
learn. My recommendation is to practice patience by not hurrying to
the golf course to learn how to play. Do your learning on the
practice range where your mind will not be on scoring, but on
learning.

Some things to know and practice:
First, and most important, ask around for a respected golf
instructor in your area, gather information on their program prior to
starting an instructional series. You don’t want someone giving you
advice who is not qualified, and can impart poor information that can
create bad habits.

Secondly, you learn to play golf by feel, not mechanics alone.
Too much detail is confusing. You cannot think your way through a golf
swing. You feel your way!

Finally, short practice sessions regularly are better than one
long period. Practice, and good repetition, will teach the muscles to
learn to feel – creating your own internal dialog from within that
you, and only you, can describe to yourself.

Ultimately, start out with a plan, and take your time. As the
saying goes “You must learn to crawl before you can walk.”
Tom Ward can be contacted at www.teetimewithtom.com

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