Butler Cabin, Augusta National (c) Burgh Golfer

Friday, October 29, 2010

Time Away from the Game

I recently had some time away from the game, nearly a month where I did not touch a golf club. As I often do when I don't get a chance to practice or play, I think about my game. I think about various aspects of my game including; full swing, short game, putting, bunker shots, punch outs, decision making, etc. I often have my best ideas about how to improve my game while not playing.

I played last weekend with some buddies and had a chance to use my “new swing.” I can hear my wife now saying “did it really work this time?” Like most golfers, I always think I have the fix. Then I get on the course and usually realize I don't. However, this time my “fix” actually worked. I smiled at my wife and said “Yep!”

During this month-long break I found a solution to my full swing. It’s a problem that has been plaguing me for several years. My “miss” has been a block to the right with the full swing. All along I thought it was my swing plane when it was actually my release. I went through a checklist in my mind as to what could cause a ball to go right, but only on occasion. Golf is a cause and effect game. So, there are only so many possibilities as to what can cause golf ball to go right on occasion and not every time. If my club is on plane, going down the line through impact, and the clubface is square, what else could be the problem?

After some thinking about it, the light bulb went on. I was not fully releasing the club head through impact. Before my round, I headed to the range and tried my new “fix.” Thankfully, it worked. More importantly, it worked on the course.

The lesson here is this: the next time you have a break away from the game, try this exercise to fix a flaw in your game.

  • First, think through the problem in your game with some intensity. Before you can work on a fix you must thoroughly understand the problem. In most cases, this problem occurs on a consistent basis.
  • Next, think about some of the changes you have made in the past to try and correct the issue and what the results were. Write them down if you need to.
  • Then, think through all of other options that may work, and why. The “why” is very important. Refer to my previous post- The Why in Golf Instruction for more information.
  • Finally, try them on the practice tee one at a time. This process is usually not a quick one so patience is imperative. In most cases you will try many different variations to fixing the problem before you find a solution. Once you do find a fix you will know it.
  • To test it out, go out on the course. The fix will work on the course and will work over time if it is correct.
One last thing to remember is, if a change does not work, go back to the drawing board. Building bad technique on top of bad technique will make things worse, not better.

Are you looking for a fix in your game? If you have a consistent problem that you can’t seem to fix, send me an e-mail at burghgolfer@gmail.com. I’ll feature the issue in a future post.

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