The biggest (technical) roadblock to improvement for the once-a-week golfer is confusing cause and effect. How do we distinguish cause from effect? Common elements are the causes – variations in technique are the effects. Why do the majority of once-a-week golfers struggle to break 90 consistently? The answer is simple: they try to change effects without addressing the underlying cause.
Are you familiar with the phrase “band-aid” teaching?
Consistently solid contact is a by-product of accurately re-creating the three key positions outlined in the previous article. These basic elements are the foundation for analyzing any swing in slow motion. Everything you else you hear or read about proper swing mechanics are by-products of the three key positions.
Let’s dig a little deeper. Is there anything we can do before the swing begins to increase the odds of achieving the three positions automatically?
What is the basic element (ie. cause) underlying every swing? A golfer’s balance at address. Based on my experience, the majority of once-a-week golfers assume they are perfectly balanced at address, but fight to maintain it once the swing begins.
Can you predict a golfer’s skill level by examining their posture at address? Any golfer, even a novice, can sense a player’s proficiency by observing their body shape at address. If we can agree that posture affects balance, then poor posture is the ultimate cause underlying every recurring swing fault.
Here is a guideline for mastering perfect posture: you want to stand as close to your natural height as possible.
How often do you see a golfer on the practice range “hunched” over the ball at address? Perhaps this is an unconscious habit developed over years of being told to “keep your head down!”
Is there a simple technique that guarantees perfect posture (and balance) every time? Of course. Every tour player uses a modified version of this technique. As you develop a feel for the technique, the three elements (ie. positions) mentioned above will quickly become second nature.
What is the secret to perfect balance?
The key is feeling the weight of the club – from the moment you take it out of the bag until the end of the follow-through. If you can’t feel the clubhead before the swing begins, then the odds of maintaining perfect balance at impact are slim indeed.
There are two guidelines for creating perfect balance at address.
Number one: stand tall and allow the clubhead to extend your arms naturally so the clubhead hovers above the ground. Number two: bend the knees enough to just kiss the ground with the clubhead.
Watch closely and you will see how tour players barely ground the club behind the ball (or if they do, the club is raised slightly before the swing begins).
Focus on feeling the weight of the clubhead and get ready to hit the ball farther with less effort.
Thanks for reading!
Dave Johnston is a former member of the Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association and Director of Instruction at the Bloomington Downs Golf Centre in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. He is a self-published, award-winning author with four published books focused on helping “average” golfers discover the natural ability that is often submerged under an obsession with perfect swing mechanics.
If you’ve ever hit a perfect shot, then you have the ability.