Find your groove

It’s important that your find your groove. Another way of saying this is finding your natural golf swing.

This means that you’ve got to find (and use) the golf swing that feels good to you. More importantly, it means you’ve got to use the golf swing that works.

So if your natural shot is a fade (or a baby slice) then this is your shot. Use it. Don’t aim for the middle of the fairway. Have the guts to aim left and let your natural shot shape find the target.

Too many golfers aim straight. Hoping against all hope that the ball will fly straight and true. It’s not going to happen. And you’ll never be truly be able to swing with confidence. You’re fighting nature and it’s a fight that you’ll never win.

A myth is that tour players hit the ball straight. They don’t. Because they are playing for a living they play with the shot that has the highest probability of finding the target. For the most part they’re not concerned about others and distracted by ego. So they hit shots that curve – rarely do they play straight.

And one last thing.

You can only find your groove when you swing freely. And the best way to do this is to play automatically.

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Gregor McCulloch - January 18, 2010

My course has been shut lately due to the snow and ice so I have been going to the driving range, which I don’t normally. On saturday I had hit 50 balls and observed that my shot pattern for the balls wasn’t straight. It was a bit of a block to the right. Anyway, I left and went into the shop feeling quite satisfied that I had hit the balls well and came across a swing trainer thing which snapped the club in half if your swing wasn’t right. So I tried to swing it and the thing broke in half almost as soon as I started to swing. Bit of a shock. I had just hit 50 balls and was quite satisfied with my shots. Next time I play I need to go automatic and forget what the training aid did.
Gregor

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Cameron - January 19, 2010

@Gregor: Play your game and find your golf swing – not the swing that the designer of the training thinks you should be doing.

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Tom McCardell - January 19, 2010

Cameron

I have seen many players with bad hooks or slices aim even further left or right of the target which seems to make their problem worse. How do you suggest counter acting this problem?

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David Pryde - January 19, 2010

Getting closer to it as I swing more freely and now allow my
hands to work the way they feel best- when they are low and
relaxed- could get there soon I reckon.
DP

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Tony Lucas - January 20, 2010

Hi Cam
I find this particular post interesting in the sense that some days I feel that I could have anything up to about three different swings going.Do you think this is primarily because my swing has been automated and is just reacting to a given situation (ie playing from an open stance).Whenever I strike this situation I do not fight it and continue to play on with the thought the body is just making adjustments. Your thoughts?
Cheers Lukey

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Cameron - January 20, 2010

@ 3 Putt: An automatic and free flowing will limit the severity of any slice and hook. Aiming further left or right will not help if you can’t swing without fear or concern.

Aiming straight when you don’t hit the ball straight is delusional

@DP: Maybe you have finally worked it out?

@ Lukey: This is your perception. Your swing won’t change that much. You should definitely be going along for the ride – letting your body adjust to each different situation. Give me a call if you’d like to discuss further.

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Grayden Provis - January 21, 2010

Cameron said: “Lukey, this is your perception. Your swing won’t change that much…”
I can vouch for that. I spent some time videoing my swing this week. Tried a few different things that I thought were really different. Was surprised when I watched the playback that the swing looked very much the same even though things felt so different when I was doing them. I think your swing must be like your fingerprints: unique to you and doesn’t really change over your life time (?)

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Cameron - January 23, 2010

@ Grayden: this is correct. We can spend a lot of time working on our swing, thinking that it is making a difference. In many cases I don’t think it is. I remember the scientific research – making swings that I thought were different. Even at the intricate level, with high tech equipment watching me, there was virtually no difference. This was a profound moment for me.

I think your swing will change over time. People change. Our eyesight gets worse as we get older. But because it changes slowly we don’t notice it, until one day we realise we can’t see the TV.

BUT (I need to add this before I have things thrown at me) we can make minor changes. And these are the important ones.

We can train our swings to become better. Things like,

Choose a grip that feels good to you
Stand to the ball in a comfortable and powerful way
Throw the club at the ball in a natural way

These are the things that will make a difference. This is working with your learning system not against it. Many people will try and make a bigger shoulder turn, a slower back swing or a flatter swing plane.

Do these matter? I don’t think so.

So how does the swing trainer work?

Because it allows you to make your natural swing. It is not inhibiting your swing (like Gregor’s swing trainer device) but rather guiding you through a simple objective – swing between the gates. So it doesn’t matter what your swing looks like or feels like, if you can make a swing that passes between the gates it will hit the ball straighter.

So my advice?

Work on things that matter. And for the most part the stuff that we golfers work on doesn’t matter. Keep it simple, keep it natural and don’t worry so much about the BS.

Last point. Something I decided a while ago that has helped me. It’s more of a statement really.

“Are you prepared to swing ugly and get the results you’ve been looking for or would you rather have this pretty swing (that looks nice) that people comment on but doesn’t work as well as the ugly one?”

Most guys I see at driving ranges are spending their time trying to make a pretty swing. They have no idea what they’re working on – just working on something to make it look nice and hopefully hit a few good shots. But they’re not thinking golf. They’re not playing golf. And this is sad because they’re wasting their time and not getting results.

Hope this helps.

Cameron

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