Obsession with symmetry
Golfers can be obsessed with symmetry. They have to stand square to the target, turn their hips ninety degrees, shoulders 45 degrees and have the club parallel at the top. Finally, they work hard at having the club face square at impact and then finish facing the target. This is all nice and pretty, and for the most part form many of the fundamentals of the golf swing.
I doubt they will help you play any better. This kind of thinking is playing safe. Playing safe, in my opinion, is the worst thing you can do. Your swing becomes tight and over controlled. You think too much and don’t let your golf swing flow. Playing safe might not get you into any trouble with your golf pro or your golfing mates (they’ll think you’re doing the right thing), but you’ll let yourself down time after time.
I made my biggest breakthroughs in golf when I started to forget about symmetry and started to swing the club in a way that felt good to me. I let myself break a few rules and started to explore new possibilities. Boy did it feel good!
I opened my stance a little and strengthened my grip. Result? An extra 10-20 metres in my drive. My swing found a new freedom by breaking rules – not by sticking to them.
Scientific research later proved that my swing had mechanical advantages over other golfers. I had the shortest back swing, the least amount of shoulder turn and no torque or strain on my spine. The best part was that I had the most club head speed. Even the sports scientists were impressed! Their thinking had been influenced by traditional golf instruction…and didn’t believe the results until they saw me swing the club 😉
My swing would not have evolved if I had kept following traditional advice. I spent years working on a perfect (symmetrical) back swing, swing plane and downswing. Nothing worked consistently. The paradox is that once I gave up on this mission I made giant steps with my game.
I can hear golfers shouting, “Surely you must have a square club face at impact!”. Even this is not true. In a perfect world your club face will be open when the club face strikes the ball. The ball sticks to the club face for a fraction of a second and hopefully at separation the club face is pointing to the target. You don’t have the time (or skill) to think about this anymore than you do to keep the club square. So stop thinking about it and forget about being symmetrical!
Let go and allow your golf swing to go where it wants to. There is no right and wrong. Stop being safe. It’s like being a kid again 🙂