Why I do this
The idea of this blog is to help educate golfers bit by bit about the learning process. Like playing golf, this website is a process not an event. There’s no quick fix and I try hard not to promise miracle cures – perhaps this is a golf blog for realistic golfers. Each week I offer little bits of information – some of it may help you and others may not. The important thing is that you open your mind, learn new things and experience better golf.
I get excited when I come up with new ways of explaining the golf learning process. I write my ideas down, think about them for a few days (even weeks and months) and then eventually put them into words. It’s a lot of fun and I am never short of things to write about. Sometimes you guys say stuff that explains what I do better than I could ever do. Grayden left a message on the previous post. I’ve included it below because it’s important.
I’m a tad excited. Just a tad mind you. It doesn’t pay to get too excited in this game but I think a penny may have dropped……
I’ve been listening to Cam’s Remarkable Golf CD in the car at work today. He mentions the Fred Shoemaker “throw the club” exercise as the simplest way to get the feel of how we should be swinging a club. I’ve heard Cameron talk about this before but never taken it too seriously because it sounded a bit simplistic or “childish” to me. I could see the logic of it mind you, but didn’t think I actually needed to do it.
Anyway, because I”m now laid up with an achilles heel problem and can’t play I’m keen to do ANYTHING that involves actually getting my hands on a club aso when I got home after work I thought, “hey, what the heck” and went out the back yard and tried it.
Sure enough, first go and I flung the club to the left (I’m a right hander). No real surprise there seeing as I hit a fade (which can easily progress to a slice like most of us). I went and picked up the club (I was only throwing it about 10m….bit worried about the neighbour’s windows!) and thought “no probs, I’ll take it seriously now, I’ll just throw the NEXT one straight”. Threw again……..Hmmm……still going left. No worries. I’ll REALLY make sure I throw straight this time. No more mucking about. Throw…..Hmmm…..STILL going left!
By now I was curious and decided I was going to keep going with this “dumb” exercise until I could get the darn thing to go straight. Lets just say it took me quite a few “throws” (they’re really “swings” of course) to learn how to make the thing go straight. When I finally figured it out, here’s how I noticed I was swinging:
(a) with a much quieter body action
(b) with MUCH better balance
(c) with a shorter backswing
(c) with slightly more active hands
(d) with a greater sensation of “lag” (Yay! I’ve always wanted to get that feeling back!)
It was a very controlled, compact feeling. I also noticed that the club head was grazing the grass much more consistently than usual AND that the divots were much straighter than they are with my usual “body” swing.
“Only trouble is I must LOOK ridiculous” I thought. It felt “all arms” to me because I’m so used to the “body swing” feel. I moved over to a window to watch myself. I assumed I was going to see something akin to a tripod fixed to the ground with arms flapping. Thats what it FELT like. Gee whizz, guess what? It didn’t look ridiculous at all! It actually looked like a simple, compact, controlled golf swing. “Hey GP” I thought, ” maybe this is how you’re SUPPOSED to swing a golf club!!! Interestingly I also noticed it put much less pressure on my heel (!)
Anyway, as I say, this is just a tad exciting. Can’t wait to get out there and try it “live” now. So folks, my advice: DON’T do what I did and just MENTALLY do the club throwing exercise. Actually GO AND DO IT. And KEEP doing it until you actually throw straight. Then, when thats finally happening, take note of how it FEELS and start swinging that way. You might be as surprised (delighted!) as I am.
Thanks Cameron. I never doubted you for a minute (:-)) That CD might just be the best $37 I’ve spent for a while!
His kind words made my day. There’s also an important message. You’ve got to DO the stuff. You can’t read about it. You can’t think about it. You’ve got to get out there and DO it. Yesterday, during a Pennant match, I hit a hurdle (or three). I lost three holes in a row. I was getting frustrated. My thumb was sure. I started making up stories and excuses – I didn’t feel like playing. Then I remembered Grayden’s post. It reminded me to stop thinking so much and get back to playing. That little moment, a moment that nobody else would ever pick up on, was enough to get me to swing freely, stop playing scared and to play golf my way.
If your golf is not going well maybe you’ve got to do a reality check. Are you playing with too many swing thoughts? Are you worried about your score, handicap or the rough? If the answer is yes then the solution is to get out there and DO the things I write about. It’s really easy to think about them – but are you actually doing them?
For the record I played well on the last seven holes to win my match. It was pleasing – to play well is always fun but to overcome self-doubt and worry is something different altogether.
And this is why I do this blog. It helps me more than it probably helps you guys. It really does. I learn from all the comments, emails and questions I receive. And along the way if you learn to break free and play golf to your full potential then that’s great. If you share your experiences then we all win. And that’s something special.
Where to from here?
I’ve spilled the beans on everything I’ve learned about playing better golf. This blog contains over 320 golf lessons that are all free. I’ve also compiled some premium content. There’s video, case studies and personal attention from me. If you’d like to view the premium content then here’s the link for that. Then there’s my golf audio. This is my first golf audio product and it contains some great advice, it’s especially useful for those that are struggling with their game and looking to dig their way from the golfing rut.
And there’s something else I don’t talk about very often. And that’s spreading the word. If you find this golf instruction useful, insightful or even different please feel free to share it with other golfers. I’d really appreciate it.
I’ll be back in a few days with a golf lesson I’ve been working on for quite some time. It’s a beauty.