Practice with a Pal

han-solo-chewbacca-star-wars

 

Practicing with someone is surely one way to get better faster. Companionship is one aspect that you miss out on if you never practice with a buddy. Having someone else there who’s encouraging and fun to be around is almost always a good thing.

A buddy can help get the practice session going and keep it organized. A thoughtful buddy can help put a contest in place so that competition can be had. He can help you know when to continue and when you are done.

Folks just don’t practice enough in the first place. Nor do players take advantage of practicing with a buddy. It’s even better if your practice partner is better than you. This causes you to have to pay attention. It can pressure pack the practice because you don’t want to lose. It can help you stay with the practice session a little longer because it’s fun and no one wants to leave. All factors that will contribute to you spending productive time working on your game.

 

Swing vs. Hit

 

Often, I am asked for that one big piece of advice. This is it…

Swing. Don’t hit.

It’s really that simple.

The ball is not the target.

We are all instinctively “ball bound”. Attention on the ball, trying to hit the ball, trying to make the ball go up are all symptoms of the urge to do something to the ball. This instinct or urge must be overridden with a commitment to swing through and let the ball get in the way.

I have students drill, starting with little tiny chip shot swings, with their eyes closed. The reason is I want them to learn to trust their golf motion. I want them to learn that you don’t use hand-eye coordination to hit a golf ball.

 

Freedom from Tension

relaxed-golf-swing

 

Tension is a killer. Tension and tightness, in the arms, hands, and shoulders will rob you of any chance for reliable ball-striking much less effortless power. We are all trying to hit the ball when we should be swinging. Loosening up allows the swinging weight of the club to fly on the wings of centrifugal force. The clubhead will practically return itself to the back of the ball, but not if you’re are tight in any way.

Relax your grip. Relax your forearms. Relax your shoulders. And seek to keep them free from tension all the way through the swing to the finish.

Good players look so effortless. It’s because they are not using effort. They learned as kids and understand that the golf club can not be wrestled with. It demands gentleness and punishes the use of sheer force. The club rewards balance, rhythm, and grace. They make a commitment to remove the tension that interrupts the swinging momentum of the club. This swinging is the key to consistency and effortless power. Yet, we strain.

Loosen up. And when you think you are loose enough, loosen up some more.