Mainstream Advice – What is Hard?
One of the best pieces of advice for a golf swing I can give someone is the idea of how hard to swing.
I’ll ask the question: “How hard are you supposed to swing?” I’ll give you three guesses but the first two don’t count. I bet you knew the answer before I was done with the question right? I bet you said, “85% is what everyone says.” Try to find a different answer online and you may get someone to say other popular numbers like 90% or even one website says 50%. Which one is right? Who really knows best? Well… these are wonderful thoughts…but extremely useless.
Imagine this same advice applied to throwing a football or baseball with your friends…
Your friend is 10 yards away. So you begin to calculate…I know I can throw a football 30 yards, so 10 yards is 33%, I will throw at 33% and it should be perfect.
Is that what we think? I hope not! What if you don’t know exactly how far you have to throw it? What if they move between throws? What if they are moving when you throw it? What do you do???? …We look at our friend and throw the ball. Simple as that!
Golf is the same as any other sport. Look where you want the ball to go and put it there.
Think of a baseball coach during fielding practice…or playing Indian ball as a kid. (If you don’t know what Indian Ball is, just leave a comment and I’ll explain) You can pretty much hit the ball wherever you want. High fly to left field or a low grounder to 1st base. Easy.
Just like playing catch you may have to adjust from day to day but you really don’t have to think how hard to throw. It just happens, and with practice it happens more accurately and with less effort! My dad always says, “See the ball, hit the ball.” I never really liked that advice but he is right. (why did that feel strange to say?) Now take all the numbers out of your head and just play.
Get back your Feel
The next time you have a range bag of balls or can hit 4-5 shots in a row on the course, take a 9 iron (or pick any low iron) and hit it 50 yards as if you have someone (imaginary) out there who is going to catch it. Don’t worry about trajectory or spin rate or how far it goes after it hits the ground. Just hit it to your imaginary friend and let them catch it. Do this several times. Then pick another distance, say 75 yards (which is less than a full swing) and hit to that imaginary friend. Now make sure you work your way up to a “full” swing but NEVER go all-out. You wouldn’t do that in baseball or football if you wanted to be accurate, so why do it in golf. The more you do this with different clubs the more feel you will develop and the more accurate you will be.
If you have a 150 yard shot pick a club that can go 170 and just hit it 150. You won’t believe how easy and fun golf becomes. I CAN guarantee you will be straighter but I can’t guarantee you will have a better short game.