Should you use more club or less club?
It’s a beautiful day and everything is perfect. Level lie, and the pin is 145 yards away in the center of the green. So you naturally consult your caddie and discuss which club to use, right? Seeing as we are just amateurs and don’t have a professional caddie on hand, what we do is this: use the club that goes 145 yards, if we hit it perfectly…Which leads to a mis-hit and usually being short. Probably in a sand trap or worse.
So then we think, “Wait. All the teachers out there tell me I am supposed to swing easy and slow.” So you drop another ball down and tell your playing partners you want to “practice.” You grab extra club this time and swing easy. The result is you usually hit a much better shot!
Now you think, “Hey all I have to do is take more club than normal and swing easy. I got this!” Next hole comes along and you try to keep that thinking but quickly realize you are still mis-hitting shots. Although you don’t know this, you are taking way too much club and trying to steer your shots. Now you are in a real quandary. So what do you do? You go back to swinging hard with too little club because you’re tired of your playing partners saying they are using much less club than you.
There is a lot of comparison here to the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You try too little club-swing too hard. You try too much club-swing too easy. You have a hard time finding the RIGHT club, just the right club.
If you swing too HARD, this is what usually happens: you are anxious to hit it hard and your upper body outraces your lower body. Out of sync, you pull the ball left. (This is the fault for most amateurs.)
If you swing too EASY, you can have a two way miss. 1- You slow your lower body down and your upper body stops allowing your hands and arms to flip over causing a very ugly pull or pull hook. 2- Your lower body moves but your upper body stays back and never releases the club. Therefore, your hands and arms are late to the ball and you get a horrible push or push slice. Either situation is bad.
You have heard it before, the term is “Synchronization.” If you can get this concept down, you will be able to use ANY club you want for the shot you need to hit.
Synchronization simply means things happen at the CORRECT time. The usual reason we are not in sync is that we are slowing down trying to control our shot, or we are going full-out from the top (most common). The “secret” to be in sync, if there ever was one, is to have a constant acceleration in our swing. If you stretch your muscles fully on the backswing, then you will not be able to accelerate and will fight the “full-out” problem forever.
Try taking a 3/4 backswing and then accelerate to a full finish. You want to think that your swing is faster AFTER you hit the ball and not AT the ball.
I will be honest, I hate drills. So I won’t give you any to work on, but just keep this in mind if you want to hit the “right” shot and repeat it often: YOU MUST HAVE A CONSTANT ACCELERATION THROUGH THE BALL.
Make sure you are UNDER-STRETCHING on your backswing so you will be able to accelerate. You will start seeing your irons go the proper distance, most likely further and straighter than ever before
As I write this there is 20+ inches of snow on the ground here in Clarksburg, WV. I am looking out at the golf course and thinking, “When will I play golf again? I hope I remember all these things. Like you, I struggle with taking good ideas to the golf course if I can’t run out and try them right away.” Just bookmark this page and you and I will be fine…soon I hope!