You Can’t Skip the Process
By: Trevor Ladd
Most golfers make it a goal to improve their golf game. Whether attempting to do so through lessons, watching the golf channel or reading some type of written golf instruction, the end goal is to change or improve the flight of their ball. This requires a change in the swinging motion that is being produced. Many swing changes get made but too rarely are lasting improvements in proficiency or consistency obtained. This can be largely attributed to the fact that many golfers move from one swing change to the next, before spending the time to properly learn the new movement and turn it into a habit.
There is a process to learning and become proficient at something new. Try learning a routine task with your non-dominate hand (writing your name, brushing your teeth, etc.). Initially you will feel clumsy, but performance and speed improve with concentrated repetitions. We can think of changing our golf swing, just like learning to use our non-dominant hand. When attempting to learn a new movement in the golf swing or change an existing one it is best to practice preforming the movement slowly, without hitting a ball. This allows the brain to sort through the changes and get comfortable, without the pressure of producing a satisfactory shot. As the movement begins to feel less awkward, reintroduce the ball while maintaining focus on the swing and continuing to swing slow enough to make sure the motion is correct. Through the repetition of making this correct movement proficiency will increase, along with ability to add speed without sacrificing the new technique. Making lasting changes requires patience, you can’t skip the learning process.
About the Writer: Trevor Ladd is a PGA Golf Professional and the Assistant Golf Pro at Butterfield Trail Golf Club.