Have you had a particular swing fault for years? One that despite your best efforts in terms of instruction and time spent at the range practicing, you just can’t seem to beat it? Maybe you are going about this all wrong.
The biggest factors influencing your ability to move the golf club in a particular way are the flexibility, strength and balance you have with your body. Your golf swing is the result of what your body will allow you to do coupled with many swing repetitions to perfect the pattern. In other words, you have worked really hard to become very good at hitting that slice!
If you want to change your swing pattern and thus your ball flight, you must look beyond gaining an understanding of how to move the club differently, performing a few practice swings and then expecting the motion to change. If your body physically can’t go where you want it to then you have no chance of changing the pattern. Yes you may be able to make the change in your swing in slow motion. You may be able to do it in a practice swing. But if the body is limiting you, you will never be able to perform the swing as you would like at speed and under pressure, no matter how much you practice. Swing drills will not change what the body is incapable of doing.
Now I know you are saying to yourself, “but I am fairly flexible and I am physically strong”. The question though is not necessarily one of whether you can bench press or bicep curl big weights. There is nowhere in the golf swing that you make either of those motions. The real question is do you have the strength, stability and flexibility to perform the golf swing in the manner required to hit the shots you want?
Not that long ago I had a student, who I will call David, that I was working with who was having real trouble moving his lower body in the way needed to compress the ball at impact. He was a good athlete, a former College basketball player who went to the gym regularly and kept himself in shape. I had a hard time convincing him that there may be a physical issue holding up his progress and that we should look into that just to be sure. David eventually agreed to see our physical therapist, probably more to get me off his back than he really believed there was a physical issue.
Our physical therapist gave him a screening, and within a few minutes the PT asked me “David has trouble getting onto his left side and compressing the ball at impact doesn’t he?” David was shocked. I hadn’t given the PT any information on his golf swing, yet he knew that the move into impact would be a problem. David’s hips were tight and he had weak glutes, which combined to make getting to a good impact position impossible because he didn’t have the flexibility and strength in the key areas to be successful.
The PT showed David some exercises that he went away and worked on for a couple of weeks. Three weeks after that initial screening we were on the range working through some drills and David moved into his left side at impact, compressed the ball and it took off like a bullet out of a rifle. The look on David’s face was one of amazement that he was able to hit that shot, one that he had never been able to hit in the past. It was all because we addressed the root cause of the problem which was physical.
If your coach has not offered to include a physical screening in your program, ask them why and if they can recommend someone so you can be screened. It will be time and resources well spent and will make a huge difference to your game.