Following a few months of Oklahoma cold weather, it was refreshing to get back into the swing of the golf schools. The Graves Golf Academy team delivered our first golf school for 2015 giving twenty-two students a start for a great new golfing year. Each school brings new opportunities to help golfers of all levels improve their golf games. It also brings new insights to share with other aspiring golfers – those unable to attend our schools. Here are a few takeaways from this last school.
Fundamental Movements are the Answer
Students often ask “What is the best way to stop hooking?” or “Why did the ball go right (or left)?” These are what I consider “quick fix” type questions. If an instructor is not present to answer them, they often lead to a guess. If you are guessing, you are no longer practicing. You must stop guessing and change the questions you ask. Instead of asking a “quick fix” question start training the movement of your swing and stop worrying about results. There is one solution to every swing problem; just practice fundamentals.
Focus on the Address Position First
Moe often said “If you don’t have a good address position, you ain’t got nothing”. He said this because the address if the foundation to movement. If you start from a bad starting place, you can not possibly expect to end up in a good one. During the swing, the body acts like a line of dominoes where one movement triggers the next one. If your grip is mis-aligned, your arm rotations during your swing will also be out of rotation and this problem moves the club incorrectly. Once again, focus on the fundamentals from the beginning and master the address position.
Feedback is a Shortcut
When it comes to interpreting your swing feelings, you are not trustworthy. Don’t be discouraged, nobody is. What you think you do and what you feel that you do are on opposite sides of our universe. The only way to bring them together at light speed is with some sort of feedback. There are numerous types of feedback all of which help bring you closer to the Moe Norman Single Plane model. Types of feedback include; Video feedback, using mirrors, processing with training aids and having a coach with you while you practice. Make sure you are practicing with feedback.
Practice Each Movement
Students often ask me how I achieved the Single Plane Swing so perfectly. I tell them that I practiced for the move, not the result. This is a different mindset. Rethink it this way; if you were to train a dancer a 10 step dance, would you have them all 10 steps at once or one step at a time? The answer is obvious. Once all 10 steps are learned, the movement can be put together to make the dance. The golf swing is your body dancing with a golf club.
Don’t Hit Balls, Practice the Total Move for Feel
Once you have learned the parts of the dance, put it together and feel the move. Once you feel the movement (get feedback to ensure it is perfect), repeat it until your body can’t forget it. This is why Moe called his swing, “The Feeling of Greatness”.