Golf swing changes are an important part of the game. When applied correctly they will improve your ball flight and make you more consistent. However swing changes can also derail progress and lead you down a path of frustration if not implemented correctly.
When you apply swing changes you begin a learning phase that causes you to become more mechanical and conscious about the way you move the club. It temporarily disrupts the natural athletic flow of a good swing while new neural pathways that connect the mind and body are being strengthened or built. That is why swing changes feel uncomfortable.
“You swing your best when you have the fewest things to think about” – Bobby Jones
Professional golfers have more time to get comfortable with swing changes. They put in 1000’s of repititions on the range or putting green to reinforce the new movement so that they no longer have to think about the change on the course.
If you are a weekend golfer or someone who has limited spare time then you will need to make this learning period more effective. It will still take repetition and practice but there are ways to speed up this process so that you build a better swing faster.
Golf swing changes – The shortcuts
What’s the best way to make golf swing changes?
As a golf mental game coach I specialize in helping golfers overcome the mental interference that damages their swing. You can get on the fast lane of improvement by using these 3 tips:
1) Get feedback:
It is vital that you get feedback to ensure you are implementing the new change correctly. Otherwise you may ingrain the wrong change. Your swing coach is important for identifying improvements but also for providing the necessary feedback to ensure you do it right. You need to have a good verbal understanding of the new change and why it is important. Then the goal is to translate these words into a new feeling.
You should become independent enough to know when you are doing the new change correctly on your own. Ask your swing coach which props and drills would provide the corrective feedback. Consider using props like a mirror, a chair, an alignment stick, video or even a wall to help you know if you are performing the movement correctly.
2) Build feel:
After you have a verbal understanding of your swing, your goal is to translate this information into the language of your subconscious mind. When you start to get a feel for your new swing it becomes easier to swing the club without thinking. To build and strengthen neural pathways faster, try swinging the club slower. Do at least 3 or 4 repetitions as slow as you can and swing to a complete finish. Then hit a few balls and repeat the process
This will enhance your feel for the new movement and get your mind and body more comfortable with the change faster. Tour professionals use this technique during practice sessions and you will also notice they swing the club quite slowly during their pre-shot routine to enhance their feel for the shot.
3) Use your time better:
To build new motor memory requires repetition and practice. However, this time can be made more effective with the right approach. Short and regular practice sessions have been proven to be more effective than long and infrequent sessions. With this approach you will be more focused with better technique. For example do 6 x 10 minute sessions throughout the week rather than 1 x 60 minute practice session.
These short practice sessions may even be performed in the comfort of your own home. Try to fit in some short practice sessions during the week and you will be rewarded with faster progress.
In summary, golf swing changes can be a challenging time. You often have to take one step backwards so that you can take two steps forward. Focusing on only one major swing change at a time is recommended to avoid creating too much mental interference.
If you apply the tips above and have some patience and persistence you will be on the fast track to improvement. You can then enjoy the rewards of your efforts in the form of a better ball flight and lower scores…
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