Unfortunately we’ve all been there! Out on the course enjoying a round when one of your playng partners suddenly tops their shot and watches in horror as it rolls along the ground! Disaster! You know what’s coming! Fellow playing partner Joe Bloggs who plays off 28 handicap (on a good day) jumps in with an in depth analysis of the swing and utters those immortal words ‘you lifted your head up’
So the player thinks ‘ok this time I’m not going to top the ball, I will keep my head down’ He makes a practice swing with his head fixed in the down position, Joe pipes up with ‘that’s it keep your head down that’s perfect’. So he makes his swing and tops it again! Joe screams ‘You lifted your head up, I told you to keep it down’ The exasperated golfers gets to his next shot and is falling apart for everyone to see. He decides no matter what this time I will not will not lift my head up at all. He sets up makes his swing and keeps his head fixed looking straight down at the ground. Surprise surprise, he tops it but this time there is some good news! With his head looking straight down he doesn’t see how bad the shot is! At this point Joe can’t say it was because he lifted his head up as he is still looking straight down, looking confused he utters something about swinging too quick and wanders off to find his own ball. (which is usually in the rough)
At the start of every lesson I ask a number of questions to find out what the player needs help with. A common lesson will involve my client saying one of their playing partners said I was lifting up, swinging too long, swaying, swinging too quick. The list goes on…
I spend the first part of every lesson explaining that the advice given to them on the golf course by their amateur partners is completely useless. I ask my clients to promise me in future that unsolicited advice will go in one ear and out the other.
Would you take medical advice from a Plummer?
The trouble with taking advice on the course is it usually relates to swing style such as swing length, tempo, rhythm or movement. The player sees you have topped the ball and incorrectly assumes you must of lifted up. If you hit it heavy it means you must of collapsed right? Wrong! PGA Professional have spent years studying he golf swing and researching methods that can help a players performance. Joe Bloggs may have read two or three instructional golf books but it hardly makes him a reliable source of information.
So what is the answer?
What really matters are the five impact factors
• Face alignment
• Club path
• Centrednes of strike
• Clubhead speed
• Angle of approach
Working on the relevant impact factor can change a players game immediately, any change that I suggest to my clients will directly effect the impact factor that is causing the players poor shots. There is definitely a place for individuality in golf, your golf swing doesn’t have to look like Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy. As long as you have good impact factors the rest of your swing can be as idiosyncratic as you.