This week I am going to delve into the full swing, and how to go about finding your that day golf swing. What is interesting is, that since I have found the answer, I have had very few really bad ball striking days. I have had enough of an issue at times, that I think I have found a process that will get be back on track faster than usual. This process goes against some of things that have been said about how to manage a round. The standard advice is to play the mistake. In other words if you start out by slicing the ball, then you should just play the slice. Of course it is just the opposite if you are drawing the ball a little too much. Then the advice is just to aim a little more right to allow for the right to left movement. I have found many times, if I follow this advice I just wind up hitting a bigger curve. Let’s go back to two times my ball striking was not good.
The first one was about 6 weeks ago at Lindenwood and I started out the round by hitting everything high and to the right. Now there can be lots of reasons why you hit this shot. This is one of the most common misses we see on the PGA tour. I do not think it is important to know why this shot happens. Look, if Greg Norman and Butch Harmon couldn’t figure it out, who am I to try? It took me 8 holes to come out of my funk and what got me out of it? I tried to hit ball from right to left and all of a sudden I started hitting the ball much better. Essentially what did I do? Even though I was hitting everything right, obviously in order to hit a hook I started to aim to the right. In other words I was aiming at my miss and hitting a draw. Now I could go into a lot of swing theory here on why this worked, but who cares.
My next opportunity to try out the theory was in my last full round at Benardo Heights Country Club in San Diego. I did not have my clubs and I was playing in a little best 3 out of 4 event and the first hole is a solid 400 yard+ par 4 that doglegs to the right. With the normal first tee chitters. I pulled my first drive left with not much hook on it, got a decent kick to the right and was still in play but about 230 from the center of the green. I only had a 17 degree fairway wood in the bag. I did not hesitate for one second. I aimed about 20 yards left of the green, took my “normal” swing, making sure I stayed down through the ball and hit this nice little low fade that rolled right up into the middle of the green. The next hole I aimed a little left again and hit the ball right where I was aiming. On the next hole a par 3, I aimed left again and hit it left of the green, right where I was aiming. The rest of the round I aimed right at the target and hit the ball pretty straight all day. On my good shots I was aware of what my body was doing and did not try to change anything, even though at times I thought my swing was out of balance.
Let’s go though the process. You must approach the first tee with an open mind and no preconceived swing thoughts. Picture your shot from behind the ball. Take the opening practice swing and feel the motion of your body. Get comfortable over the ball, pick out your target and make a swing being aware of what the swing felt like but not trying to control it. If the results are good, then continue with that feeling and do not over analyze it. If you hit it left then aim left on your next shot. If you hit it right then aim right on the next shot. I feel this is correcting the problem not playing for it. We usually all have a basic shot. Some of us hit the fade and some of us hit the draw. For me it is the fade. So if I have to aim left of the target on my next shot then I feel that I will take a normal swing. But if I have to aim right of the target then I feel have to try and draw the ball. It should be the opposite for someone who normally draws the ball. I have not had a lot of time to further prove this process, so how I feel about finding your that day golf swing may change, but for right now I think this is it. So if you are in a golfable area give it a try and let me know. Next week I will discuss putting and the short game which I have had even less time to figure out but I think I may have something. Will also discuss some more things about the full swing. See you next week.