Off The Tee: List Your Golf Problems; Fix Them And Check ‘Em Off That List
IT’S OK TO PLAY THE “BLAME GAME”
One way of thinking about your golf progress is to consider a “blame list.” During a series of practice sessions, the goal should NEVER be to “hit the ball better,” but instead to whittle down the list of things you can blame for your poor shots.
If you don’t know what to blame, you can’t know what to focus on. And you can’t know what to blame until you’ve made the list. Then, cross things off this list.
The set-up is 100 percent controllable since there is no motion yet. First consider the set-up factors of grip, stance, posture, clubface aim, alignment and ball position. Those could (in theory) come off your blame list naturally or perhaps with minimal work.
Nothing in golf is ever going to be perfect, so we have to accept that and know we can get closer to personal perfection by someday crossing all these common set-up factors off the list. In other words, once you have crossed the standard golf set-up off the blame list following a poor shot, you can say to yourself with confidence: “At least it’s not that.”
Then move on to what’s next.
The backswing begins the motion, and therefore, is less controllable, but still more manageable than the downswing. You and your PGA professional instructor should get together and create the backswing checklist and select what is already in good shape. Then work to isolate those that need greater attention (still on the list).
Ask yourself if you could you envision the day when you no longer get to blame any poor ball flight on the set-up or the backswing?
Downswing/impact/finish happens the fastest and therefore has the least amount of control. So, I think we’d like to get to the point of having the downswing as the last thing on the list.
Sure, even though the downswing is least controllable, it doesn’t mean you can’t grow to understand more about this important area of the swing from your PGA Professional.
The more things you check off the list, the “mystery” of why the ball did what it did becomes clearer. Practice sessions should be based on this goal of clarity.
With clarity, the mind can give the body more defined images and a more consistent swing.