by Michael Hebron, PGA Master Professional, CI
Smithtown Landing Country Club, Smithtown, NY
Good golf is the ability to predict the ball flight before the swing begins. When
the best players in the world want the ball to move high or low, left or right, 10
feet or 200 yards, it does. The level of trust they have in their swing is warranted.
On the other hand, many club golfers can only hope their shots hit fairways and
greens. They have less insight into where their ball will go before they swing. In
turn, their inconsistency has created a lack of trust and a controlled approach to
It's the old question of which comes first, the chicken or the egg. Replacing hope
with trust is one of the first steps to progress. My suggestion is that freedom of
motion will beget ball control. Many golfers do exactly the opposite -- they rarely
hit two shots in a round of golf that look alike- consequently they have no trust in
their swing and use a controlled rather than free swing. For better ball control,
give up the steering, controlled swing for one that has freedom of motion and
lets it go!
The ability to "let it go" stems from staying in the present. Stay focused on the
shot at hand and leave behind the past mistakes or future results you wish to
avoid -- they only create self interference. A good first step for learning to stay
in the present and let go is to feel that the swing you are using is okay for now.
Begin using this theory by becoming aware of your present swing. Keep in mind
"Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it." With long term
progress in mind, it is much better to hit a poor shot and be able to accurately
tell what you did, than to hit a good one and have no idea what happened in
your swing. The only way you can change a bad swing habit is to learn what it
Learning Your Swing Drill
Remember, where your ball goes is not important in this drill.
• Hit balls at the range with your favorite club
• Take away self interference first, stay centered on the task
• Don't make any changes from swing to swing
• Swing without adjustments or evaluations
• Concentrate on what your swing feels like
Don't try to fix anything during the above drill. If you keep manipulating
something, it will be hard to feel what is happening in your current swing. Once
you have a complete feel for your current swing, you will be in a position to look
at what you may want to change in the future.
Is there something more lasting than the way many golfers try to improve? Yes,
more lasting results come from staying in the present, being non-judgmental and
trusting. The path to consistency is built on a commitment to learning how to "let
it go," which is build on trust, which is built on knowing your present swing!
Copyright Michael Hebron, 2008, all rights reserved.