What is the fastest way to improve your golf swing?
As a I was finishing up browsing through this latest edition of Golf Digest, there a small quote at the bottom of one of the last pages by teaching great, Butch Harmon.
“The best way to make a swing change is to take slow-motion swings, exaggerating the movement over and over.” Butch Harmon
Sounds real exciting doesn’t it!
Rehearsing in slow motion is effective but don’t plan on it making a big difference anytime soon. It will take a lot of time for that new swing move to works its way into your hardwired motor patterns (aka natural movements).
On the other hand, most golfers just try to make the corrections or changes on the fly. Maybe this sounds familiar:
- -Golfer hits ball. The ball does not fly as desired.
-Golfer remembers swing tip/thought and takes 1-2 practice swings
-Golfer hits another ball trying new movement. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. However, even if it works the golfer is no where near making it a natural, engrained movement.
Worse yet, if it does not result in the desired outcome (ball flight), the golfer often makes another tiny adjustment. These adjustments or “quick fixes” can pile on top of each other real fast building up a series of fixes that all have to work exactly right to produce a decent shot.
I have found that most golfers are horrible at making a swing change or fixing a swing fault.
I feel the reason is the need for instant gratification. When you find you are doing something wrong, someone may make a suggestion and initially it will make your swing worse. It is rare to get instant success with a swing change. Everybody is aware of the swing changes Tiger has made in the last decade and it always seems to take a year or more for him to see the results of his hard work.
But I am not going to tell you to just buckle down and perform 10,000 slow motion swings in a row. (10,000 repetitions is the number that Malcom Gladwell wrote in his book The Tipping Point, that need to occur to be truly proficient at a skill).
Get Faster Results
Maybe not instant gratification, but I am guessing that you want results as fast as possible. Well luckily for you there is a profession that exists that specializes in training movement patterns. Using the science of how the body learns, this professions uses techniques to efficiently engrain new movement patterns that are repeatable.
This profession is Physical Therapy (occupational therapy also does this).
Being a physical therapist and golf performance specialist, I applied this body training method to golf in our Age Defying Golf Rx program. In this article, I will give you a couple of exercises that we use to engrain great golf moves with our golfers.
Hopefully, you can use these to make swing changes a lot faster and be happier hitting great golf shots sooner.
Above is the frame by frame picture of the transitional move training drill which accomplishes several key objectives:
- 1. Improves your weight distribution and golf balance through all aspects of the swing.
- 2. Improves your transition move at the top of the backswing to eliminate an over the top, slicing swing pattern
- 3. Improve swing angle of attack, eliminating slicing patterns
Here is the drill in video format:
How much time is it going to take you to complete this drill: 45 seconds. You can knock out a quick 8 reps during the commercial breaks while watching your favorite singing contest show! (; (Gag me!)
Want to engrain the correct golf takeaway move? Spend another 45 seconds on this one. You will be amazed at how fast it becomes your normal move, without even having to think about it.
Thanks for reading!
Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist