Ahead of this weekend’s USPGA Championship at Baltusrol, New Jersey, we catch up with Rich Pace to see what’s on his mind…
RP: Every month, you will pick up a golf magazine which will highlight the next big thing in golf instruction, or training aid for improving your swing, closely followed by a swing sequence of a Tour Pro with an explanation of what they are doing.
If you are a golfer who is going through a bad patch, it can be very easy to look at something and think “I’ll give that a try”. If it works, absolutely fantastic and stick with it! Unfortunately if it doesn’t you will find it extremely difficult to go back to ‘what you were doing’.
What I tend to see more often than not, is a golfer trapped in the ‘Satisfaction Cycle’. Jumping from quick tip to quick tip in order to find the success that they desire. Undoubtedly however it regularly breaks down which causes the up and down nature of many club golfers across the world!
I have written about the pitfalls of this in a previous article, but it is a constant battle for many golfers, and with information ‘on tap’ 24/7 it is very easy to fall into the cycle without realising it.
Tour Professionals, will often find themselves in this cycle with the need to put in a performance every week often the difference between keeping their card and searching for another job.
Let me pose a question…
What does a video or picture of a golf swing tell you about the result of a golf shot?
Particularly from Face On, not an awful lot. Yet time and again these style of pictures are used to tell us ‘what’ we should be doing to hit the golf ball. Now I am not saying that in an idealistic world, where we are all equal, we should all follow a perfect technical model to swing the golf club.
We know however, we are all different!
The simple fact that golfers try to hit ‘positions’ in their golf swing, can cause compensatory, stilted and overly complicated golf swings.
Each individual should endeavour to understand their own golf swing, and what ball flights result from ‘extremes’ of their golf swing. For example, if a golfer who ‘naturally’ curves the ball from left to right attempted to move the ball the opposite way, I would wager that the resultant ball flight would straight.
For me, this style of development is a more effective way of learning what your golf swing can do. You will certainly develop a heightened awareness of your swing/ball flight relationship, which will help you to make any necessary change in technique.
Training aids can help provide short term success, but in my opinion shouldn’t play a part in long term development. Aids which ‘force’ a club onto a particular path, or swing plane, I feel reduces the golfers awareness of what happens during the swing.
Think about learning to write through a stencil. It would create perfect letter form, and perfect spacing, but take away the stencil and not only would it lack form, but the individual artistry that formulates our signatures and writing styles, what a boring world we would live in!
So how do you change your golf swing, firstly go function, or ball flight over form. Secondly ensure that you commit to making the correct change, NOT just one as it is the latest thing which appears as a result of one of the most talented athletes on the planet wins on the circuit.
Enjoy the golf this weekend, here’s the leaderboard to see the latest.