One of the most frustrating experiences for the students and the teacher is the focus on the ball-flight results during the learning process. I know what you’re thinking. Results matter, right? Actually, they don’t. At least not initially.
Last week we held our first “biomechanics day” at Graves Golf Academy. During this two-hour session, we analyzed the movement of the participants using 3D motion equipment from K-Vest. Once measured we compared the students measurements to the ideal model, taught them new motion and then retrained (repeatedly) the new movement.
In less than two hours we literally transformed golf swings. My team of instructors, learning to study the biomechanics for the first time, were stunned at the progress of the students. The coaches instantly realized that not focusing on the ball results was the main reason for the rapid progress.
I have referred to this many times – that you can not feel what you really do in your golf swing. What I mean is that you can only feel what you currently do. New feelings are almost impossible because they require a new movement. When you change your movement, you might feel something new but how do you really know that the new feeling is correct? This is a consistent problem with changing golfers swings.
Analyzing movement is a way to assist in the process of change. When the students realize the data, they make major progress.
Interestingly, it not the actual biomechanic measurements that cause the changes. The numbers and technical detail is the catalyst to the most important thing that can occur when retraining your golf swing – Motion is the focus and you must ignore ball flight results.
What created the change was the students focus and attention on making the body move correctly as opposed to making the ball fly. This is groundbreaking for students. Why is this so important? Consider this:
For every swing that has a flaw, it must have a compensation – a secondary flaw to correct for an initial mistake. For example if you take the club too far to the inside in the backswing, you must come over or outside in the downswing. Therefore, if you fix initial mistake, and the secondary flaw still exists, you will most likely miss the ball.
If you miss the ball would you consider this good or bad? Many students would perceive this as bad however, in the above scenario you only have one mistake rather than two. This is progress but not interpreted as so. Can you see the problem here? You might have fixed your backswing but since you received a bad ball-flight result you immediately abandon the change. Then you enter the endless cycle and inability to change your swing. You simply won’t let yourself hit the ball badly.
This statement is not merely theory. The facts are evident when you study the biomechanics of movement where kinematic sequencing, the movement of the body parts in the proper order, produce club speed.
When you change the position or movement of one body part, you change its position and relationship to the rest of the body’s movements and their sequence during the swing. Making one simple change can alter the entire sequence of the golf swing.
This is why you must sequencing must start with learning the proper positions. When you learn the positions you can then train the body to move in sequence though the ideal positions creating a golf swing motion. If you practice improper positions, you learn to sequence improper positions. Compensations are created. This is the path of most golfers who play golf. They start with a flawed address and from there, swing compensations are built into a sequence of motion. This is why so many golf swings look different. Golfers are solving problems as they swing. This is the opposite of building a natural biomechanically sound golf swing motion.