I had a quick practice session on the range today. I also hit a few putts and bunker shots. As usual, I took my iPad out to video a few swings.
I always find it interesting that I learn something every time I practice. I thought I would share a few of the little things that I learned
Discovery 1: You’re either practicing your swing or hitting at targets and you’re either getting better (improving your swing) or your grooving a bad swing. Most people just swing and hope to hit it – this is why golfer is generally bad.
Yes, I can’t help myself. During my breaks I watch others practice. I have to admit – it frustrates me. Golf is a difficult game. If you have fun being bad then go for it. But when I watch people on the range getting frustrated I have to wonder “Why do you want to spend your time being bad?”. I also have to ask “Do you think doing the same “bad” thing over and over is going to get better?”
Discovery 2: Practice the short game with the balls you like to play with.
As I dropped my bucket of range balls and started hitting a few short pitches and chips I got into a rhythm. The balls began consistently rolling the correct distance as I got a feel for the distance. Mixed into the bucket of range balls were a few Titleist ProV1 and Callaway Chrome Softballs. Each time I struck one of these higher performing balls I noticed that they were coming up considerably short of the range balls. Why? Because they were spinning more. They felt considerably softer. They also made a noticeably different sound.
Discovery 3: I like a heavy Lob Wedge
I have been on the hunt for the perfect wedge. Don’t tell my brother but I have been rummaging through his hundreds of wedges and I even took the one from his bag and gave it a test run. The problem that I personally have with most Gap and Sand Wedges, is that they are too light. Most of the shots I hit with the Sand Wedge are partial shots such as chips and bunker shots. I am usually choking down the handle making the club shorter. In order to offset the short club, I have to add weight to the head to have a better feel of the golf club.
Discovery 4: Put away your cell phone
I watched a young golfer hitting pitches. He would hit a pitch and then check his phone. Send a few texts and then hit another pitch. After each shot, he would text again. So much for quality practice. Practice is about feel and repetition. I also believe that practice is a meditation. So put away your phone and have some quality meditative practice time.
Discovery 5: A closed Irons stance (Feet) causes problems in my sequencing.
As I started my practice session I usually begin with a few short irons and work my way up to the longer clubs in my bag. Initially, my swing felt weird but it looks great on video. My sequence was off. I feel as though my hands were trying to “catch up” to my torso.
I have felt this weirdness before and thought to myself “Damnit. What causes me to feel this sometimes – where my swing looks good but I just can’t seem to get the compression from the ball?”.
Then I took some of my own advice and threw down the alignment and ball position trainer. My feet were a bit closed. I opened the lead foot and instantly started compressing the golf ball. Lesson learned.
Here is the video of the swing from the practice session.
I learn something every time I practice. I’m heading back out this afternoon to reinforce these things I learned in the morning. I’ll let you know how it goes.