BY KIM ANDERS
Have you ever wondered why a hard swing hit rarely goes very far and is usually offline, whereas a smooth “just get it out there somewhere” swing frequently hits the ball 20 yards further and right down the middle? It’s probably because you have “soft hands” on the smooth swings which allow you to release the club properly.
A good way to get the feel of “soft hands” is to swing the club back and forth from waist high on the back swing to waist high on the follow through. Make sure the toe of the club is pointing roughly up at the sky when it reaches waist high on both back and forward swing. As you swing back and forth you want to hold on just tight enough to avoid losing the club, being smooth with the changes of direction. If it feels loose, sloppy, and out of control, you’re probably doing it right. Notice how your hands roll over at impact. They will literally snap over just from the club accelerating under its own weight through the ball, not because you are making them turn over. This all happens automatically by relaxing the hands and arms on the downswing, rather than creating tension by trying to physically hit the ball. (I use this exercise all the time when I’m playing to remind my hands of what I want them to do.)
Now make some full swings at one-half to three-quarter speed. Make sure you still feel the hands release through the hitting area. Once you have this down you can start hitting balls. Keep in mind no matter how good your “soft hands” are at address, when you get to the top of your backswing and start down there’s a good chance you’ll be choking the life out of the club. Try relaxing your grip pressure as you start the downswing to regain your “soft hands”. Trust the club to find its way to the ball – the worst thing you can do is try to guide the club to the ball.
Golf is about controlling the golf ball. The way you control the golf ball is by giving up control of the golf club, which is done by using soft hands. Most people try to control the golf club which results in losing control of the ball. You can only control one of them, and the club is not the one you want to focus on.
You spend a lot of money on your golf equipment. It is packed with technology and knows how to hit a golf ball perfectly every time. It will take wonderful care of you if you just trust it and let it do what it is built to do. Don’t mess with perfection!! You have enough to do just being smooth and maintaining your soft hands. Once you get the feel for this you’ll find both your good and bad shots will go longer and straighter.
If you have trouble getting the feel of this, your local PGA Professional will be able to soften your hands so you hit it longer and straighter than ever.
Kim Anders is Director of Golf at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort in Mazatlan, Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.estrelladelmar.com.
Avoid Paralysis by Analysis
BY MIKE LINDAHL
Golf can be a very complex game and thanks to all of its technicalities we tend to make it more complicated than it needs to be. When this “Paralysis by Analysis” occurs it causes a player to become overwhelmed with thoughts and leads to poor execution. My advice to you is the old adage, “keep it simple, stupid.”
Before getting caught up in all of the complex swing theories it is important to have a solid starting point and it starts with fundamentals. The single most important – and frequently overlooked – full swing fundamental in golf is the setup position. Having the proper alignment, stance and posture can go a long way towards becoming a more successful golfer. Your swing evolves from your setup and if you focus on these important pre-swing fundamentals you are more likely to improve. If you “set-up” for success you are more likely to be successful!
Mike Lindahl is the Head Golf Professional at Lost Spur Golf Course. Mike can be reached by email at email@example.com.