The game of golf is ball control, do that better than the next person and you win, it’s that simple!
Learning to control the flight of your ball begins by studying it, watching where it starts and seeing where it flies. The golf ball is your friend, it’s your best teacher and the one element that can truly help you improve and become the golfer you play to be.
One of the most unfortunate facts of golf is that one bad shot so frequently causes us to make incorrect adjustments to our swing which ultimately lead to even more disastrous shots thereafter. Such compounding of the original error is a curse that all too often plagues the average golfer. That does not mean to say the very best players do not hit poor shots, they absolutely do. But what sets the best from the rest is a deeper appreciation and understanding of their golf balls flight, they are more easily alerted to the true problem and cause of such shots, and so can quickly correct any error early, before it becomes more compounded.
The ball does not care if you hold the club with a strong or weak grip, it does not care if you align to the left or way to the right, play the ball forward or positioned well back, it does not care if your left arm is straight or folds midway into the backswing. All that matters to the ball is what your clubhead is doing when it hits it! Every time you make a swing, your shots, for good or bad, are totally determined by the conditions you create at impact.
Was your clubhead moving to the left, to the right or straight along your target line when it connected with the ball? Was the clubface aiming left or right, or straight down the path you were swinging on? Was the clubhead moving down, up or parallel to the ground at impact? Was it travelling at a relatively fast or slow speed? Was the ball correctly struck in the middle of the clubface?
I am not saying that we do not determine our impact conditions by the way we hold the club, set-up to the ball and actually swing. We most certainly do! The point I am trying to make is that the ball can help you enormously to show precisely what you should change in your technique in order to improve your shots. Learning to control your golf ball this way is far more individual than trying to follow some rigid method or in vogue teaching style that is meant to fit all players. Please never allow yourself to accept any piece of instruction, no matter how appealing, without first questioning just how it will improve your clubhead’s impact with the ball.
As a golf instructor, it is my personal quest to tailor my coaching to the needs of the individual. I will never aim to imprint a method or set of rigid ideas upon you, my goal is to present a clear understanding of any swing flaws and issues within your game before providing the most simple and attainable pathway for your improvement.
This is why the only method I shall ever follow is that presented by the ball, I follow it each and every time I see it fly, because there goes the clues to revealing your impact, the only point in the golf swing that matters. When I conduct a golf lesson I rarely use video, I don’t have the need for a Trackman and I certainly don’t need to sit down to discuss the best way for you to play golf. All I need is the flight of your ball, it’s the first thing I’m going to study, way before I see your swing and even further before I make any adjustment.
Take a lesson with me and the first thing I will do is simply watch you hit some shots. Then while intently listening to the sound of your strike, and watching the shape and flight of your golf ballI, I will direct some questions your way in order to reveal the state of your thinking. I will begin by standing in a position that allows me to see directly down the line of your intended target. From here I can see the path of your clubhead as it passes through the impact area. This is the best place to see the flight of the ball as it reveals precisely the initial starting direction and degree of sideways curve thereafter. This view of the shot allows me to see where the ball starts and how it flies through the air, which reveals exactly where the clubface was aiming at impact. With this vital information recorded in my mind, I am able to begin my diagnosis of your impact conditions while formulating the best plan of action for your game.
The second stage of the lesson is where I present to you an explanation of what the club is doing at impact to produce the ball flight we are seeing. I will always follow this explanation with a clear picture of what should be happening as the club interacts with the ball. I will include a demonstration of both shots, firstly showing incorrect impact and ball flight before then showing you the correct impact. My goal is to highlight your swing tendency and hopefully show how easily one can be corrected to create the other.
Then finally, I will explain to you what specific correction of technique is needed to improve your impact conditions. I will always provide clear and easily digestible demonstrations of the correction. It is vitally important to me and the success of the lesson that you have a clear understanding of what is happening at impact when you strike the golf ball and what you need to be doing to correct it.
A golf lesson with myself will always follow this same pattern of: diagnosis, explanation and correction. Beyond this point it is supervised practice, reaffirming your understanding of the diagnosis along with continued application of the correction. I will not leave the lesson untilI I am 100% certain you have grasped a clear understanding of what you have been doing wrong along with what you need to do to improve. It is vitally important you understand the messages your ball flight is screaming to you. If I can help to translate these messages from ball flight to pupil, then I can leave at least satisfied that you have the very basis from which all improvement in golf is born.