10 Rules for Making a Swing Change
When you are starting from scratch in a golf hobby, the technique will not be the main thing you are concerned about. This point will come later when you want to play more professionally. There is always a fear of changing your technique, swing, and stance, but sometimes there is no other way to improve your skills. Let’s see which rules can help both beginners and professionals in changing the swing.
Monitor Your Ball Flight
You will be surprised by the number of players who change the swing just because they are bored. Others prefer to listen to their friends who “know exactly what to do.” Some golfers want to improve the swing to perform it like their favorite pro players. But what matters is the ball flight.
It is not easy fading the ball even for professionals. The winner of the 2007 PGA Tour Nick Watney admits he had trouble with it. Holes doglegged to the right and iron shots back-right pins were especially tough. Nick had a vision of how the ball flight should look, but no matter how he tried, he could not work it out. In the end, he had to work on his left-hand grip since it was too strong. Nick had to weaken it and watch how the ball would react. Thus, he learned to change his swing by monitoring the ball.
Ask for Help
Golf teachers have a saying: “Feel and real are never the same thing.” It means that in reality, we do the opposite things to what we think we do. That’s why we often are not capable of determining if we need a swing change. The best option is to refer to professionals, who will offer you the right change after diagnosing.
It is better not to stop at the first couple of lessons. A pro teacher can land you a hand by checking your position since you can’t see yourself from the outside. The teacher will notice even small changes, cheer you up, and show how to do the swing right. No pro player fully changed the swing on their own.
Hard Work & Commitment
We all want to improve our skills, including professionals. After winning in 1997, Tiger Woods decided to make a sudden change of his entire swing. He wanted to become more skill-flexible and consistent, and he didn’t want to take small steps: the change needed to be radical… It was a tough year for Tiger. His standards got lower. The process required patience and a lot of hard work to succeed. But the most important thing was that he believed that the decision was right and would not give up. And it paid off: 1999 became a huge year for Tiger Woods. It is rare to see such a commitment. If you are not ready for it, then you will just waste your time.
Swing Tip or Swing Change
Tips are often temporary help, which will last for a while but will not get you through forever. Metaphorically it works like morphine. The pain will be gone as you take a painkiller, but as soon as it wears off it will get even worse.
It is much more difficult to make a proper swing change rather than a quick fix. Let’s imagine that your golf club goes too far inside before coming over the top. In such a situation, you can start a swing from the outside to make it easier to direct it to the inside. You will not only make the swing longer and wider but also improve the speed of the clubhead.
It Can’t Be Easy If You Are Doing It Right
A swing change can’t be comfortable. If it feels too easy, then you are probably doing it wrong. Since it requires a grip change, it is always hard to get used to. Greg Norman started learning to change his technique in 1992. He wanted to make some improvements such as swing flattening, stance widening, release modification. Sticking to the changes felt awkward, and he often reverted to what he was used to. In 1996 Greg won the Masters. But even winning in the final round why does he still feel not satisfied? The pro player felt that his swings weren’t right.
However, you don’t win the way Greg did ‒ your technique is lousy. He felt uncomfortable with the changes but still stuck to them. You should understand that it is a part of learning. After you learn to change your swing with an instructor, continue learning on your own and enhance the new skills since it will be too tempting to go back to using your old swing again.
Rehearse the Change
Average golfers suffer to learn not to come over the top and slice. It is one of the hardest changes because the shape of the swing that you need to achieve is the opposite. You will have to learn a path from inside-out. For those who have done it outside-in their whole life, it can be complicated. To succeed, try building a golf swing in slow-motion, exaggerating the motions a little. It is a good way of introducing a radical change. By rehearsing again and again you will soon remember the right movements.
Rhythm & Balance
Sometimes players forget about the importance of balance and rhythm. Changing your swing all of a sudden, you should pay special attention to the mechanics of what you do. If you want to succeed, carefully watch the correctness of the sequence. The tempo is not that important while training. What matters is the accuracy of the swing. You can perform both a slow swing and a quick one, but do not give up on the rhythm and balance. Otherwise, your potential will be cut short.
Test the Change
It is easy to work on the swing change in the practice field but it is much harder to try it when playing in a tournament. Many golfers use their old techniques on the course while rehearsing new ones on the range. The players hope to naturally work the changes into their style, but it never happens this way. It is better to practice using the new swing on the golf field right away. It will seem nearly impossible and irritating for a while, and for some players, it can feel like torture. But it is not the time to give up, since this is the only way you can learn to trust the change.
The Short Game Importance
Nowadays many golf players tend to fully concentrate on the full swing. That’s why many other aspects suffer. As an example, let’s remember Phil Mickelson. He used to work hard on the full swing element and forgot to improve his short game. Eventually, the results that he got did not pay off the amount of work that he’d put in the long game. Swing changes might be what you want, but other aspects are also worth your time. By overlooking them, you risk never meeting your goals. If you want to become a professional player, do not give up on the short game in any case. It will be much more efficient if you take your time and practice every part of the training.
Fight for the Prize
For some players, a swing change can become a cure. It is about identifying a fundamental fault in your technique and devoting all your attention to fixing it. After getting rid of the problem, you will see that many other related mistakes will be gone. Do not lose faith if the changes come with some regress. It is completely fine to continue failing ‒ nobody can succeed right away. But you must remember that someday it will pay off and you will feel the power in your hands. When the changes start working, you will see the difference. Ben Hogan once said that the best part of golf is the opportunity to improve yourself. A good swing change is the best proof that he was right.