Golf is a game of opposites!
If you think you are a little confused by this statement, then good! Most golfers are confused by what they should be doing, and this statement wraps it all up.
I work with golfers of all levels, and the more the golfer thinks they know the more often they get it all backwards. Oh, I apologize…of course I didn’t mean you, but most likely someone you know right?
For example I see a lot of golfers that have learned golf by scooping the ball in the air, why, because they think it is the most logical way for them to get the ball in the air. But of course that’s just it, golf is a game of opposites. The most consistant and effective way to hit a golf ball from the grass is to hit slightly down through the ball and let the clubface’s degree of loft and grooves do their job getting the ball to go up in the air.
So then you have the slicer who for the right handed golfer is terrified of hitting weak slices deep into the trees to the right of the fairway. Logic says that if their ball is going right, then they’d best be hitting that ball swinging towards the left of the target at impact…..However this would be wrong too!
How about the educated slicer that has heard that in order to prevent the slice they need to swing the club flatter….So of course they swing as flat as they can starting their backswing, which will only worsen their slice because they usually get the club so flat that they need to steepen their swing direction in the downswing just to make contact with the ball!
So how about the golfer that fats their shots hitting the ground before the ball….logic says for them to place the ball further towards their trail foot or more or less where they’ve been hitting the ground……WRONG, WRONG Wrong! If you place the ball further back to prevent hitting the ground before the ball then more often than not you’d be forcing yourself to hang back with your weight on your trail side through impact, which is forcing you to ingrain even worse swing mechanics to your golfswing. In this scenario I usually have my students place the ball under their lead armpit then have them start their swing with the clubhead a couple inches behind the ball. This forces them to move their body forward and turn through the shot creating good timing so that they tend to hit the ball first!
How about the injured golfer that often comes to the lesson tee complaining of pain. First of all you should go find an expert to tell you whats going on. Where you feel pain is more often than not a symptom of another body part that isn’t doing its job. Let us say you have a bad lower back, well most adults at some point in their lives have had pain in their lower backs. So instead of treating the pain, why not find out what part of your body isn’t working correctly, try to fix that and then resolve the problem?
So back to the lesson tee, you come to the lesson tee complaining of pain, so instinctively your brain tells you to protect that painful area, which usually means lockdown mode! Depending on where you feel the pain, i’ve never seen a golfswing that benefits from lockdown mode. Lockdown mode often means more stress on the body, which potentially adds to your injury. You need to swing more freely relieving stress on the body, flare your feet out, lift your lead heel in the backswing and your trail heel in the forward swing, STOP! Go to an expert first to get a green light to train your golfgame, but when you’ve got a green light, get out of lockdown mode!
The list of opposites goes on and on, this sport can definitely put you in a of a pickle for sure!
So what do I recommend you do, Stop playing with your buddy named Logic of course! The logical thing to do is often the opposite of what you need to do to improve your game. If you really want to move some mountains and get your game on, then swallow that pride and get some professional help! If the best players in the world work full time with a team of fitness, nutrition, swing coaches fysio’s, mental coaches and so on….perhaps you’d be best getting some help too.
Here is a plan, start easy by getting a physical assessment, then get some lessons with a TPI certified Golf Professional that you feel a good chemistry with and that has a good reputation as someone that wants you to improve as much as you want to improve. Now you have your support team that is ready to get you on the right track to improvement and helping you stay away from opposites!
If you’re interested in learning more about your body, your golfgame, and improving your quality of life, then please do yourself a favor and check out my book on iTunes.
I honestly believe it will take your game to the next level of success and enjoyment!
PGA Professional & TPI certified golf fitness instructor
Author of The Golfers Handbook - Save your golfgame and your life!