Sometimes, you just gotta swing your swing.
Seeing as I’ve written an article about swinging like Rocco Mediate, it might seem hypocritical to write a different article about how to swing your swing. Well, I don’t care, because I really think that’s true. You do need to swing your swing if you want to play your best.
Remember, we’re all guys and gals that don’t have thousands of hours to spend on practice.
We have real lives: families, friends, jobs, other hobbies, or whatever else. We just don’t have time to put the same amount of practice time into remaking our swing. Yes, some of us do- and that’s why I write some of the things I do. The truth is, not all of us can, and I see no reason to leave them behind.
Tiger Woods changed his swing, what, three times? Well… professional golf is what this guy does. It’s how he makes money.
He doesn’t have a 9-5 (or 6-2, 3-11, or whatever you do) job eating up at least a third of his day. His job includes spending thousands upon thousands of hours with his golf swing. If he wants to change something, he can.
We are not Tiger Woods, and that’s OK.
We’re Joe the Accountant, or Jane the Police Officer. Everyday people. When we swing our swing, or, swing the way that’s natural to us, we will get better results than swinging like someone else.
The thing is, it’s about muscle memory. Sure, you can get on the range and make a few swings that feel like how Tiger’s swing looks like, but it won’t last… especially if it’s late in the game of that afternoon round with buddies. It isn’t developed into your muscle memory, so when you get tired and/or under pressure, your body will want to go back to what it wants to do naturally. Scientists have proven this. If you’ve spent the required amount of qualtiy time to creating muscle memory, you’ll likely be fine. If you haven’t, you won’t be able to recreate that “perfect” swing when you need it.
So what do you do, then? Easy; swing as you normally do.
Is it “perfect”? Absolutely not. Does it have to be? Absolutely not. There is no “perfect” swing. It needs to be something repeatable that you can do the majority of the time.
Look at the likes of Jim Furyk and Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey. Neither has what the “experts” like to call an “ideal” swing, yet they golf just fine. Hell, even the prior example of Rocco Mediate is far from a “perfect” swing- he doesn’t have much of a wrist cock, so he doesn’t have that so-called perfect lag into impact… and yet, even at 50+ years old, he’s putting the ball out there in the fairway almost 290 yards.
The King himself, Arnold Palmer, is telling us to “Swing Your Swing”. If HE’s saying it, you know it must have merit:
Just forgive him (and me, for posting it!) that it’s an advertisement. The advice is still sound.
What can you do to truly swing your swing?
It’s not unlike learning to play the guitar. You get a little bit more leeway in golf, though. With guitar, if you don’t get your fingers on the strings correctly, you can muffle a note in a chord and make it sound bad. But with a golf swing, for example, you can not have the “ideal” 90° shoulder turn and 45° hip turn and still make good contact with the ball.
But to get the most out of your swing, break it down into parts:
Work on the backswing only.
You don’t even need a ball for this. Get set up in a good position, then just work on taking the club back. Get to the top, and reset.
Work on the downswing only.
You can break this part down even more: do the “pump” drill to work on starting the downswing, then work on releasing the club.
The “pump drill” is done by taking the club up to the top and stopping. Hold that position for a second. From there, work on bumping your hip toward the target and dropping your hands down into the “slot”. Shoot for three “pumps” before making the full move into the finish.
Work on finishing in a balanced position.
Finishing in a balanced position shows you that you swung under control. That you put all of your stored energy into moving the ball- not keeping yourself upright.
The beauty of all this is, you can do this anytime, anywhere!
You don’t even need a ball for all of this, because you’re just working on your swing mechanics. You can do it in the back yard whenever you get a chance!
Do you work on your game when you get a chance? Let me know in the comments!