Friday, September 23, 2016

Getting Real on Distance

Getting Real on Distance

Dennis M Clark


Golf is, and has always, only about two things only, direction and distance. And while they equally play an integral part in the game, the balance of them, and the true recognition of just how they can affect our own game, is often distorted, much to our detriment.

Direction is patently obvious. We need to hit the ball at the target, and the better we do this the better we play.

Distance however, is where the distortion occurs, and this upsets, no, make that ruins, more games and golfers than you can shake a stick at.

Distance often requires” exact distance”. When we’re putting, chipping, or in club selection on our approach to the green, the important side of it.

When distance is mentioned it’s usually all about getting the ball out further off the tee or stretching the distance an 8 iron can hit.

Let’s be honest, the desire for more distance has been a desire for all of us at some stage. Unfortunate for the majority that desire remains in place and is fed by the continual design of balls and clubs, especially in the de-lofting of irons to make us believe we now hit our new set even longer.

The magazines and YouTube are filled with new positions and moves that will somehow create more distance, and while some are scientifically sound, the average golfer will never achieve much more distance than what they currently have.

Like all desires, the one for more distance is perpetuating and never really fulfilled. The irony is that it doesn’t need to be for the average golfer to improve their success in the game.

Bearing that in mind, let’s take a logical and realistic look at the distance factor.

A number of years ago I had a man come for a lesson and when asked what he wanted from it he replied more distance, with the belief this would greatly improve his game.

By the way, this scenario is reasonably common, as most golf coaches will testify to.

His handicap was 12, and during the lesson we discussed distance and the benefits of it, and why more would be an asset.

Of course it is easier to hit it closer to the pin when approaching with a 7 iron than it is with a 4 or 5.

Also, if you hit the ball a maximum of 220 yards, the least you can possibly make on a hole measuring 460 yards is 3, whereas if you hit it 230 there is a possibility of making 2.
So we agreed that indeed, distance is important.

I then asked him, “On an average day, hitting the ball as well as you can, how many greens he couldn’t reach in regulation on his home course”. He replied 2.

I then asked him why he felt he needed more distance when he already had enough to play to a handicap of 2.

We set him the task of focusing on learning to strike the ball as well as he could, more often, the real issue.

He went away realizing that distance wasn’t the issue he had believed it was, or would give him the result he thought he wanted. What he already had was more than enough to achieve a much loftier goal, and could be done more realistically.

Over 40 years of coaching golf has shown me that the single biggest issue in golf is most people simply don’t realize the ability they possess, and so waste money, time, and energy something unnecessary, which they don’t usually achieve anyway.

If we would only learn to fully understand, and use correctly and fully, what we already have, we can achieve much more than we realize.

So next time you think you have a lack of distance issue................

A wise man once said, “Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done”

Monday, January 4, 2016

Fixing Over-the-Top Golf Swing Video.

This video is one of the best I have seen at fixing one of the most common problems in golf.  The over-the-top move or also known as outside-to inside swing.

The video comes from Craig Jones who is part of my network of some of the best and brightest in the golf instruction/coaching business.  Craig was with GolfTEC for over 11 years and decided there was a better way for the average golfer to get help.  He specializes in golfers with a 12 handicap and up.  This is one of the things that he and I share plus very similar teaching philosophies.

He also has an excellent Facebook page called Face First Nation Elite which is a closed group, but he would be happy to have you.  It's so he can just deal with the golfers that fit his demographics and also to keep other so-called golf instructors from confusing things.  

Here is what he has to say about the video:

 "When we talk about conquering your over the top downswing path, we’re really talking about how you want to deliver the club head to the golf ball. Since swinging over the top is swinging left of target, a great visual for swinging more from the inside on the downswing is to picture how to hit the inside of the ball. I recommend practicing it with a 6 or 7 iron and the ball on a tee because you want to make is as easy as possible when first learning it. Practicing into a net is ideal because there is not really any benefit to seeing ball flight in the early stages of learning downswing path."