The Pyramid Of Learning (P3)
SWING SECRETS FROM THE TOUR
I very much hope that you find the first lessons in part 1 interesting and that they provide you with apractical starting point when you get to work on your game. It is impossible to over-emphasise the importance of a good grounding in these fundamental lessons. Believeme, when your swing goes awry, ninetimes out of 10 the problem can betraced directly to some aspect of the gripand/ortheset-upposition. That’s why the best players in the world spend so much time out on the rangefine-tuning these basics, checking their posture and alignment and basically getting their ‘static’ and ‘dynamic balance’ right–which brings meneatly to Level 2 of my Pyramid of Learning.
LEVEL 2 – THE ‘DYNAMIC BODY ACTION’
In Level 1 we built the foundations of the Pyramid; now, in this section, it’s all about building the structure of a sound swing – the walls. Without a solid foundation and properly constructed walls, the Pyramid will crumble. Build your golf swing on trial and error – rather than on proven, solid foundations and principles – and you will find that your game will often crumble, too.
We’ve all been there: you hit the ball great one day, but the next you have lost the feel and coordination; you hit it great on the range, but for some reason your game deserts you the moment you set foot on the course.
More often than not the reason for this sort of inconsistency is simply that your technique is not up to the pressures that a round of golf can place on it. To remedy that, you need to build your swing on solid foundations and principles, and focus on rehearsing certain methods and exercises that enable you to develop a subconscious feeling for the right series of movements that make up a sound golf swing. This will give you a system of producing consistent golf, one that will enable you to correct your own game when things do go a little off key – which they will, but hopefully rather less often than before!
So, to that end, in this level we are going to cover some of the key areas involving body, arm, hand and club movement in the swing:
Balance is the key to a good golf swing. Without balance you will never be able to fully maximise the centrifugal forces that are generated by the rotation of the body, and thus fail to maximise your potential for speed and power. Which is why it’s vital that you ensure the ‘balance points’ that I have identified here all work in harmony throughout your swing. That way you will enjoy the consistency, stability and efficiency of a sound golf swing.
One of the key points to keep in mind as you prepare to work on your body position and the ‘dynamic body action’ is that, in the golf swing, every action has a reaction. For example, if your hips go forward at the start of your downswing, your head will automatically go back so as to keep you balanced. Any such action will have a direct effect on the golf club because the club would always follow your balance points. [The problem for the majority of golfers is that the swing becomes a series of compensations, all of which, effectively, drain the swing of efficiency.]
On the previous page I mentioned that if you can spend just 15 minutes a day rehearsing just a few good exercises you can get better without hitting a ball. How? Well, think about the time and amount of work you actually put in to making a swing during the course of a round of golf. A golf swing takes around 1.5 seconds from start to finish. A pro may hit 40odd full shots in 18 holes. So that adds up to about one minute’s work – and of those 40 swings he might hit, say, five or 6 good shots. That’s 10 seconds good work out of the minute (or 50 seconds spent making bad swings!).
Now, let’s say you go to the range and hit 200 balls. That’s 5 minutes of work in terms of making a golf swing. So it takes you all day to do five or six minutes work – not a great rate of return. In other words, you are not improving your swing by hitting balls. But if you did 15 minutes of conscious exercises (such as the feet-together drill opposite, the spiral staircase overleaf), it’s the equivalent of doing a full day’s work and hitting most of the shots well. These conscious exercises will allow you to play subconsciously on the course.