In the previous blog 11 I introduced Fred Shoemaker’s approach of learning through awareness. Here are a few drills that you can try in your garden or indoors if you have the roof height and width (please remove the Ming vase and step away from the Chandeliers).
Drill 1 – Speed
No I’m not suggesting you resort to drugs, rather become more aware of your golf swing by swinging a club as slowly as possible. Set up normally with a good golf posture and aim at a golf tee if outdoors or putter cover if indoors.
Now take the club back at Thai-Chi speed. For the avoidance of doubt, that’s REALLY slowly. Imagine you are operating a Minolta camera at super slow speed, equivalent to one frame at a time and you’ve got the right speed.
So be aware of everything that happens throughout your golf swing. For example, which muscle or muscles are the triggers to initiate the backswing; torso, shoulders, hips, arms, hands? Only you will know. Try shutting your eyes and repeating the first 6 inches only of the back swing over and over again (that’s 6 inches not 6 feet).
Don’t adjust anything at this stage, merely observe and be aware.
Now swing very slowly until the club shaft is parallel to the ground. Be aware of how you arrived here. Did you merely move your hands, extend your arms or turn your shoulders too. Try it again with your eyes shut so you can become more aware of which muscles are engaged.
Once at parallel look to see if there is a gap between your hands and your right hip (for right handed players) and if so, how big is the gap. If there is no gap, it would suggest you have hinged your wrists early or not turned your shoulders or a combination of both.
Repeat so you become more aware of what you actually do. If there is no gap or a very narrow gap, be more aware of turning your shoulders and extending your arms away from the target.
An excellent drill is to put the club down, get into your golf address position with your left arm only, then hold your left wrist with your right hand (as per the photo below). Now extend your left arm away from the target, rotating it gently at the same time so that the back of your left hand faces the wall opposite. Use your right hand to pull the left arm gently away from the target and to extend the left arm until its parallel to the ground and pointing down the target line. Look in a mirror to see the amount of width you have now created in your backswing.
I’ll move onto the rest of the golf swing in the next blog…
By moving your body and the club in super slow motion, it gives you the opportunity to become more aware of what you actually do throughout the golf swing.
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