Change Isn't Always a Good Thing
By mustang6560 on 9/5/13
As an active oober, it's relatively safe to assume you view your golf game more as a craft and less as a hobby. If my assumption is correct, then it's also relatively safe to assume you're always trying to improve your craft. You invest your time and your money reading books, applying new techniques, and buying new equipment with one single purpose -- to get better.

But, as Brandel Chamblee writes in his latest column, changing your swing isn't all it's cracked up to be. In fact, it could negatively impact your game.
The fix-it phenomenon permeates all levels of the game. Years ago, when I lived in San Antonio and played at Oak Hills Country Club, I frequently played with a Dr. Wilhoit. He was a 3 or 4 handicap, a lefthander with a lovely draw that was so predictable I called him Dr. Will-hook. Still, like all of us, Dr. Will-hook wanted to get better still. Having an unlimited budget to sink into this pursuit, he went to see a you-better-have-an-unlimited-budget teacher to the stars. When he returned, his formerly inside-out swing was gone and so too was the draw, replaced by an unpredictable array of misses that never coalesced into anything resembling his once-formidable game. Last I checked Dr. Will-hook had quit golf.
I am as guilty as the next golfer for tinkering with my swing. I used to be even worse. I'd hear something on Golf Channel or read something in Golf Magazine and try to apply it. But, as the saying goes, "Too many cooks in the kitchen ruins the roux." I actively try tinker less, which has done wonders for my game!

read more

Read an interesting golf article? Tip Your Editor!

Image via Golf Channel

[ comments ]
GolfSmith7 says:
I overhauled my swing this year so change can be good but the thing I learned the most is how important understanding the fundamentals. I know better now about how my swing works. Going forward all I will be trying to learn is how to work the ball both ways with the swing I have. Its all about making my swing more automatic, repeatable less susceptible to perceived pressure.
legitimatebeef says:
Doesn't even spell Harvey Penick's name right. He is a douche. Golf Channel would be better off without his pomposity.
jasonfish11 says:
Agree with LB

Golfsmith. Good luck to you I hope your attempt to move it both ways is successful. Honestly I hope you prove me wrong. It will give me hope that one day I will be able to do it.
GolfSmith7 says:
@jasonfish11 Thanks, I am going to give it a good six month run to see if I can do it. It will be my goal from October - March then after March I go into World Am prep!
aaronm04 says:
I think there is a certain limit for all of us to where we stop needing to do any kind of overhauling. There are minor tweaks to make in our full swing that will help. But for the most part, if you're in the single digits, you need to improve short game and putting. Unless you're Tiger Woods, I suppose.

Every month is a new flurry of golf tips from all the publications. What you have to do is filter those down to tips that will actually help you. What you have left is next to nothing. At least for me.
Matt McGee says:
I wonder if there's any other endeavor that is so overwhelmed with such an abundance of really bad, and often contradicting, instruction.

I also wonder how many injuries have been sustained by golfers trying to implement some change to their swing that was based on bad advice.
mjaber says:
I've never understood the "build a new swing" instructors. Maybe I'm an exception, rather than the rule, but the golf swing isn't that hard. Once I found something that was comfortable, and got the ball in the air, it was simply a matter of adjusting ball position, stance and grip position to get a consistent shot. It's not perfect, and I still duff a few, but I'm sure I could eliminate those if I had more time to practice and play.
mjaber says:
I suppose it's similar to what someone once told me about the difference between a physical therapist and a chiropractor, when dealing with a back injury. Neither one knows what your back was like before, so the physical therapist will help you get comfortable with how you are now- similar to a teacher who will simply suggest small adjustments to improve your swing. The chiropractor will try and make your back perfectly straight, even if it wasn't before- similar to the teacher who wnats to rebuild your swing from the beginning. Either one can work, but it's up to you to decide what you want.
jasonfish11 says:
"I wonder if there's any other endeavor that is so overwhelmed with such an abundance of really bad, and often contradicting, instruction."

I'm pretty sure every endeavor is pretty much this way.

I use to fish (and dive) a lot. There is tons of bad advice about fishing and spearfishing. Even advice coming from people who really want to help can be terrible.

Actually I've heard spearfishing/diving advice that is so wrong it could easily kill you if you followed it. And this was from a guy trying to help.

I think you are almost best off not trusting what anyone says. So ignore my above statement lol.
Dusty23 says:
To use a quote I'm fond of and I think applies here, " The one thing you can learn from Golf books, is that you can't learn anything from Golf books, but you have to read alot of them to figure that out."
falcon50driver says:
I think a lot of the reason golf instruction is flawed, is because Golf is more of an art than a science. You can swing any danged way you want to, as long as the clubface contacts the ball correctly. "See Furyk,Daly,Nicklaus" It's a feel thing, not easily, or even desirable, to transfer by instruction. The worst I ever played was after taking my one and only lesson. It took weeks to shake it off.
QuickBrownFox says:
My old swing put too much pressure on my right forearm and elbow (raging elbow tendonitis followed). So I consulted a coach and rebuilt my swing to have me in more neutral positions and put less pressure on my forearm and elbow. I have replaced my regular block into the first cut with a one yard draw, and added a low back facet joint injury to my list of woes. Progress???
golfingbumunderpar64 says:
Mjaber. You said it. I have made notes on my swing that includes all that, ( stance ,ball position, etc). So when my swing is off I read the notes and its back. Simple.
sticksboy says:
While tinkering with my swing, I noticed my best swing was my old swing. I have come to the realization that a repeated swing is best.
joe jones says:
When Willy Mays was told that baseball was a difficult sport he said it was simple.
When they throw the ball I hit it and when they hit it I catch it.
Everything is simple when you have talent.
My wife can't do anything athletic so she says she is not an athlete.She just happens to be a fantastic ballroom dancer. No training. Just natural talent. She didn't require any lessons to dance that well. Lessons would have probably just screwed her up.
[ post comment ]
    New Products
    Caption This
    World Am
    How Bizarre!
Most Popular: