Fixing Problems At Their Core
As I look back at over 50 years of playing golf (I started before I remember life), I’ve learned a lot about the golf swing and playing this crazy game. But the most important thing that I’ve learned is what I call the Two Inarguable Truths:
1. Your Swing Is Probably Not That Bad. By that I mean that if you’ve been playing for very long, you’ve probably developed a basic swing move that has the ability to repeat with pretty reliable consistency. It might not be pretty, and it might not be “pure”, but the old adage “practice makes perfect” applies in the sense that you’ve made that same imperfect swing thousands of times and your body knows how to do it over and over again. I watch guys at my club with swings of all description get it done regularly. Some hold the club like a ham sandwich, others have the loopiest, weirdest move . . . but they have a way of repeating that consistently enough so that they can score day in and day out.

How do they do that, when another guy has a swing that looks pretty darn nice but he’s all over the lot?

The secret is in a consistent set-up.

2. The Basic Key to Better Golf. Here’s the simple fact of golf. If you don’t set up the same way every time, a repeating swing cannot produce the same results. No matter how grooved and repeating your swing might be, if you set up a little open this time, a little closed next . . . the ball a little forward for this shot, a little back for that one . . . ball a little closer for this one than that one . . . . .you will never be a consistent golfer.

Your eye/hand coordination is an amazing thing. Your body knows your golf swing. So, if the target is a little left or right of body alignment, your instinct will infuse a change to your “natural” swing to compensate. And the result is more often than not a bad shot. It wasn’t because you made a bad swing, but your alignment and set-up forced a bad swing.

If you interviewed tour pros on the practice tee at a PGA event, asking them “what are you working on right now”, the majority would tell you setup and posture, alignment.
So, what can you do about all this? Practice a solid, true alignment, with a consistent ball position. Use alignment sticks or a chalk line on the ground. Make sure you are pointed in the right direction, with the ball in the right position BEFORE you pull the trigger.

It’s the one great advantage we have in this game. We are in total control of the swing environment. We can take as much time as we want to get ourselves in the right position to execute any swing.

Imagine how good baseball hitters would be if the pitcher had to tell them exactly what pitch was coming and where? Or in football, how good would defenses be if the quarterback had to announce the play in detail before the ball was snapped. Those games force the participants to react quickly to the situation. We don’t have to do that in golf. We can set up our shot, and be as meticulous as we want to make sure we are in the right position to execute the swing.

Work on your alignment and posture, and ball position, and you’ll see better shots immediately.

photo source
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[ comments ]
dave0498 says:
Sounds like good advice,, I'll give it a try as soon as all this damn snow melts!!!
sepfeiff says:
So true, good advice. Don't be shy about asking your local pro for help on these things, thats what they are there for :)
TravisMiller says:
This is one of the things that I have been trying to work on recently. The last time I played. I was hitting the ball straight but one would go to the right of my target and then the next one would go left.
svj says:
totally agree, it's amazing to see people struggle over every little ascept of the golf swing, if they just worked on the things that start a solid swing. unstead of the elements, while the swing is in motion.
Trevor Spring says:
People, go watch Jim Hardys videos (long game), go read Stan Utleys books (short game).

Golf gets easier after that.
Banker85 says:
this is how i went from a 15 hcp to a 11 hcp last season concentrating on setup. period.
Century1 says:
Knowing that my swing was not that great, last year I began paying attention to my set up, and particularly my distance from the ball, so that I was not reaching
out with my arms. I ended the year beating guys who were beating me at the beginning of the year. If I didn't like the way my arms were hanging I would back up and do it again.
masterhacker says:
My problem is distance. My best drive with my standard swing is about 200 yds sometimes less. My question is does equipment really make a differencw?
masterhacker says:
I can add 10 or so yds with a big wrist break at the top but I sacrifice accuracy. I have to admit that age has something to do with it. Sometimes the old hips just don't have the power they used to. I've lost 20 lbs. That hurts to.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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