The Importance of Sequencing
Some time back I tossed out the proposition that the LPGA players were proportionately longer than their male counterparts. What triggered that was reading that Christie Kerr averaged 260 off the tee, and she weighs 120 pounds. If Tiger Woods weighs 180, then he would have to average 390 to get the same "yards per pound" results. Then I offered that if there were a measure of "body strength index", Tiger is probably 2-3 times stronger than Christie Kerr, so that makes her achievement even more impressive.
I know these are not realistic comparisons, but it really should make us think about what delivers more distance, if it's not raw power.
I just came back from an LPGA teaching conference where I delivered a presentation on the tools and techniques for improving golfers' performance in the scoring zone, what I define as 9-iron range and in. As these ladies took their turns hitting our new SCOR4161 precision scoring clubs, the ones that really had solid, impressive golf swings drew my attention. I watched ladies of all ages just stripe full-swing 9-irons and wedge shots. Gorgeous trajectories and distances that would make most any male golfer smile.
What stood out with most of them is the impeccable sequencing of their swings. Each little segment of the swing happened in harmony with the one before it. The visible effort was relaxed and the tempos smooth and effortless-looking. I think there are few things more enjoyable to watch than an accomplished lady golfer striking solid golf shots.
My point in all this is that what delivers optimum power to the golf ball is NOT brute strength or "swinging hard". Impact efficiency comes from having all the pieces of the swing happen in just the right timing and sequence. That's why these wispy women can just knock the stuffing out of the ball with swings that look like they are hitting half wedge shots.
With winter coming on and many of you facing months indoors without green grass under your feet, it would be a good time to re-think your approach to golf and focus on improving your swing sequencing. My suggestion is to watch slow motions videos of the best LPGA players and do your best to mimic their pace, tempo and sequencing of their golf swings.
You'll be longer and straighter than ever before when you get back at it next spring.
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[ comments ]
Felipe Rojas says:
I certainly plan on watching carefully those top LPGA players' swings this week, as their tour is visiting Guadalajara, Mexico, for the Lorena Ochoa Invitational
and probably getting fitted properly to get every yard out of your equipment as well.
Terry, what drills support swing sequencing? I know when I am "on" I have better aim, I take a divot, I get the trajectory and distance I expect. When I am out of tune I sometimes pick it, I pull more often and I am far wilder. Would like a rhythmic drill to get me/keep me in the right mode.
Something I stumbled upon that helped was playing with irons that are a softer flex. I had to rent clubs on vacation and they only had regular instead of stiff. That made me swing softer and more in rhythm bc if I cranked it, it would balloon and leak right. When I applied that new softer and in rhythm swing to my irons aiming improved and so did distance.
Well, I'm really tired of big, un-athletic guys trying to hit the ball hard and spraying all over the dam place - like being a frat dude entitles you to a great golf game. OK that was a bit much, but I'm really with Terry on this one. And believe me I love golf beginners, grinders, mudders, happy-go-luckers, etc. (I was all of those). I just get tired of players who suck, and don't seem to be trying to improve, haven't read a book on golf, don't follow a site like this, don't practice, don't stretch/stay in shape, and seem full of advice from their sucky buddy who's the expert with the 35 handicap and cheats like a bastard. Obviously this doesn't apply to anyone reading this. A better way to phrase all of that is that to think that being a man entitles you to playing golf well, or hitting it far is crazy. By the same token: c'mon ladies, this could be your game and you could be kickin' some serious butt. It's not a game of brawn unless you're in some deep rough.
I do know this:
1. Scoring well is f-ing hard. Golf is f-ing hard.
2. Learning it doesn't have to be though. Improving mostly requires having reasonable equipment (even if it's off the rack); and sticking with it - playing regularly even if it's just for fun; being curious and interested in improving/ scoring well.
3. Many women feel uncomfortable in the "man's world of golf," and this is unnecessary. There's just a ton of unspoken rules, customs, rituals, and etiquette, that aren't really men's stuff, just mysterious to people new to the game.
4. Golf, like other sports/ music/ manual skills requires thousands of hours of muscle memory, precise coordination, deft decision making, and mental and emotional toughness. It's a gross-motor activity (large muscles all over the body) which requires pin-point precision and hand-eye coordination. That's the rub. Fine motor skills (writing, piano, eating, vocal articulation), which females typically develop earlier and better, are of little use.
Precision, fluidity, repetition. It's your game. And that's what I get out of watching top women golfers, same as Terry. Invaluable lesson.
joe jones says:
Terry. Earlier this year the Senior LPGA played an event at Grandview G.C in Sun City West, Az and I had an opportunity to follow an old friend, Joanne Carner ( Big Momma) for a while. At 74 years of age she averaged 272 off the tee with a swing that still maintained the same timing she had years ago. Obviously new technology has helped her stay long but her superior technique still shows. What a pleasure it is to watch an old pro do their thing well.
From the perspective of observing great sequencing in the golf swing, who do you think are the top five LPGA players to watch closely in slo mo?
onedollarwed: Halloween is over. You can take off your legitimatebeef costume now. You had me going for a minute there.
Hah! er... Boo! No really, I don't know that guy, but when I was writing I did fell like him a bit. Most of my golf buddies are raising young children now, so I almost exclusively play with strangers, or "alone." (with others or through others). In this way I play with and talk to many people. I love the hungry beginner, and try to help them stay on sort of a righteous golf path - like not using advertising or industry "ring around the collar" type scare tactics to make equipment decisions or mechanical changes.
On the flip side, the stagnant or regressing long-timer makes me sick, and in many cases can spoil the game. The more people who can enjoy/improve/teach, the healthier the game will be (thinking of USGA plans touted at the US Open). One great way would be to observe and emulate the mechanics of small players who can hit either long or accurately - as this article denotes!
^^^ really nice post @onedollarwed
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