If there is a game that plays on one’s insecurities more than golf, then I haven’t yet played it. Just like when we recognize something that we perceive as lacking in ourselves, we will pine over things that other golfers can do and that we, for some reason, cannot. The most common example of this is measuring how far we hit the ball relative to our playing partners. In many ways, the ego has a funny way of driving our decision-making. How we see ourselves in whatever setting we’re in, plays an enormous role in how we perform in those settings. This will manifest itself in many ways.
Besides the incredible distance the best players in the world hit the ball, what I believe inspires the most envy in amateur golfers is the rhythm with which they swing. What I like to describe as the “melody” of their swings is a joy to watch. I highly suggest watching Youtube compilations of Ben Hogan or Sam Snead’s swings for a truly inspiring experience. So how can we learn to “dance” with a club in our hands the way Tiger Woods or Adam Scott or Ernie Els do?
Let’s start with the idea that every swing, whether a four-foot putt or full swing driver, will take almost the same amount of time from the moment the club moves back to impact. Players whose rhythm we like to watch are the ones who have figured this out!
Here are several drills that can help you learn your rhythm:
Ernie Els Drill: A staple in my coaching and my development as a player, this is a simple and wonderful drill to help understand how to swing the correct “effort level.” It has two rules that must be followed for the drill to work:
- You must make a full swing! (All the way back, All the way through!)
- The Club Must Always Be Speeding Up!
Following those two rules, hit the ball as short as you can! It may take a few swings to get right, but once you do:
- You’ll find the “effort level” with which you’ve been swinging is way too high! As in, you can swing much easier and hit the ball the same distance with more consistency;
- Your short game and wedge play will improve because your better rhythm will make the controlling distance easier. I suggest you use an 8-iron and tee up the first couple until you get the hang of it. This drill can do wonders!
One-Handed Drill: For those of you feeling ambitious, another of my all-time favorites is playing shots with one hand. What’s amazing about this drill is that it does not matter with hand you use. Although, I suggest starting with your dominant hand.
Playing shots with one hand can dramatically improve:
- Your speed control inputting;
- Contact and distance control in chipping and pitching;
- The sequence of how the club gets back to the ball in your full swing! (tee up the ball at first).
Give these two drills a shot and watch your golf game improve! The Clubhouse provides the perfect environment for this type of improvement. Stop by and I’d be happy to show you how to do them! Until then, keep it in the short grass!