Fri. May 24th, 2024

The Goal of Consistency in Golf

By admin Apr29,2024

There is not a day that goes by that one or more of my students state their common goal for the lesson session (or for golf in general) being “Consistency”. In fact it is a rarity for someone to not mention this very thing. We all want to be more “consistent”, a very challenging thing to be.

“You gotta dance with the girl that brung ya!”
–Daryl Royal, Former UT Football Coach

As humans, we wake up feeling different every day. Physiologically, we are not the same as the day before, even if we have the same routine and ritual of diet, sleep, exercise, and our work/leisure schedule. It is always interesting to me when I feel so good one day (in general and on the golf course) and the next day feel like a completely different person, one who feels like they are holding a golf club for the very first time. It can be frustrating, but it is a reality that this brain-body system will be off from time to time, but the system will right itself sooner than not. I believe it is likely more challenging for women due to our chemical and hormonal make-up.

At any rate, I encourage my students to achieve a more “consistent” state for golf by focusing on their set-up in golf. My sense is that everything we do in the pre-swing will have an effect on the in-swing sequence. If I can help my students complete the “measurements checklist”, they could have an easier time returning the club back to where it started (impact) more consistently. I call the checklist “measurements”, because I feel this is what you are doing; matching you, the machine, to the tool, the golf club. If you can get into a repeating, counter balanced set-up that is tension free with the right distances between you/club and the ball, it might just help your solidness of contact or, at the very least, improve the quality of your miss which can result in satisfactory scores on those days you feel “off”.

Lydia Ko at the 2021 Meijer LPGA Classic | Photographer Ben Harpring

What do I mean by “measurements”? These are the things you do each time you grip the club and address the ball, readying to hit a shot. While this checklist seems to be lengthy and rather robotic, it will be habituated quickly with repetition. I often draw the analogy of driving a standard shift automobile to the start position in golf. There are so many things you must know/do before you even put the key in the ignition before driving a standard automobile. However, after repetition, all of the “steps” become stored in memory and can easily and quickly recalled to drive fluidly, without stalling out. So it is in the golf swing set-up. Soon, you will have all of this stored in your subconscious and it will be recalled quickly without much mechanical thought so that you can play the game of the game!

CONSISTENT SET-UP CONSIDERATIONS

  • Your own “neutral grip” matching how you are anatomically and what is comfortable for you to repeat
  • Posture where you bend forward from the hips and counter-balance it with your seat and thighs back
  • Seat is behind your heels, not on your heels
  • Weight distribution for feet is centered over the foot (both feet), not too much toes or heels
  • Width of stance is feet under you, not so outside of your hips or shoulders
  • Weight distribution for legs is a 55/45 distribution which will counter balance you when your torso is tilted to get your head slightly behind the ball at address (55% left leg/45% right leg)
  • Arms hang comfortably from shoulders and club is placed in hand at this position, not reaching away from your body to hold club…creates too much tension
  • There is a slight “kink” or “bend” in the left wrist at address if arms are hanging comfortably and the golf club is set at address as the manufacturer designed it
  • Chin is off your chest with level eyes…head down will create imbalance and chin too up creates tension
  • Ball position centered at your sternum where the bottom of the arc is when swinging dynamically…will be different/forward at the length of the club increases
  • Do not hold your breath…in fact, exhaling before your takeaway can reduce tension
  • Once set, go soon thereafter

Doing these things in your set-up will put you in good static balance. This will contribute to improved dynamic balance when swinging. The golf swing is a blend of body and arms and the kinetic chain/sequence can happen easier if you start well. This will contribute to more consistency!

The PGA Tour player David Duval once said that “we, as Tour players, are different everyday too….we just don’t freak out about it!” They play with whatever and whoever showed up that day. There will be good days and not so good days. Perhaps getting a more consistent set-up will help us all hit “better-bads”! Set-up for success and see if this comes true for you!

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By admin

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