A couple of weeks ago, I posted a video of an insanely difficult golf drill. It got a lot of people talking, and I wanted to expand upon the idea – click below to watch the drill in action.
The drill I conducted here shows me doing 5 ball flights –
- A fade
- A draw
- A slice (or bigger fade-shape onto the target)
- A hook (or bigger draw-shape onto the target)
- A straight shot
All within 10 yards of the target, and all within one minute.
It’s a fun drill, but more than that, it’s incredibly valuable.
Are YOU Adaptable?
I’ve said it a million times before, and will say it again,
Having the ability to adapt and change your impact variables at will is one of the most important skills you can own for lifelong performance/improvement.
Through learning this drill, I am so much better at hitting straight shots – the irony.
Especially through learning the fade shots (which were once difficult for me), I now no longer suffer with hooking the ball, as I can quickly recalibrate it using the skills created from this exercise.
I have seen the same type of control increase in pupils I teach – it can be incredibly powerful.But You’re Already
But You’re Already Good
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty skilled as a golfer. But I wasn’t born like this.
In fact, even when I played off scratch as an Amateur, I would have had zero chance of being able to do this.
However, learning this drill has subsequently allowed me to need minimal practice time. Before I learned this drill, I needed hours of practice every week just to keep my game in check.
I first had to learn how to hit the ball more right/left intentionally, and then had to add on layers of control over time.
In fact, many tour players (Tiger, Rory, Garcia) first learned these skills when they were 2/3 years old. I teach these skills to kids and beginners also in basic form (hit it right/left), before layering on more levels of difficulty as their skills improve.
How Do I Do It?
It’s pretty simple. I control my face and path.
When I want a fade, I swing more to the left, leaving the face open to the path.
When I want the ball to draw, I swing more to the right, and have the face more closed to the path.
Changing the path the club moves through impact is VITAL if you want to change your shot shape.
By varying the amounts, I am able to control the amount of curvature.
I said it was simple, I didn’t say it was easy.
One of the coolest things about this is just how much my swing changes from shot to shot. See the below screenshots for some comparisons of the draw shot versus the slice onto target. Excuse the casual attire – it was an impromptu practice session.
Look at the difference in the downswing positions – big changes in left arm position, shaft location in space and shaft pitch, body rotations etc.
Look at the difference in the exit position of the club
Something even cooler than the swing changes is the fact that I was completely unaware of them. In fact, I only focused on how I wanted the club to move through impact, and the rest of the movement changed by itself.
I demonstrate this phenomenon with amateurs all the time. By getting an amateur golfer more aware of the direction their club moves through impact, we can create a huge change in motion.
I often see 10 things change in a player’s swing technique – and when I show it back to them on video, they often can’t believe it’s them!
This is a form of “self-organization”, where I get a player to focus on an external task (how the club moves) and the rest of their swing falls into place. This concept is foreign to most golfers who have been led to believe they MUST consciously move the swing through different positions to see a change.
This concept is foreign to most golfers who have been led to believe they MUST consciously move the swing through different positions to see a change.
Unfortunately, it’s also a concept which is foreign to most teaching professionals.
So, have fun. See if you can do it. Post it online and tweet it to me, or tag me on facebook – or even put the video link in the comments below. I’ll add the best to a new blog post.
Look – my info isn’t like the rest of the golf industry’s.
I view the game from outside of the box. I improve golfers in ways beyond just putting your swing in pretty positions.
I’m one of the industry leaders in skill development, using the science from motor learning research (as well as my thousands of hours of teaching experience) to get you better, quicker, retain it longer AND transfer it to the course better.
If you want coach-level information aimed at regular golfers, check out Next Level Golf – click the image link below.