When it comes to the subject of transforming your game there are two topics that immediately come to my mind. The first is a player’s ability to strike the golf ball and the second is the ability to score. In many ways they are connected. In some ways they are not.
I began My Swing Evolution with the hopes of improving my ball striking. I figured an improved score would be the byproduct and by and large it was. After over 20 years of not being able to break 80, suddenly I was able to do it consistently. Most of all I wanted to know what it was like to hit a golf ball like a pro- 300+ yard drives and piercing irons that rise like they are riding up an escalator. Whether or not I’ve achieved that is up to subjective opinion, however I feel as though I made it to where I always wanted to be. I know I have reliable mechanics that allow me to hit the ball long and straight, and I can move the ball left or right, high and low.
The second topic I mentioned was scoring. Now, you can start scoring better in a short amount of time by improving from 100 yards and in. I would dare say that every single subscriber I have can hit a golf ball 100 yards. Dustin Johnson nor Bubba Watson have any advantage once you are closer to the green. Therefore, you have just as much potential to get up and down from 100 and in as any tour pro.
What we are going to work on will help your ball striking and your scoring!
I have fallen in love with my wedges. Why? Because I drill all of my mechanics from the moment I step on the range and begin hitting my wedges. When you visit a professional ballet class, the first 45 minutes of class the dancers are at the barre working on their form. That’s where they hold onto a bar and practice bending their knees, and slowly moving their bodies while they work on placement and balance before they get to the open floor. Golf is the same. Pitch shots and wedges are just small swings and you have to make sure your placement is correct before you start hitting longer irons and adding speed. If your placement is incorrect, it causes things like early extension, casting, and flipping to happen.
After I loosen up the first thing I work on is making sure my weight is set in my feet correctly. If you stand like you are in a batters box about to swing a bat, you should feel your weight through your feet and into your heels. Whenever you see Mr. Hogan address the ball he is not hunched over but standing tall – then he lowers himself to meet the ball. Since I was a kid I have bent over at the waist to find the ball and this tilted my hips in a way that I could not use my lower body properly. By taking the “batter’s stance” your hips will stay deeper as you take your address.
Next I try to rock my weight from the middle of my feet into my back right heel while I raise the club. By doing the “pitcher drill” I keep my weight deep into my heel as I begin to transfer my weight back to my left side and get my hips leading my upper body. This sets up my gears for a powerful strike. If I let my arms and shoulders go along with my lower body I lose a ton of potential power.
As the club falls into the Shangri-La position ready to strike the ball, I want to know that I can make one unbroken thrust through the ball up into my finish. The angle of my thrust determines my trajectory and the face angle determines the shape of the ball flight.
When you see pros on the range, you generally don’t see them hitting lots of drivers but you do see them drilling wedges and short irons. That’s where they are going to score AND it’s how they are going to insure that they are placed correctly when it comes time to pull out the big dog.