Repetitive learning traps

Golf is a unique beast, or at least that’s what they say.  I’ve been learning, unlearning, relearning and amending my swing for the past few years and at times it seems like as soon as you ingrain something it’s basically time to either tweak what you learned or scratch it and change in order to really move forward.

Today a guy, Justin, came out from Golfing World (TV show that airs most everywhere except the US) to film a story and we talked a lot about how to improve in this game and what it takes to really make a concrete swing change.   We chatted and he filmed and after the piece was done we decided to work on the range for a while; or at least he decided to stick around until traffic abated and he happened to be a lefty so could actually borrow some clubs and hit with me.  It was great to have him there as we got along well and he’s been on the road for the past 5 years meeting countless golfers and had plenty of stories to tell.  There was a lot of golf to talk about and, judging by our swings, plenty to work on too.

As it happens, we both have been working on keeping the club more in front of the body during the swing and had a similar tendency of getting it trapped behind which then leads to a timing based swing and one that can break down in tourney play.  I told him the drills that I was putting in to try and remedy that and then we both set up cameras to see where we were and needed to be.  I took a few videos of my current drive swing and then a handful of them trying to capture the swing mechanics that I was striving for.  what I found was that no matter how different I felt like I was swinging my positions at the top were crazy similar.   Here is an image of my current swing (on the left) and then three totally different feels that I thought were very exaggerated:


We kind of both chuckled when I took these screen shots.  The one of the left is definitely flatter than the others, but all in all there really isn’t that much of a difference between any of them.  And, the three on the right are eerie in how similar they look despite my intention of having three completely different club paths and swing thoughts.  To me it felt like I was so far away from my current gamer swing that I didn’t even know if I would be able to hit the ball.  But alas, the picture tells a different, and more accurate, story.

The moral of the story?  No matter how much you might think you are changing something make sure you get appropriate feedback as golf-specific proprioception tends to be misleading without a good visual.

Over and out.  My current goal:  Simplify and improve my swing so that I can manage to hit more fairways under pressure.  I currently don’t hit the driver when I have to hit a fairway and I want that to change soon.  Going to put in the hours and get this swing back on a good plane.

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