Energy First, Impact Later
Golf is life, but you need to learn it backwards.
Internal golf: Learn Golf Within
The game of golf is difficult. It is hard to learn and tough to get good at. Do yourself a huge favor, and learn golf within, internal to external, not external to internal.
What is internal golf? Practicing the art of internal golf is when the player first learns to properly harness and unleash his or her power from the center- the core of the body. Many teaching methods are focused on the external movements associated with the golf swing.
For example, they solely focus on what the club is doing or what the arms are doing during the swing. Of course, this information and these technical aspects are very important, but should be addressed after the player learns to swing from the core, using a circular motion that radiates around the perimeter. If the swing originates from the proper part of the body and is executed in the proper sequence, many common “beginner issues” will never occur. There will still be external aspects that will need tweaking, but decidedly fewer of them, and they will be minor in the grand scheme of things.
There aren’t any shortcuts to becoming a good golfer, but learning golf from an internal to an external standpoint, will save you time. By learning golf properly and in the correct order, from the beginning, you will create a swing that will work for a lifetime.
3 Dimensional Golf: The Correct Mental Image
Why 3 Dimensional Golf?
When a golfer sets up to the ball, he or she in that instance, steps into a 3 dimensional world. One may ask, aren’t we living in a 3 dimensional world. True; however, our common human mental and physical capabilities are 2 dimensional 99% of the time. For example, our vision and head movement are 180 degrees. That is 2D. We frequently go forwards and backwards, side to side, and up and down. All of these movements are 2D. Golf is most certainly not 2D.
Golf is turning and proper sequence of rotations. The force is Centrifugal Force. The player must keep his or her eye on the ball, but swing through the ball, as if it is not there. Timing and proper body rotation are key. The golf club resides in the Z position. Going back to Algebraic graphics, X is horizontal and Y is vertical. During the golf swing, the movement of the body and the club, are on the Z plane. It is crucial to understand that the golf swing is a completely different movement than is utilized in many other sports and activities. If you try to golf using common 2D movements, you will not be able to hit consistent shots or excel at the game. You cannot force a good swing or “hit” a long ball. For example, if one tries to hit a golf ball using the same method that is used to hit a baseball, the result will be inconsistent shots and shorter distance. Your body must properly swing through the ball on a 3D plane.
As one can see, when you approach and learn golf using natural human instinct, you are surely approaching it from the wrong angle. This is one of the biggest reasons why most people have a hard time improving. For example, many elite athletes in other sports (basketball, baseball, football, etc.), have difficulty playing golf well. This is because natural athleticism and talents do not apply to golf.
By stepping into the 3D world of golf and leaving behind common misconceptions, a player can attain that elusive effortless swing and begin shooting scores lower than he or she ever thought possible.
What is 1SP‐2CS‐3FA?
These are initials for Swing Path (SP), Club-Head Speed (CS), and Face Angle (FA). Following these steps in the proper order is essential for anyone who wants to learn golf or improve his or her golf swing.
When you swing the golf club, the golf club does these 3 things. First, it travels on a path. The path includes take away, top of the swing, down swing, impact, follow through and swing finish. Second, it travels at a speed that is either increasing or decreasing (Acceleration or Deceleration). Third, the club impacts the ball at a certain face angle.
So, which of these steps should be focused on first when learning and practicing your swing? Many adamantly believe it is face angle. They believe that the face angle at impact will determine where the ball goes, and that you must “square the club face” at impact. Is it true that correct Face Angle is needed to control direction? Yes it is true, but this is not the only factor in acquiring proper direction, and should not be focused on first. If you freeze frame any professional tour level golfer’s impact position, you will see the club face is square to the ball. However, for anyone who wants to learn how to swing the golf club, the player must get acquainted with this element last. Obviously there is no control of your ball flight without the proper Swing Path, so it is of the utmost importance to focus on this step first. Like a train, the club must travel on a precise rail, hence the Swing Path. When learning golf, distance control is more important than direction. One must attain the proper Club-Head Speed, when dealing with distance. Club-Head speed dictates the distance that the golf ball travels. The player needs to be able to increase and decrease Club-Head Speed with a great level of ease. Once steps one and two are mastered, proper Face Angle at impact and accuracy of direction will ultimately follow.
An interesting observation from all of my years of teaching is that most beginners walk into the golf facility and their number one focus is making sure the club is square to the ball. I urge you to let go of this “beginner’s instinct.” Instead, first focus on proper Swing Path, then Club-Head Speed, and lastly Face Angle on impact. This will ensure that you consistently hit solid golf shots into your target zone. With proper Swing Path and Club-Head Speed, your club WILL make contact with the ball in the “sweet spot,” and your ball will be flying toward the target with laser-like precision.