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Sometimes swing solutions can play tricks on the mind



Published: Sun, June 29, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve played in a number of fund-raising scrambles. When the scramble season started, I actually felt like my game was coming around. Five scrambles later, I feel like my swing is gone.

So before a big match this past Thursday, I thought it would be a good idea to go to the range and try to find a swing solution.

The first thing I try to do is start with the problem. What exactly is wrong with the shots I’m hitting?

Once I establish that, I can attempt to figure out the cause, and then put together a solution.

It started with the ball flight being too low. OK, that was from sliding forward during impact. No problem, stay behind the ball.

But then the shots became less solid, like I was “slapping” the ball rather than releasing the club at impact. OK, I’m trying to stay behind it, but I still need to rotate my body and turn to my left side.

But then the ball started leaking right in the air rather than draw to the left. OK, I kind of felt like my weight was too far back on my heels and my arms were getting “stuck behind me.” No problem, get more on my toes and keep my weight in front of me.

So:

Stay behind the ball.

Release the club and turn my body through the shot.

And keep my weight in front of me.

By this time, I was really getting worse. At this point, the “logical” approach of diagnosing a specific problem goes out the window and I go into “let’s try this” mode.

So maybe I’m not actually getting on my right side? No problem, stand taller, keep my chin up, and really turn into my right knee.

But don’t sway off the ball. Keep my head stationary.

But don’t hunch over too much. Keep my back straight.

And finish your backswing. Turn my right foot out more address.

But don’t get too disconnected between your body and your arms.

Picture Martin Kaymer’s “tennis ball” swing aid from the U.S. Open and turn in one piece.

And my divots are pointing a little left so I must be coming over it. Be sure to drop the club in the slot from the top of the backswing and swing from the inside.

So now we’re at:

Stay behind it.

Release the club.

Rotate my body through impact.

Weight forward.

Stand tall.

Chin up.

Turn into right knee.

Don’t sway.

Straight back.

Right foot out more.

Kaymer’s tennis ball swing aid.

And swing from the inside.

Wow. I was one step away from “Romeo the caddy” telling me to switch all of my change from my right pocket to my left and put a tee behind my right ear.

I’m guessing at this point, no one would be surprised to learn that I did not play well on Thursday. I was obviously on swing thought overload.

So here’s my take away from this week — when you start working on your game, do one of two things:

Find one or two swing thoughts only. Clear all other thoughts from your mind and focus on the one or two things that you really want to feel during the swing.

Or

Find a really good partner to carry you through the bad rounds. Luckily for me, option two worked on Thursday (thanks “big guy”).

But I’ll be back at it this week.

Now if I could only forget everything I just wrote about.

Jonah Karzmer is a former golf professional who writes a golf column for The Vindicator. In his spare time he sells commercial insurance for The Karzmer Insurance Agency and loves getting feedback on his weekly columns via email at jonahkarzmer@gmail.com.


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