Swing tips are everywhere you look in the golf world, but you have to be careful. You simply can't listen to them all at once!
I believe this is one of the greatest golf quotes ever, from one of the greatest golf books ever written.
When I tell you to take an aspirin, please don’t take the whole bottle. In the golf swing a tiny change can make a huge difference. The natural inclination is to begin to overdo the tiny change that has brought success. So you exaggerate in an effort to improve even more, and soon you are lost and confused again.
Part of the reason I started Practical Golf is because I found myself confused by many of the articles written about game improvement. There are so many different techniques, swing tips, and drills that are written on various websites. They are composed by experienced professionals who are wonderful teachers. However, the sheer volume being shared on websites and social outlets can make your head spin.
Let me stop here and say that it is not lost on me that I am just another voice looking to throw his hat into the ring. I'm hoping you think my message is unique though :)
Communication is key
Many of these articles have very sound advice, but sometimes I think they get lost in translation. Part of being a great teacher is being an excellent communicator. The problem I have with teaching golf through internet articles is that the concepts are not always communicated properly.
I hear discussion of very advanced moves on your downswing, using the bounce on your club, and creating lag in your swing. The list goes on and on. I don't understand a lot of it myself just by reading it, and how it relates to my actual swing.
For the guy or gal reading these articles who is looking to go from a 105 to a 95, there is no way they can understand these concepts by just reading a 500-word post. If they can't understand them, then they won't be able to incorporate them into their game.
These advanced ideas would be best discussed in a one on one lesson in my opinion. Going at it on your own with certain swing concepts can be very detrimental to your game without the proper guidance.
Get to the point!
Let's get back to Harvey Penick's quote, and not taking the whole bottle of aspirin. The problem with consuming these articles on a daily basis is that it can leave a golfer very confused. They might read 10 different swing thoughts or techniques, and try to work on a bunch of them at the same time. That is a BIG mistake!
If I had a dime for how many times I heard someone on the range who said they just got a tip that changed their game…well I could take my wife to a nice dinner.
That same guy with the hot tip is usually completely lost again a week later. It's part of the magical frustration of golf that keeps us coming back for more punishment.
Here it is...
Focus on making small changes, one step at a time. Harvey Penick said it best: don't take the whole bottle at once.
If you see an article you like out there (hopefully it's on my site!), save it. Read it a few times, and really try to digest what the author is getting across. Then work on that one specific technique, swing thought, or drill until it feels natural.
If you can't make it feel natural on the golf course, then forget it. Move on to the next one.
I've always felt that if something feels uncomfortable to you in golf, then you should not continue with it. Most golfers do not have unlimited time to work on their games, and trying to fit a square peg into a round hole just isn't worth it. You will end up with more frustration than it's worth.
Remember, we are actually trying to have fun, and improve our games.
The Internet in a nutshell - Swing Tips Galore
Every website needs to create more and more content, that's the name of the game. All of these sites are trying to pull you in their direction with catchy titles that make big promises. I am guilty of this as well.
They want your eyeballs on their website for as long as possible, which is why they are jammed with so many articles and ideas for your game. My angle is to make content that won't confuse you, and has a consistent message. So logically the answer is to just stay on Practical Golf all of the time!
The next time you are surfing around the web for some inspiration on your game, please take all of this into consideration. There are enough swing tips out there to fill up a virtual Grand Canyon. Just consume them one at a time, and you'll be OK.