Want to improve your golf swing? Identify the root cause!
“Stop coming over the top. Follow through. Release the club. Stop casting. Lead with your hands. Hinge your wrists at the top. Should I be doing all of these?”
The answer is YES; you should be doing all of these things. The real question is how? Amateurs are constantly told what they’re doing incorrectly – especially by their playing partners. Many times this advice is correct; however, more times than not they go about fixing the problem the wrong way. This is because they fail to understand why they make these critical errors in their golf swings.
In order to improve one’s golf swing, a player – with help from his/her PGA or LPGA Golf Professional – needs to identify the root cause of the problem. Consider the following: a student of mine had a bad slice and admitted he needed to “stop coming over the top” and start “following through” in order to fix the problem. I evaluated his swing and agreed that the plane of his downswing was causing him to hit a big slice. He also had an abbreviated follow through, and I could see him trying to force it. The player had been working for years on this problem. However he failed to identify why he had these swing flaws. So together we identified the root cause – his takeaway was too far to the inside. This lead to the rest of his problems: improper weight transfer during his backswing, a poor position at the top of the swing and a forced “over the top” downswing.
Knowing all of this, I put him on a program that allowed him to fix his takeaway. Once this became natural, we worked on getting his weight loaded onto his right side at the top of the swing, allowing him to generate a proper swing path and proper weight transfer during the downswing. It took time to fix his slice, but fortunately he was patient because he saw how following these steps improved his swing. After some proper practice and continued guidance, we fixed the “over the top” and “following through” problems. But I promise you, it was in a completely different way than he ever imagined we would.
So, the next time someone tells you you’re doing something incorrectly, ask why. If that person can’t tell you why, go find someone who can. A great start is to put your swing on camera. Every lesson I give is accompanied with video so the student can see the problem’s root cause. With me explaining the sequence of movements that caused the problem, they can see what they need to do to fix it.
Lyndon Bystrom is a PGA Member and Certified Titleist Performance Fitness instructor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425-412-3999.