Have you or a loved been exposed to your very poor golf game?
You may be asking yourself WHY AM I SUDDENLY BAD AT GOLF?!
Well, in golf it could be one of 1,000 things going on in your setup or swing.
Keep reading on some things to check and see if you can unlock anything that will help you get back on the “wagon.”
You may not be doing the fundamental things you need to be doing to maintain a consistent golf swing. Implementing fresh changes to your setup, golf swing and mental approach will greatly improve your chances of sucking at golf less.
Let’s be honest. Golf is a roller coaster. No one ever wants to have to type these words to seek out answers on why he/she is getting worse at swinging the golf club.
But hey, you’re here (and I’m glad) because we’re going to fix things right now.
I am going to run through several things to see if we can get you to do the following:
Why Am I So Bad at Golf? 3 Things to Correct
1. Fix Inconsistent Setup
Unless you have the best hand-eye coordination the world, bad setup will result in bad golf shots. The next time you play ask a buddy to take a pic of your setup from behind so you can see where you are aimed, and also from the outside so you can check a) ball position, b) shaft angle, c) and your center of gravity.
Study those images and ask yourself a few questions…
Q: Am I leaning too far ahead or too far behind the ball at address?
A: If you believe that you are leaning too much on one side, fix it by centering your gravity by keeping the pressure on the insides of both feet. This is a great way to control your balance and feel more centered over the ball.
Q: Is the ball positioned appropriately for the club I’m hitting?
A: For most clubs in your bag, the golf ball should split the middle of your feet. We really only start moving the ball towards our front foot when hitting longer shafted clubs (i.e. 5-iron and above).
Q: Is my club angle aligning with my lead arm?
A: Check the outside view of your setup and draw an imaginary line starting from your lead shoulder all the way down to the club head. If there’s a hard pivot from the point where your hands begin down to the head of the golf club then go ahead and straighten out that line and get it as close to making the club an extension of your lead arm.
Q: Is my back shoulder dipping way too far down?
A: I find this problem to be quite common with many amateur golfers. The reason this happens is because many golfers feel they have to help the ball up off the ground. So, by dipping the back shoulder creates the feeling of adding loft to the club therefore “helping” it into the air. We want to balance our shoulders out and strike down on the ball and let the shaft and club head do the work.
Q: Are my feet too far apart?
A: Pretty standard fix here. Most of the time we want our feet shoulder width apart, and gradually increase that distance for long-shafted clubs. If your feet are too far apart it makes weight transfer extremely difficult and you end up hitting the ball mostly with the upper body and losing a lot of power along the way.
Q: Is my club face open or closed?
A: The tendency for a golfer that slices the ball is too want to close the club face more at address. Vice versa a golfer that hits more of a hook will feel the need to open the club face. This is bad all around because face manipulation puts bad swing thoughts in your head. This can’t be the last thing we see before taking the club back. Keep that club face square.
2. Fix Your Swing Tempo
Slowing down your golf swing does not mean you will lose distance.
Golf is about timing. The harder you swing the harder it is for your body to work in unison to consistently strike the golf ball solidly over-and-over.
The easier you swing, the easier it is to load your body to hit the ball and most importantly to REPEAT this action.
Tip: Capture a video of your swing from the same exact angles you took of your setup so you can see what your tempo from multiple angles.
A fast takeaway induces more moving parts and can throw off your balance right away.
Watch pro golfers like Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Hideki Matsuyama and Cameron Young. They take the club back very slow and actually pause at the top. By doing this they are creating the perfect way for them to load their bodies for the best possible downswing they can produce for solid contact.
This is going to feel weird for a lot of golfers, but we’re going to have to make things weird at times to fix our problems.
Ok, so we’ve grooved our new, much slower takeaway. Now it’s time to bring acceleration into the mix.
Now’s the time to point out something very important…
DO NOT start your downswing with your arms.
The power and acceleration all derives from the lower body. Think of the sequence this way…
- Hips rotate toward the target
- Shoulders follow
- And the club is along for the ride
Tip: Make note to finish your golf swing on your front foot. If you find yourself leaning on your back foot odds are you are not shifting your weight properly and hitting through the ball.
3. Practice Smarter
Build a Practice Plan
We’ve all heard this one before…
Practice with a PURPOSE.
And this still rings true with our golf swings.
Next time you go to the driving range start small and work your way up. Begin by hitting 10-15 half wedge shots. Then progress to short-to-mid irons. and work your way up to long irons and woods.
Every time you change targets go ahead and throw done a couple alignment sticks to check your aim as well.
When I’m hitting balls I like to imagine I’m hitting a shot on the golf course that was around the same yardage. Imagine where the trouble was at and play the shot on the driving range the same way you would wanted to play it on the course.
Now that we have some new swing tactics to work on let’s move on and talk about the type of golf clubs you’re using.
Clubs That Aren’t Forgiving Enough
Cavity Back Irons vs Blades: Which should you be using?
Well, if you’re reading this article I really hope all your troubles aren’t caused by trying to hit blades (commonly known as forged irons).
Most amateur golfers should be hitting cavity back irons to maximize his/her chance of hitting it solidly as consistent as possible.
Cavity vs Forged
|Cavity Back Irons||Very forgiving||Can go farther||Inconsistent yardages|
|Forged Irons||Highly accurate||Consistent yardages||Not forgiving|
However, if you haven’t been playing golf that long you may not know the difference at a glance.
Just look at the back of the club head and if it looks like the would be able to hold liquid then it’s a cavity back iron. Forged irons will be more of a flat surface all the way across with no, well, cavity manufactured in.
Why Am I Not Hitting the Ball Solid?
Check a couple things.
- First, being your swing path. If it appears you are taking the club too far outside on the way back then odds are you are swinging down at a bad angle and cutting across the ball.
- Second, watch a video of your swing and see if you are losing balance after you make contact with most of the weight on your lead foot.
How to Check My Swing Path
This next tip is going to require some standard housekeeping.
By that I mean keeping your clubs clean.
If I’m hitting the ball terribly one way or another, I always like to check the bottom of my club head and see the direction of the turf lines are going.
The more the lines angle across the club that means you’re not swinging down the correct plain, and you’re cutting across it real bad.
The swing error I see the most is the classic over-the-top move. This happens when the arms extend further OUTSIDE the body as the downswing begins, and as the downswing progresses the hands are cutting back down across the intended swing path and contact strikes across the ball and creating crazy side spin.
How to Keep the Golf Club on the Right Plane
A simple trick to keeping the club on a successful swing path is to try and make sure you don’t push your arms away from your body as you begin your downswing.
Try dropping your hands in a little closer to your body on the way to maintain a good swing path and generating some lag as well.
Porzak Golf describes this perfectly…
Small Wins = Big Payoffs
Ok let’s try and bring it all full circle here.
Not everyone’s version of playing “terribly” is the same.
If you are a 5 handicap and your last three rounds of golf were 83, 87, 84—to most people that’s not terrible.
If you don’t quite know your handicap, we have a FREE golf handicap calculator for you to quickly use and find that out.
It’s going to take some some effort to troubleshoot why they’re hitting the ball so poorly. We can’t expect to immediately jump back to our normal form so take the small wins as they come.
For instance, if correcting your balance by shifting your weight on the insides of your feet helped you hit the ball better and drop a few shots the next round then GREAT!
It’s important to remember what you did and log those thoughts so you can self correct in case you ever get to a point where you’re hitting it terribly again.
If you are a less experienced golfer than a 5 handicapper then your small wins may be a little different.
If hitting it terribly has caused your greens in regulation to drop to say 4, then focus on hitting 5-6 greens the following round to get the ball rolling back in the right direction.
Time To Take Action
Ok let’s take what we’ve learned today and apply some new principles to our golf routines and revive our scores.
Get a couple pics and videos of your golf swing so you can see your setup and swing motion, and make a few corrective measures to finding a more repeatable golf swing.
Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wolfitgolf and let me know if you’ve implemented any of these techniques to playing golf YOUR best way.