Most once-a-week golfers do not have the time, money or desire to invest in hitting thousands of practice balls under the watchful eye of a competent instructor. Is there an alternative to help the “average” golfer build a better golf swing?
Adopt a drill that will develop optimum muscle memory.
Every golfer is familiar with the notion of muscle memory; the more often we repeat a specific motion, the sooner it becomes ingrained or automatic. The ultimate goal is acquiring a “feel” so the new technique happens automatically.
The idea makes perfect sense but the results are often disappointing.
How can we guarantee a drill will be effective?
There are three essential elements that determine the efficacy.
First, the drill must be appropriate for the golfers’ current skill level. It would be an exercise in futility to ask a novice golfer to focus on developing “lag” in the downswing. Start with the basic motion of the new technique.
Second, make rehearsing the motion a habit. Most golfers have to overcome a natural resistance to change. The first step for developing new muscle memory is easing the mind and muscles to accept the change in small increments.
Habits are the key to running on autopilot. Make the drill a part of your everyday exercise routine. Two minutes a day is more beneficial than a single thirty-minute session once a week. Tired and sore muscles are not receptive to new ideas.
Third, develop the discipline to stop thinking about swing mechanics during a game. This could be the biggest challenge. Thinking and feeling are diametrically opposed; the more you think, the less you feel. The quickest way to short-circuit muscle memory is by conscious thought. Do you ever wonder how you can hit shot after shot like a semi-pro on the practice range and then struggle to break ninety?
Mental discipline applies to golfers at every skill level. Your ability to keep thinking and doing separate is crucial. Develop a simple pre-shot routine.
The value of a pre-shot routine is occupying your conscious mind, so you can stop thinking about swing mechanics for one and a half seconds and just hit the damn ball! A few examples used by professional golfers are discussed in a previous article titled, Power Moves.
Discover a drill that applies to your unique skill level. Start with the basic motion and rehearse regularly. As the new technique begins to feel natural, gradually refine the movement. Allow your conscious mind to focus on results instead of technique, and you elevate your game to a whole new level.
Thanks for reading.