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Stop, evaluate your golf game

Written by Duane Borcherding. Posted in Featured, Sports

Published on August 18, 2011 with No Comments

by Duane Borcherding, PGA Golf Pro

Goals and Objectives

It is time to stop and evaluate your golf game. The unfortunate weather this year has made it difficult to create and regular routine of practice and play which has affected everyone’s game. Layout a plan of improvement that will carry you through the rest of the golf season. Reflect back on your golf season so far and I’m sure you can create a list of a few things that you would like to improve. Improving your golf swing is different than improving your golf game so let’s use these two categories to help focus your practice.

Your Swing

Your ball goes up in the air and flies around relative to the conditions of your impact position. Impact is known as “The Moment of Truth” and this position determines how your ball will fly, or roll, if you are a newer golfer. Changing these conditions is not easy. Controlling that 1/10,000 of a second called impact is almost impossible, improving that position must happen in the preparation first. In order to make some swing changes you must have a good and accurate idea of your swing as it is now, try using mirrors, video, Polaroid camera, a friend. FIND A DRILL! Get a practice drill that is designed to help a weakness in your swing, stay strict and work had until the end of September with this drill and then re-evaluate.

1. Your set-up position will be very similar to impact so how you stand up to the ball in the beginning is very important. I always tell golfers that if you want your golf ball to fly differently, stand up to it differently. Your set-up will create the swing that follows. Differences between set-up and impact are: Lower body work has the hips turned toward the target and the club face is de-lofted with the hands leading the club head. Practice your impact positions by hitting a tire, or something similar, provides good stress relief also.

2. Getting your backswing into a good position will be a big help in delivering the club to the ball in a strong, positive position with speed. I think the backswing is the simplest part, but is unnecessarily complicated and golfers tend to put too much effort into this area. Effort should be applied in to the finish part of the swing, or launching the ball toward the target. Think of a catapult that is cranked back into position, to me that is the backswing. In your backswing your must set your hands and turn your shoulders, that’s it.

3. Your finish position will tell you everything about what happened in step 1 & 2. Balance is the number one key. If you swing and can’t hold your finish position in balance, something is wrong, and it probably not just one thing. Usually when we swing poorly, it is because of a combination of things not just one thing. Guessing what might be the problem is a long shot at best. I suggest your ignore your perceived problems and learn what is correct. Keep working on the proper or correct form and it will suppress your weaker parts. I often hear one specific reason for a bad shot, usually it is a combination of things and finding the right key that fixes all of the problems takes practice and understanding of the swing.

Your Game

Putting, driving distance, greens in regulation, driving accuracy, are all ways of measuring your game. Physical condition, mental preparation, course management are other important parts to your game. Attention to these areas is time well spent. There is a true story of a golfer who scored in the 90’s and had a situation come up that didn’t allow him to play golf for a number of years. While away from the game he would spend time every day visualizing himself playing his favorite course back home. He was very specific when he thought out his perfect round. He would feel the wind blow, the impact of a solid shot, the flight of the ball, the smell of the flowers, the feel of the grass. When he returned home and back to his favorite course, he did shoot his perfect round of 72. What we put into our minds can be very empowering.

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About Duane Borcherding

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Duane All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Duane Borcherding is a PGA golf professional with 30 years of experience at courses in Northwest Indiana, Florida and Arizona. Borcherding has been with The Brassie Golf Club in Chesterton for nine years. With golf questions, contact him at 123Duane@pga.com.

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