Does Practice Make Perfect?
We have all been there, far too many times. No matter how hard we try, there’s a specific swing technique that we absolutely cannot seem to nail down. Whether it’s shallowing out the club, snapping the hips, reaching full extension, or releasing the club on the follow-through, all of us have had our “tendencies” (as we so benevolently refer to them) that just make the game not as enjoyable. These “tendencies” are our kryptonite, our main source of frustration, and often the topic of most of our conversations with our swing coaches. They truly make the game of golf less enjoyable.
Many tend to think that “technical” problems like this should be fixed in our lessons. “All we need to do is keep practicing, and eventually my slice will go away!”- is the motto of that guy in your foursome who will 100% hit a slice sometime before the 19th. After all, practice makes perfect. And if we are investing time, money, and trust into our coach, then we should be seeing the results.
Surprisingly, this likely is not the case. The majority of the time, the underlying cause for these “tendencies” is due to a mobility, stability, or strength issue with your body.
The Real Reasons You Aren't Improving
The reason you can’t drop the club into the slot on the downswing isn’t because you haven’t practiced enough, it’s because you can’t externally rotate your shoulder, and thus cannot physically orient your body in the position to achieve this.
The reason you can’t snap your hips isn’t because you have bad alignment, it’s actually because you have poor hip mobility and haven’t practiced the “hinge” movement pattern, crucial for the timing sequence of the golf swing.
If you can’t physically make your body do something, how can you expect it to be fixed with more lessons or swings at the range?
That’s why at P4S Golf, we do our initial rotary center assessment as a prerequisite to training, and it’s the first thing we do before looking at anything else with your swing. We understand that getting these fixed is the primary lever that moves progress, and that without fixing the incommodious problems at the bottom of the ladder, it will be impossible to reach the top.
Things Lessons Cannot Fix
Mobility isn’t the only limitation plaguing golfers. Other non-swing factors include strength– evidenced by poor posture due to lack of back and core engagement. Bad posture is a pain point for a huge number of golfers (we know- a lot of them come to visit us!) and can usually be traced to a lack of strength somewhere in the kinetic chain.
The last common limitation we see here at P4S is a lack of stability- this can be seen clearly when golfers cannot use the ground properly to generate a powerful swing.
These underlying pain points- mobility, stability, and strength– are things that lessons just can’t fix. Although all golf instruction plays a meaningful role in swing development, even the best instructors can’t make you do something you do something you are not physically capable of, no matter the drill or a “swing cue” they may preach to you. A lack of capability in any of these areas is likely hunting you far more than you realize, and until these areas are fixed, odds are, you aren’t getting the most out of your lessons or practice time you invest so much time, effort, and money into.
At P4S Golf, we actually have a free home assessment that you can take so you can actually see if your golf swing is hindered by your movement, and it gives you insight into the specific points you can work on to fix the underlying problems, and get rid of those “tendencies” once and for all.
Golf Performance Intern