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VietNamNews

Teed Off (May 31, 2015)

Update: May, 31/2015 - 00:20

with Robert Bicknell

As I write this, I am in a semi-panic because my golf swing is in pieces after trying to regain my ability to drive the golf ball long and accurately. In a nutshell, my driver sucks right now and I am losing my mind trying to put it back together. To make matters worse, I have a high-profile tournament this coming weekend at The Bluffs at Ho Tram Strip and many pros are invited, some are Asian Tour players.

This might possibly suck big time.

It's funny because I usually have no problem with my driving. In fact, it has been the strongest part of my game for the last 40 years. I've never had a problem threading a needle at 300 yards but, like many people, some quite notable; I tried to fix something that wasn't broken in the first place. But it certainly is now.

So what to do?

The first step, is to dig out old video of my swing when it was operating at his best and then compare it to a recent video where the swing is in self-destruct mode and see what is different.

People should have a video of when they are playing well to have a point of reference for when things go off. Sadly, many do not.

When you install Windows, you have a disc in case you need to reload the programme if it gets infected with an incurable virus. Computer experts tell people to back up their files constantly and always have an up to date rescue disc on hand in case of catastrophic failure… and having a video of your swing at its best is just another version of a rescue disc.

Without a point of reference, it's difficult to figure out what went wrong in the first place.

So, now I have a video of my current swing and compare it to my old swing. Funny enough, they look almost identical but I see a few some places where the angles are off by a few degrees. While this might not seem like much, it does make a difference especially with a club head moving at over 114 miles per hour.

OK, I have identified a few likely faults and fixed it. I looked over the new video and compared it to the old in painfully slow motion and it looks pretty much identical, but the results still aren't there. Sure, the ball is closer to being on target, but it still isn't right. So, we go deeper.

Fortunately, Marcus returned from Australia for a few days and I had him take a look because he knows my swing. This is another important tip - ask someone who knows your swing to take a look - especially if he is a golf professional.

Marcus knows my swing and isn't going to try and reinvent the wheel with me. He noticed a problem with the ball position and that seemed to tighten up the shot pattern a little bit more. Unfortunately, it still doesn't "feel" right. My old swing was effortless power and quite accurate, but now it feels like too much effort for the results I am getting.

The problem now seems "feel". You focus on mechanism when fixing a problem, or when learning a new motion, but once you get it you need to hit thousands of shots before it feels natural. Totally irritated, I took a deep breath and decided to stop thinking and just let it fly. Whatever happens happens and, surprisingly, the swing felt much better.

There are times when you have to simply get out of your own way. You cannot see the forest if you are looking at individual trees, and this was one of those times.

Despite what many new gurus try to claim, golf is a very natural act and, to perform well, you have to let it be natural. Focusing on the mechanical while playing is a sure way to kill yourself and if you don't believe me, just ask Tiger Woods. Once he got obsessed with "biomechanics" he stopped seeing the forest through the trees.

This is called "Paralysis by analysis" and it can hit anyone…

Bottom line: video your swing when playing well for a point of reference, stop thinking too much and just enjoy yourself.

Now, we'll see what happens. — VNS

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