Saturday, May 13, 2006

Twenty dollars well spent

On Wednesday, I lost my swing. Today, I went back to the scene of the crime to try to find it.

The course where I was going to play on Wednesday was Lost Canyons. I started by hitting some balls at the range and didn't get any further than that as I explained in my last post.

I found out via the e-mail newsletter of Lost Canyons that this month is "National PGA Teaching Month" (someone should alert Hallmark) and in honor of it, they are holding three one-hour clinics for ladies on three Saturdays in May. I debated with myself over whether attending such a clinic would mess with my head even further or actually be useful and in the end, I won the debate. The clinic started at noon and at 11:45, I decided that it probably couldn't hurt to go back to basics - not to mention the scene of the crime - and try to rebuild some confidence. As a true procrastinator, I was thrilled to find out that it was a great last minute decision.

The "clinic," which was the first of three scheduled and was advertised as being for beginners and intermediates, had a low turnout on its first week. There were three of us: one who had never swung a club in her life, one who had been hitting balls at the driving range with her husband for two years but had never actually been on a golf course, and me.

The Lesson

After asking us about our golfing backgrounds, the pro in charge (Paul, you were great!) started with the grip. But having only an hour to work with, he quickly transitioned to the swing. He had us all swinging 7-irons, and after watching a few swings, he told me it didn't look like I was having the trouble I had described. He said I had a great swing and called some of my shots "money." Like taking your car to the mechanic and it won't make that noise. I told him to keep watching. Sure enough, I proceeded to hit the ground before the ball and shank a few after that. Bless his little heart, he immediately said something like "oh, I see it... I can fix that easily." Since I'm pretty sure my problem was mostly psychological, I think just hearing those words fixed me, but it was good to get some actual advice, and I bet it will actually improve my game beyond where I was before this problem started.

The Real Lesson

So what was the advice? Well, I paid 20 clams for it, but I'll give it to you here for free, in case you have the same issue. Primarily, it was that I wasn't shifting my weight correctly. On my backswing, I was transferring my weight to the front leg and on the follow through I was transferring it to my back leg - like a softball swing. DUH! When I say "duh," it's because I mean I know I'm supposed to transition my weight back and then front along with my swing in golf, I just wasn't doing it. However, along with that, my head was staying on the ball, rather than moving back with my weight and then my head should stay back while my weight transitions forward. He actually stood in front of me and held my head while I took a few swings (which felt really awkward but I got the picture). That part I actually didn't know. Herein lies the golf lesson. I paid the $20 for the confidence, and I got something extra!

His advice could have been "breathe through your eyes" like from Bull Durham and it might have worked to fix my mental problem. I just needed some psychological fix. But once I was feeling it, and it didn't take long, all was well and I was just soaking up the lesson. We even moved on to chipping and putting and he went longer than the hour because "it was better than working inside."

Lost Canyons is holding these clinics the next two weeks from noon to 1:00, and if you're a lady and live anywhere near and want either instruction or confidence, I highly recommend going.

Next post.


mediaguru said...

It's such a great feeling when you get it back...

Greg said...

I fall back on past habits frequently. I've actually used my blog to review past problems and sometimes I find the previously discovered answers there.

The best way for me to be sure I have the proper wieght transfer is to hold the finish. Often if you hold the finish on a poor shot the problem jumps right out at you.

Thanks for sharing,