Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hickory Golf and Smooth Tempo Shotmaking

Sorry for the delay.  I competed in my second United States Professional Hickory Golf Championship yesterday... not the best showing for the defending champion   For those who didn't read last year's post about this unique event, all players must compete with hickory shafted clubs, dressed in period clothing. 
( http://eddiepeckelsgolf.blogspot.com/2012/02/chipping-line.html )
Given this was only my third time ever playing hickory, I can't get too down on myself for not playing up to my expectations... instead, I'll try to take away something from yesterday's round and move forward.  Which leads into today's interesting ball striking game...

(No you won't have to use hickory.)

Improve solidness of contact, consistency, feel for the club face, and rhythm

What to do:
Grab your driver and head to the driving range.  Tee up 10 golf balls in a line extending out in front of you.  What you will be doing in this drill is making FULL SWINGS at DIFFERENT SPEEDS.  So basically you'll be hitting each ball different distances, making a full swing.

So now you may ask, "How will I do this if I'm making a full swing on each shot?"  The answer is in changing the speed and fluidity of each of your swings.  The first ball in front of you must be hit the shortest distance, followed by the second ball which is hit a little father, and the third a little father still.  The game ends with the final ball being hit the farthest with what should be your normal swing tempo and maximum club-head speed.

 I think the easiest way to explain this is as follows: hit the first ball making a full swing as slow as you possibly can.  Hit the second ball a little farther by making a full swing slightly faster than the one before, and so on until you've reached the tenth ball which should be struck with your normal full speed and acceleration through impact. 

Its helpful as well to imagine a fairway, giving yourself a challenge by identifying a target to which you must hit your shot.  The main purpose of this drill is to give you better feel for the club-head during your swing, however identifying boundaries will help you build confidence in your ability to hit the fairway.

How I did:
It's hard not to over swing on some of those early shots.  I was able to hit every ball between my boundaries, however my distances didn't perfectly increase with each successive shot.  Ideally, each ball should land incrementally father than the one preceding it, all the way up to the tenth shot.

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