Real vs. Feel – Why getting better can be difficult
One of the hardest parts about learning the game of golf is that information has always been relayed based upon personal experience of either a professional player or coach. In this latest series of articles, we will begin discussing different ways that modern golf instruction has been able to utilize technology to determine the difference between what is real and what it feels like.
Real vs. Feel #1 – Pressure
The first idea that can be the most eye opening with students when they come to see me is the idea of pressure (some might call it weight shift/balance). The idea of weight shift is a very interesting idea because if you noticed in the series of articles I wrote, The Real Fundamentals, one of the first things a golfer must be able to control is the low point of the golf swing. One of the key components to be able to do this is understanding how your feet pressure the ground during key elements of the golf swing. It also used to be one of the most difficult ideas to communicate and see visually as a coach. In the past few years though, the introduction of technology into golf coaching has made one of the toughest feels to see, one of the easiest and most impactful changes a student to make with some help.
In this example, we will show you a student who was struggling with contact on his chipping. The student is a single digit handicap and plays collegiately. When he missed chips, he tended to hit the on the heavy side and if he was in thick rough, he would catch a lot of grass between the club face and the ball.
The first picture represents the initial impact position in the swing and it shows that at impact, the player had 52 percent of his pressure on the lead foot. This player when asked about what he was trying to achieve throughout the stroke. His feel was that he wanted majority of his weight on his lead foot at address and impact which he felt he was doing. When we measured and got the real data of what was happening, we could see that he was lacking to acheieve his feeling.
After a few practice shots working to feel the pressure on the lead foot, we then got another capture and produced this:
This picture is just post impact where we now have 91 percent on the lead foot. What occurred here was much crisper contact and closer proximity to the hole including 2 chip ins out of 6 shots. The player was able to now understand what they were trying to “feel” and combine it with what he really “wanted” to achieve in his swing. All done through the power of measurement and using technology to make the learning curve faster and less painful.