A 3-step guide to self-diagnosis

Kris Brown, Director of Instruction, Trump National Golf Club

Why do golfers have a hard time progressing their golf skills? Is the game of golf just too hard?

Most golfers become more confused as their practice sessions hit a disappointing finish, they leave with more questions than answers. The determining factor of progression must start with self-diagnosis. Frustration will set in when you don’t know how to correct a fault that grins back at you day after day.

We’ve all heard the cliché “Teach a person to fish and they can eat for a lifetime.” But what if you never learn how to fish? Golfers are too dependent others, but it might not be your fault. The best and most respected instructors teach golfers how to play the game of golf. If you’re only being taught how to perfect the golf swing then I probably don’t have to tell you how unbelievably frustrating the game of golf can be.

Indulge me for a second. Instead of lowering your head the next time you hit a golf shot and mumbling a couple words you wouldn’t say at your child’s P.T.A. meeting, follow the sequence of these three simple steps.

Step 1: Ball Flight

Pick a target on the range and use an alignment aid, triple check that your alignment is spot on. The goal is to understand two important factors – where did the ball start and where did it go from there. Most golfers look at a ball that travels straight, left to right, or right to left but they never notice where the ball started in relation to where they were aimed.

Step 2: Contact

This is exactly what it sounds like. What part of the clubface did that stupid little ball hit? There are five factors to consider: did the ball hit low or high on the clubface, or did it hit the sweet spot, toe or the heel. Contact is a determining factor on trajectory, spin rate and overall distance of the shot.

Step 3: Feel

This is the big one! This does not mean how contact feels, please remember that’s step 2. It’s vital that to make any type of correction to your golfing motion you must physically feel they way your body moves. Ironically most if not all golfers can do this when they find that magic zone of great golf swings. They start to feel something positive and then they ride it like a stallion into the sunset.

So, the key to delivering the knockout blow to frustration is a stress-free sequence of one, two, three!

Kris Brown is the director of instruction at Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles. He can be reached at [email protected].

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