Why do we waggle the club? Be the club head!

by Jordan on June 26, 2011

Photo courtesy Golf Digest

 

A quick disclaimer before we begin.  This post and some of the coaching advice I offer is spiritual.  If you’re not a spiritual person and don’t have an open mind, my talks about the golf swing aren’t for you.  Instead focus on my course management and short game posts.  If by chance you are slightly spiritual or open minded, then this is for you!

With that being said if you have any questions about anything I post, leave a comment or reach me at any of the social network sites I am on or by the contact details I provide at the end of this post.  No charge to you and am I fully accessible to anyone contacting me.

Let’s begin!

Although a bit dramatic, in a previous post I said this about awareness:

“I use example of someone walking on a dead flat sidewalk when explaining awareness.  Let’s say you were to wake up after blacking out, falling and breaking your ankle. It sure would be scary not knowing what caused your broken ankle wouldn’t it?  One of the main concepts of my teaching style and Peerless Golf is that I want you to avoid the blacking out during your golf swing.”

I truly believe that to become a better player and without having to rely on an instructor and continuous lessons, you need to coach yourself on the golf course.  If things start going bad on the course and you don’t know why, you can’t turn to your instructor because he’s not there and chances are he hasn’t helped you figure out what causes your good and bad shots.  The only person you have to rely on in this game is yourself.  It’s what golf is all about!

Being able to determine what causes your good or bad shots is to have awareness during your swing.  These are the 4 key things you need to be aware of:

– the ball

– the club head

– your target

– the environment

Today is all about awareness of where the club head is during your swing.  The golf swing is fast and is somewhere around 2 seconds in duration.  That’s not a lot of time and chances are most of you have no idea what goes during that 2 seconds.  Out of my 4 key things you need to be aware of during your swing, the club head is the most important one.

In a way having awareness of the club head throughout your swing is to feel where it is.  I hate to use a different color but it’s only because when I talk about awareness I mean feel.  I flip flop between using both words in this post but they mean the same thing.  Feel is such a key component in so many aspects of this game and I talk a lot about feel.  If you’re struggling with inconsistent shots, chances are you are not aware of feeling where the club head is at all times.  These are the blind spots during your swing because you have no idea where the club is.

So, how can you be aware of where the club head is during your swing helping eliminate the blind spots?  I’ve got an easy drill for you that you can with out a ball anywhere.  I have enough room in my living room and do this inside.  I do make sure not to take a divot out of my landlords hardwood!  All you need is some space, a club and a clear open mind!

Loosen up before you try this drill and once you’ve become loose you can now begin.  The first part of this tip is to simply start waggling the golf club around.  While waggling the club around focus on being aware and feeling where the club head is.  Not the grip or shaft but where the club head is.  This is where I go a tad spiritual!  I want you to become one with the club head.  What does mean?  Much like Caddyshack in where Ty Webb wants Danny Noonen to “be the ball”, I want you to be the clubhead.

Ty Webb – Be The Ball Caddyshack by Peerless Golf Experience

You might even waggle the club already but I don’t think you’re waggling it for the reasons I want you to.  Many great golfers waggle before they take their swing and in doing so, they are becoming aware of the weight of the club head itself.  Sam Snead and Bobby Jones were the best at waggling the club head and current PGA Player Jason Dufner is also very good.  Doing this takes all the feel and weight out of the grip and shaft and places it into the club head.  See the video below of Hogan’s waggle below.

Waggling helps you to focus on where the club head is at all times and will eliminate the blind spots in your swing where you don’t know what goes in.  Your wrists will have to break for you to be able to waggle the club so be sure they’re not firm.

Before you begin this tip, I need you to draw full attention to what you are about to do.  Don’t think about dinner or work or anything else. To do so take some deep breaths and focus on your stomach as it contracts and then exhale real slow. Do this breathing technique for a couple of minutes.  What this does is draws your mind’s attention to this simple tip and cuts out all the thinking and swing tips you might have.  If you’ve been to a yoga class, they get you to do this before the class so that your mind doesn’t wander during the class.

Now start taking practice chipping swings with your eyes closed.  While taking swings with your eyes closed be aware of where that club head is at all times during the swing.  It may take some time to get the feeling but once you become confident you are aware of where the club head is at all times, move onto making half swings at a slower speed to get a feel for where that club head is.   From there graduate to full swings.  Just remember to keep those eyes shut!

Along with the breathing technique I asked you to start with, closing your eyes is another way for you to cut all distractions out.   It makes it so much easier for you to feel where the club head if you’re not thinking about things that don’t tie to this tip you’re working on.  This feeling I am ingraining in you with this drill is much easier with a clear mind and a clear mind can be achieved by closing the eyes.

Another thing closing your eyes does is it allows for visualization.  Visualization is important for many things in golf and I will be making sure you get your visualization on! A great way to become more visual is to take a snap shot of your best golf shots  You know the ones where your playing partners tell you to take a mental picture.  Be like a computer and save those images so your mind has positive visualization to draw upon!

Within this tip though I want you to visualize hitting a golf shot after you make each swing.  Be specific when visualizing your ideal ball flight.  For example, put yourself on a golf hole you know well and go into detail!  What’s the weather like?  Where is your shadow if it’s sunny out?   Now onto the ball flight itself.  How high did it fly?  Did it draw or fade?  What did it do once it hit the ground?  Visualization is all in the details!

Once comfortable that your aware of the club head is at all time during your swing, open your eyes and take more practice swings. Still focus on being aware of where that club head is and visualize your ideal ball flight.

I suggest warming up on the range with this drill before a round or practice.  It will help improve your ability to hit more consistent shots and will take a lot of the guessing game out of your swing.

If there is anything you need clarification on, please drop me a line by email or post a comment below. I want to make myself fully accessible because I want to help you improve with my coaching methods.

Until next time, be the club head!

Jordan

Jordan J. Caron is a former Canadian PGA Class A member who still wants to help golfers shoot better scores. He is also the President of Meaningful Marketing. In his downtime he likes to read, play squash and drink wine.

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