HOW THE PROS DEVELOP CONSISTENT, REPEATABLE GOLF SWINGS

Special Report #800 with Bob Schaeffer

Trust your swing... be an artist... just let it happen... slow down... don't swing so fast... you're trying too hard.

Is there a golfer on the planet who has not heard these sayings. Professional golfers, teachers and touring players, even accomplished friends seem to have the appropriate phrase to lend as advice to end your frustrations and produce that "viols" experience as to why you haven't been able to produce consistent swings, and therefore consistent scores.

As you may have considered, there's a reason why some golfers are able to perform the same swing, (mechanics, tempo, pace, turning speed etc.) time after time. While the solution is certainly not an overnight fix, it is also not unnecessarily complicated, mystical or magical. It simply involves an intellectual understanding of what needs to be done and then the personal commitment to carry out the instructions and execute them properly in both your practice and your playing.

I've compiled this special report to give you a recipe towards achieving consistency in your golf game.

EVALUATING YOUR ABILITIES

As much as this could hurt, proclaiming the brutal honesty may be necessary. If you have a horrible golf swing, you certainly do not want to learn to be consistently horrible.

My point is simply this, if you aren't currently swinging the club well, spend some time with the Ultimate Power Golf Swing inst4ructional video, specifically with the drills. By swinging a rope, and hitting power chips and pitches, you can develop solid mechanics and begin establishing the feel of a mechanically sound golf swing.

Just as the video instructs, start with proper impact alignments and progressively build from there adding each element until you can strike power chips and pitches with consistency.

You don't have to stop playing. Just don't raise your expectations with regards to scoring until you begin to establish these new mechanics and new feels as part of your golf swing. You will know that the feel is established when you no longer have to think about it, and the results are identical and solid. This means your physiology has formed a pattern and can easily repeat that pattern.

YOU DON'T WANT TO LEARN TO BE CONSISTENT, UNTIL YOU HAVE A GOLF SWING THAT IS WORTHY OF REPEATING.

Developing a mechanically sound golf swing involves a level of commitment to practice the necessary skills. Developing consistency with those skills involves a commitment to a style of practice and playing that incorporates a synergy between our physical and mental attention to the game of golf.

Unfortunately we are not machines. As humans we not only have individual physical attributes such as size, speed, flexibility, etc., but we are also influenced by personal and business stresses, the environment, how much rest we've had and of course our own temper. These factors that I describe are what make golf so challenging. I believe that the larger the challenge, the larger the reward.

The recent rise in the popularity of golf can be directly attributed to numerous challenges facing any player holding a golf club. They have to play against the course as it was designed. They have to play in harmony with the weather. They have to play to the best of their ability and learn to accept what they've done and concentrate on the present shot. And of course, we usually play in some manner of personal competition with our golfing friends. What other game offers so many direct challenges.

It shouldn't be any wonder golf is so addicting. In my opinion...

GOLF IS THE GREATEST GAME ON EARTH.

To accept and play against all these challenges that golf throws at you, the last think you want to be fighting with is the trust in your golf swing. You absolutely need a consistent and repeatable golf swing, so that you can focus on course management and shot decisions when you are playing a round of golf.

There are four ingredients to developing consistency in your golf swing. They are as follows:

  • Developing a Plan
  • Utilizing a Pre-Shot Routine
  • Practicing with Purpose
  • Eliminating Worries and Stress

These are the steps that will allow you to not only develop consistency in your shots, but I firmly believe they will help you improve your game tremendously.

1). DEVELOPING A PLAN

This is probably the simplest solution towards making a round of golf worth more than the resulting score on your card. So many golfers rush to the course, in up to the first tee box, pull out their driver and attempt to strike the longest and straightest drive of their golfing experience, and then become frustrated because it sliced off or rolled out 35 yards in front of the ladies tee box (they hope).

The audio cassette tape you received with your Ultimate Power Golf Swing video covers the concept of developing a plan and analyzing your day in detail. I strongly suggest that you listen to Side A of this audiocassette on your next five trips to the golf course. It will assist you in developing a detailed plan for your golfing round.

A plan for the round of golf is more than saying, "I want to shoot my best score." A plan involves developing a strategy. Determine in advance things like:

Should you use a driver on all the four pars or on the narrow fairways?

(Sometimes hitting a 3 iron in the middle of the fairway can set you for success, where a miss hit driver could assure you a bogey or worse, due to out of bounds, lost ball or hazards.)

Are there holes that you have difficulty with consistently? Should you play to achieve bogey for that hole, so that you don't feel pressured to hit a shot that is beyond your ability?

Are you there to enjoy your day of golf? Relax in between shots by enjoying the day, the weather, the landscape and design of a beautiful golf course. Talk with your partners between shots.

Do you have a plan to deal with the bad shots that you know are going to happen? Occasionally everybody hits a bad shot. You're human and this will happen. Do you have a mental game plan to accept this situation and continue to play a great round despite some lapse of concentration?

Are your working on a certain part of your game? Is this round that you're playing meant to be a practice round for working on that area of your game? If so, don't concern yourself with the score of that round, but focus on the portion that you're trying to improve.

Are you keeping any type of record on the scorecard of how many putts you incurred? How many approach shots were on the green? How close to the pin were they? How many fairways did you hit off the tee box? How well did you play your middle irons? Did you have to hit any specialty shots? Why?

As you leave the course, recollect the most positive points of the day. What worked best for you today? Also, evaluate what needs the most work. Plan your practice sessions based upon your evaluations.

These are just some of the considerations behind developing a plan for becoming a better golfer. Listen to the audiocassette and prepare for your day, then evaluate your performance to develop a game plan for success just as if you were coaching someone else.

Think about it, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player that ever played the game. Michael has a coach. Phil Jackson, coach of the Chicago Bulls, developed Michael Jordan's strategy for playing and practicing. If Jordan needs a coach for his basketball game to help him reach his best, then it's not unreasonable for you to need a coach for your golf game. The difference is, you have to be your own coach. Analyze yourself by numbers and performance, rather than how you feel, and you will be capable of recognizing the areas of your game that need the most improvement.

2). UTILIZING A PRE-SHOT ROUTINE

This is huge. I cannot stress enough how valuable this tip is toward the development of a consistent golf swing. Some people have recognized its value and incorporated a pre-shot routine into their golf game when they're practicing. Well, here's a bit of wisdom from law enforcement trainers that I believe applies to golf as well...

"IN THE BEST OF BATTLE, YOU WILL NOT RISE TO THE OCCASION. YOU WILL SHRINK TO THE LEVEL OF YOUR TRAINING."

I am unaware of the author of these words, but I believe in them wholeheartedly. You must practice the way you intent to play.

So often, I see handicap golfers on the range smacking away at ball after ball after ball. It's obvious that they have no practice strategy (as we'll discuss shortly), nor do they ever consider going through their complete or even partial pre-shot routine.

I have a fairly long pre-shot routine that goes all the way back to pulling my yardage book out of my back pocket and throwing grass into the air to check wind directions. When I practice, I make a point of going through my entire pre-shot routine on every fifth ball. I go through an abbreviated pre-shot routine on each and every other ball I strike. I will not strike a ball without my pre-shot routine unless I am demonstrating a bad or faulty technique that I would never want to duplicate in my own swing.

In consideration of this, I would advise you to develop a pre-shot routine and use it both when you play and practice. When you practice, use the whole pre-shot routine on every third ball. Then for the two other balls in between, back away and go through at least half of your pre-shot routine for those.

Your pre-shot routine should be unique to you. Just make sure that you go through the same motions every time. You might start by wiping off your club, looking at your target from behind the ball, and going through a practice swing to establish and remind you of your hip turn. Take a deep breath in through you nose and out through your mouth and line up your ball...whatever you decide, again, it's unique to you and you alone.

NEVER stand over the ball for extended periods of time while you run through a 40 step checklist of points you need to recall to begin your golf swing. This is a sure formula for disaster.

On the practice range, think about what you want to change from one shot to the next before you begin your pre-shot routine and then continue so that the change can become a part of your neurological pathways, or muscle memory as many like to refer to it.

When you play a round, you need to trust in your practice and depend upon your pre-shot routine to bring out your personal artistry in swinging the club. Do NOT think about mechanics when you play a round golf. Just let it happen. You'll hear me say in all three of the instructional tapes I have produced together with OHP Training...

BE A SCIENTISE ON THE RANGE

BE AN ARTIST ON THE GOLF COURSE

This process of developing, practicing, and playing with an established pre-shot routine will begin to create what's termed as an anchor. Athletes use them all the time, often without consciously realizing it. Establishing this anchor will put you in a synergistic state between your mental concentration of physical execution of your golf swing. While it seems an obvious necessity to me, I am always surprised to how many handicap golfers are either unaware or don't take the time to incorporate a solid pre-shot routine. Incorporating a pre-shot routine into your practice session is vital.

3). PRACTICING WITH PURPOSE

As I said previously, so often I see handicap golfers on the range smacking away at a bucket of balls without any purpose. Besides being a waste of money, this method of practicing is, in my opinion, counterproductive. You don't gain much in the way of mechanics, you rarely concern yourself with lining up the direction of a shot, and you walk away after 50 or 75 erratic shots with less confidence in your consistency than ever.

Think of this. If you were paying someone $1,000 a day to coach you in golf, and you show up for practice and they directed you to take these 75 balls and go smack them erratically about the range, you would fire that coach on the spot! That coach would be worthless to you. Get my point?

Your practice sessions have to have a purpose. You, as your coach, have to evaluate your latest few rounds, or at least decide what to work on prior to heading to the practice range or putting greens. As you own coach, you owe yourself this responsibility.

I have two separate practice philosophies. I'll explain them both to you.

First, I believe it's important to remain positive about my abilities in playing golf. Therefore, I do not go into each and every practice round trying to fix the worst part of my game. I am not attempting to hide my head in the sand and pretend that I don't need to work on the weakest part of my game. I just feel strongly about remaining confident in my game as a whole.

Therefore, philosophy number one involves practicing in a manner consistent with how I would play a round. Here's a typical scenario...

  • I pick out a location in the distance and think of it as though it were the middle of a narrow fairway. I then choose a club, either a 1 iron, 3 wood or driver, which I feel will put me in the most advantageous position. I go through my pre-shot routine and strike the ball. When I finish the swing, I may be looking for the ball but I'm evaluating my feel of the golf swing, then I examine my finish position and consider the trajectory of the ball as well as distance and accuracy. Then I put the club away. I would rarely hit that same club twice in a row, so it goes back in the bag.

  • I pick a distance as though it were a long approach shot. Perhaps a distance of 185 to 220 yards. This time I pick out a specific spot, as though it were a pin placement on a green. I then choose whichever middle iron I feel is necessary and repeat the process beginning with the pre-shot routine again. After the shot, and my evaluation as described previously, I put the club back in my bag.

  • This time I select a target within wedge distance. If you've seen my video Hot Tough Too, you know that I carry four different wedges, each for a specific purpose. I go through the same scenario with my wedge. The only change with the wedge is that I usually hit three balls with my selected wedge. I do this because my wedges are obviously a large part of my short game, which is the area, aside from putting, that wins me golf tournaments. style='mso-spacerun:yes'> So I really like to develop a feel with each wedge or short club (8 iron through lob-wedge).

    I do go through at least my abbreviated pre-shot routine with each of the three wedge shots. Sometimes, I'll even hit a fourth. Again, getting in close with a wedge sets you up for a one-putt which equals birdies, wins, and therefore $$$$.

  • Start over again with the same routine. I do mix it up occasionally and hit two long irons. style='mso-spacerun:yes'> For example, to emulate playing a tremendously long par 5, I may hit a driver, 3 iron and 6 iron combination.

The important part of this style of practice is to gain the confidence of playing your game with the incorporation of your pre-shot routine, and taking the time to analyze your feel and mechanics of your swing. Don't work up to the heart rate of a jogger. Take your time, think about each shot and the mechanics that you are working to improve, and evaluate yourself upon completion. Gain some feedback about your swing. It's time to be a scientist.

My second philosophy of practicing is to work on the weakest link of my game at the given time. style='mso-spacerun:yes'> When I plan for this practice session at the range, I will rarely bring more than three clubs with me. This session involves working on a very specific and defined area of my swing mechanics or feels. Still though, I go through my pre-shot routine during the practice session. This is absolutely necessary if you want to bring your improved golf swing back with you to the course.

I use both of these practice methods equally or 50-50 in regards to frequency.

PUTTING. When you really add up how many putts you roll each round, you realize that for professionals putting is at least 43% of the game. For handicap golfers it is even a higher percentage. I believe you should not practice more than three times on the range without spending a solid session on the practice green perfecting your putting.

If you're struggling with your putting, or would simply like to have a putting stroke that incorporates the same geometric and physics based principals as the Ultimate Power Golf Swing, I encourage you to purchase my video titled Hot Touch. It will instruct you in a highly reliable method of consistent putting. (Shameless plug for another sale, but well worthy of the investment...another plug!)

If you ever find yourself on the range going through some mental collapse or fatigue, and you lose the feel of your golf swing, go back to hitting power chips and power pitches to regain the feel of proper impact alignments, remaining on plane and the incorporation of the pivot. A little time here will bring you right back into shape.

Lastly, do not go to the practice range just to smack balls. Always, always, always strike golf balls on the practice range with a purpose.

4). ELIMINATING WORRIES AND STRESS

While this sounds practical and simple, it's a huge golf game-buster.

It starts with a commitment to a purpose. You shouldn't go to the golf course with the idea of solving any personal or business related matters or problems. The golf course should be your time, your escape, your sanctuary where you take the opportunity to do and become better at a game that you've decided to play.

This one commitment to yourself will save you from thinking the wrong thoughts on the course. style='mso-spacerun:yes'> Let these outside stresses and worries go. They will either be there when you get back, or someone else will have resolved them in your absence.

Be selfish when you play golf, concentrate on the shot at hand. Really focus on hitting the shot you're about to hit to the best of your ability. You cannot change any shot you've hit up to that point, nor do you know where you're going to be on the next hole. Forget about everything else, and determine your game plan for the hole, or more specifically, the shot you are playing right now. It's the most important shot because it's the shot you have the most control over and effect on. PLAY THIS SHOT!!!

To achieve success at golf, you have to live in the present. You can't be thinking of the past, and the future is uncertain until you hit the next shot. Stay in the here and now.

I encourage you to practice the drills as presented in the Ultimate Power Golf Swing. Many of these you can practice at home in the yard or garage. Strange as it may seem, practicing in these locations are beneficial because you are unable to hit balls. Some of the fundamental mechanics of the Ultimate Power Golf Swing can be learned best with a towel, rope, a swinger's flail, or simply by turning your pivot with no arms to gain a sense of what the speed of your golf swing should be.

Consistency helps you to develop trust in your golf swing. Utilize these tips and I assure you that you will progressively find yourself attacking the golf course with tremendous confidence, power and precision.

ENJOY YOUR PRACTICE AND YOUR NEXT ROUND GOLF.


"I've made it my mission in life to provide golfers -- especially high handicappers -- the BEST information they can get to quickly start hitting with more power, authority and confidence for gorgeous long drives!"
-Doc O'Leary    
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