By: Darren deMaille, PGA
Most people and I say “most” people who come to take a golf lesson want to lower their handicap. When I ask the question what they think the problem(s) are from preventing them from shooting lower scores, the answers vary from three-putting, to slicing the golf ball, or even chipping yips. While many times this is probably true, students are never recognizing the other aspects of why a golf ball may end off target besides execution.
Such areas would be lack of preparation, bad strategy, poor mindset…and finally, luck plays a role. I first came across these concepts from Dr. Brett McCabe, who is a sports physiologist and works with some of the world’s best athletes. The human brain can get the body to accomplish amazing things if we use our brains properly and tell the body what to do. The key in golf is realizing what to tell the body to do.
When it comes to scoring, there is a direct correlation with driving distance and score. The farther we can hit it, the closer to the green we are and our percentages of hitting the green go up. This is where the brain needs to focus and accomplish specific tasks.
As I have developed more speed in my swing (ask about my speed programs) I find myself hitting a lot more wedges than I typically would, and I ran into a problem. My wedges are gapped in lofts with 5-degree increments, which leads to differences between clubs of about 12 yards or so (this means the difference between my PW and GW and SW is 5 degrees whereas the norm is 4 degrees). This would mean I have to hit more partial shots than stock (or full) shots from closer distances.
I have found with my research, partial shots are more difficult to hit for the average player, as they have to vary the length of the swing and speed of the swing. This requires more practice, timing and guess work. As I work with the average golfer on a daily basis I have methodized three lengths of swing for these partial swings.
First is the ground swing where the golf shaft does not get above the waist and points to the ground or 7:30 on the clock face.
The second length is waist high or 9:00, the easiest position to relate to.
Finally, the third length would be the sky swing or midnight on the clock, where the golf club points up to the sky.
These positions are one part of the method as the loft of the club is the second part.
My thought is that to score and get the ball closer from a shorter yardage, we need to have smaller gaps between golf clubs especially wedges, where I have been going wrong. Instead of 5-degree increments we might look at 3-degrees. This would allow us to be more precise from yardages 100 yards and in eliminating the partial shot. The partial shot, most of the time has inconsistencies in length of swing on either backswing and follow through. 3-degree gaps in club would allow players to make a full swing and more precise carry distances.
The theory of this is sound, however, we need to drive the ball farther to hit more shots from these closer yardages. To learn to hit the ball farther and use this concept on wedge play please contact me on our speed training programs which will dramatically increase your speed 15 to 20 MPH in 3 weeks. It is my goal to bring you information pertinent to what is happening in the game of golf, as well as instruction, local happenings and insight into local personalities who make this game so great.
Darren deMaille is the owner/director of instruction of Double D Golf Academies. Currently there are three locations including Harbour View Golf Complex in Little River, Millstone Golf Club in Hemingway and now open at Tupelo Bay, in Garden City. There have been many people who have influenced Darren’s philosophy, however, his basic principles are based around the way Jack Nicklaus swings the club and plays the game. He can be reached at 203.895.1133 or via email at email@example.com.