A Key to Controlling the Golf Gods

By: Jeff Gustafson

"For the life of me what is going on? I haven't gotten that ball more than 8 feet of the ground the entire hole. This is absolutely ridiculous. I was playing so well..."

Do you get frustrated at times when out of the blue your golf swing just abandons you for no reason? When the golf gods are trying to humble you?

Think a bit about the following. It just may help you to make that quick adjustment to get back on track.

Although the golf swing can be broken down to some basics, I want you to focus on the result at impact so we can work back from there.

What direction is your divot pointing? (Or not pointing, if you know what I mean.)

A lot can be told to you by the direction of your divot. If the divot is pointing out you may be swinging too much inside out. Too much pointing in would indicate too much outside in swing plane and so on.

From that point, what could be causing that swing plane to be off?

Is your body turning through the ball? Is your body swaying - not staying between the balls of your feet? Do you have sound footing or are your feet slipping out from under the shot? Is your shoulder dipping? Is your head getting ahead of the ball? Are you only using your arms? Are you turning your shoulders? Do your arms break down on the back swing? What about your tempo?

Once you know the divot direction you can then start to isolate what is going on.

Now I am not saying you have to think of all of the above at one time - far from it. But the above are some of the obvious things that could be happening and so you can take them one by one and determine if at that moment any of them make sense.

You also know your game and your swing and probably have a good idea of what your body tends to want to do.

Our bodies are creatures of habit and that is why even the Tiger Woods of the world who hit hundreds if not thousands of golf balls virtually every day say that it takes a good 6 months (and in the case of the average golfer much longer) for a swing change to take effect.

So think about what your tendencies are. What does your "golf memory" tends to want your body to do?

A good, qualified golf professional can help you to isolate those tendencies. Then by noting the tendencies and what you need to do to correct them, you can be better prepared when things start going south.

This is why we highly recommend some sort of golf journal for every golfer to maintain during each round. Note what you are feeling, what you are observing, your conditions, your lie and most importantly the direction of your divot.

By doing that, after the round you have something to review on your own or, more importantly, to show your golf professional who can isolate the problem based on specifics and keep you in control of the golf gods.

...just trying to make the game a more enjoyable experience for you.

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