Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, and Greg Norman are some of the greatest golfers of all time. Yet all three had very differant approaches how to practice in order to improve their game.
Ben Hogan: “5 Lessons, The Modern Fundamentals of Golf”
In his book, he breaks the swing down into separate parts. He takes an analytical, diagnostic, technical, step by step approach to the golf swing, and how to improve. He emphasizes an intellectual approach to practice.
He illustrates how the body position through each phase controls each next phase, and ultimately, the final outcome of the ball flight.
Greg Norman: Practice at Slower Swing Speeds
Greg stated that he would start practice sessions at a reduced swing speed of 30-35% of his full swing speed and only increased his swing speed as he successfully hit each club consistently, progressing up to about 75-80% of his full swing speed.
Arnold Palmer: “Grip it and Rip It” - Swing Hard - Practice at Playing Speed!
SWINGING EASY IS HARD TO OVERCOME
"Many golfers discover they can hit the ball squarely more frequently if they don't swing hard. So, they lose the will to be aggressive. The problem is that swinging easily becomes a difficult habit to break. As soon as the soft hitters try to add some more power, they begin to miss shots. I think that almost any golfer can learn to hit the ball hard and squarely.“ - Arnold Palmer
What Should We Learn From Them?
Hogan’s lessons don’t apply to every golfer. But, his approach of breaking down each part of the swing and understanding how each part affects the outcome of your entire golf swing is critically important: Posture, Grip, Stance, Backswing, Downswing, Impact, and Follow-through.
Norman’s valuable practice approach of starting very slow and working your way up to about 80% of your swing gives you the chance to assess each phase of your swing. If you’ve ever tried to think about what to do to control or change parts of your swing during your full speed swing, you realize most of the time, you can’t. We are only able to accomplish one or two thoughts. Usually, we only have success with one, and even then, not always. When you cut back on your swing speed during practice sessions, you find that you can actually think about each of the phases of the swing that Ben talked about. Then as Norman suggests, after achieving success at the slower swing speed increase your swing speed and see if you can incorporate the improvements you made at the slower speed.
Palmer’s famous phrase, “Grip it and Rip It”, is critically important to the consistent outcome of the ball strike. During a round of golf, we want to hit the ball with consistent results! We need to be able to rely on both the distance we hit each club and the ball flight characteristics (high, low, fade, straight, draw, etc.,)! We need to be able to swing with the same swing and expect the same outcome. Arnold advises practicing enough so that when you play a round of golf, you can stand over a shot and Hit it Hard and Trust the Results. Swing the same way every time - Aggressive.
The greats figured out what worked for them. If we incorporate what these three Great Golfers taught us, with the tools that we have that they didn’t (better practice aides, swing speed monitors, slow motion video, …) we can rapidly improve and enjoy the Great game of golf even more. Most of us need to rethink our approach to how we play golf. Most of us need to fix the problems we encounter all too often on the golf course.
AT THE PRACTICE RANGE! NOT ON THE COURSE!
Most of us could use a new approach to how we practice.
Better Golf is Achieved through Better Practice!
Take a critical look at your swing! Break it apart into each phase of your swing! Determine what parts of your swing are working best for your capabilities and physical abilities and what aren’t.
Seek Help from a PGA Teaching Professional
They can help you determine the parts of your swing that need to change! Acculine Golf Pucks will make a significant difference.
Acculine Golf Pucks provides the necessary tools to learn better posture and setup positions, more accurate aim and alignment, and correct swing paths. Using this system with video from a smartphone or tablet provides the ability to see and understand what needs to change and improve in our swings - more effectively and easier than Ben, Greg and Arnie ever could have.
You will learn faster, achieve better accuracy, become more consistent, become a better golfer, play at a better pace, and enjoy the great game of golf more.
Practice what works for you!