All Those Different Swings
One of the challenges of this game is that we use a wide array of implements to move the golf ball from the first tee to the 18th hole. Compared to golfers, the tennis guys have it easy, as they hit all the shots they know with the same racket. We use a driver of 45" or so, all the way down to our wedges, which are nearly a foot shorter! But we're told very often that it's one swing. How can that be?

This topic is in response to a question from Sundeep, who asked:
"I have noticed on many occasions that the day I am having an exceptional driving day my iron play is pretty poor and vice versa. Average days I don’t notice this as much but if some day my irons are dialed in then it’s a given my driver is not doing much. When I say irons not working I mean the contact is not very crisp, I hit a few fat and some go right. My iron game is my strength by the way."
I'm sure Sundeep's problem is experienced by many of you. While we do have to learn one basic golf swing, that swing has small alterations from club to club. It has to, because if you swung your driver exactly like your wedge, you’d whiff the ball completely, as the wedge is 10” shorter. Conversely, if you swing a wedge like a driver, you’d hit the ground a foot behind the ball.

While the swing basics are the same, the variations from club to club result in that swing producing consistent ball contact ONLY if we are precise in our set-up, posture and ball position. My bet for Sundeep is that this is where the problem lies. Good iron play, which he says is his strength, relies on ball position being somewhat back toward the middle of his stance, and a slightly descending swing path through impact. Applying that to the driver will not produce the results he wants.

Conversely, on the days that he’s driving the ball well, he probably has moved the ball up more in line with the left heel or instep, so that he can swing through the ball on a more level clubhead path. Playing irons from that forward ball position however makes his iron play suffer.

Obviously, I cannot make a full analysis of anyone’s issues from a simple paragraph, but I’m a firm believer that if you are not hitting shots as good as usual on any given day, it’s a darn good bet that ball position and setup are the villains, not some strange swing thing that has cropped up that day. We all have swings that are “reasonably” grooved from practice and playing, but that learned swing can only reproduce desired results time after time if we are meticulous in our setup and ball position.

So, Sundeep, my recommendation is to focus on ball position on each shot to see if that isn’t the root of your problems. I’m betting it is, and all of us would like to see a report after you try this. Right guys?

And Sundeep, you are today’s winner of a new EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge. Congratulations.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.

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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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