5 Biggest Misconceptions in Golf

You hit it better when you swing slower No you don’t. Never say slow. Instead think smooth. You hit it better when your tempo is nice and smooth. You still want speed. Even on a chip shot. Speed is the great equalizer. The key is to swing as fast as you can while still being able to maintain your balance and move your body efficiently. Once you start to fall over after impact is when we need to dial it back a hair. Tempo is speed and rhythm. The smoother you are the easier it is to deliver the proper sequence and the better your timing will be.

Pro’s note: Never try to swing “hard.” Instead, think “fast.” When you try to swing hard you lose your form and instead of a swing you make a hit. We’re swinging through the ball, not chopping down a tree.

You need to swing more inside-out This is the ideal swing-plane, yes. It is what instructors work on with their amateur students the most. The majority of amateurs and high handicappers alike come over the top on the downswing with an outside-in delivery. This cuts across the ball and creates the dreaded left to right spin (for a right-handed player) that equates to a slice. But you could actually be coming too far from the inside (under the plane) if you’re hitting a low toe-hook. This happens when you stop turning your hips on the downswing, which is a move a lot of amateurs struggle with. Your hips stop and the club gets stuck inside and under you, thus your hands speed up to save the shot and create like a “slapping” motion and strike the ball near the toe. To combat this issue I will actually have the player swing a little outside-in (above the plane) to feel the difference. When this occurs they square the club-face earlier in the downswing and their contact quality improves drastically. Coming from the inside will only work if you keep your hips and core turning through impact.

You pick your head up Keep your head down is the worst advice in golf. You stiffen up, bury your chin in your sternum, and end up making an arms only swing with restricted body rotation. David Duval and Annika Sorenstam were looking at their target at impact. What your 28-handicap buddy is trying to say is “stay down on the ball.” Maintain your spine angle and a little knee flex down and through impact. If you hit the ball with straight legs that means your entire body has moved “up” and off the ball. Stay down and the ball will go up.

You need a lob wedge I have a 58° wedge that I use maybe 2 to 3 times a round. I use it in a greenside bunker with a high lip or when I have to hit a flop to a tight pin and don’t any roll out. This club is made to hit it high and land it soft. I see far too many players chipping around the greens with these high lofted wedges when a bump and run with a PW or even a 9 iron is the better decision. Unless you have a bunker, a creek, or a tree between you and the hole…why the height? Hell, if it’s just a few feet of fringe or fairway between your ball and the hole…putt it! A wedge with that much loft has little room for error and requires a lot of speed and acceleration to hit it a short distance, a concept that most amateurs struggle with. Take a short game lesson and learn how to play different shots with your 54° or 56°.

You can’t go out on the course until you’re good No offense but with this thought process you may never see a golf course. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. You will learn a lot about the swing on the practice tee, but you will learn everything about the game on the course. The fact is you shouldn’t go on the course until you have the course routines and etiquette down. When is it your turn, how to mark the ball, where does the flag go when we’re on the green, and where do you stand when your partner is hitting, to name a few important ones. And just like swing fundamentals, this is all learned from repetition.

Enjoy the game and each other,

Seth Zipay – Head Golf Professional

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