Here we are in the dead of winter and I am fighting the irresistible urge to tinker with my golf swing. Last weekend, it was 60 degrees and I spent two hours on the range and had a real good opening session. Probably too good, which is why I’m feeling greedy. If you are like me, the reason we do this is because of the safety factor of winter. You can make minor tweaks or wholesale changes during periods of inactivity without suffering the consequences of a slump-inducing fix. I know it’s a bad idea and still do it. Do you as well?
Two years ago, I became infatuated with Adam Scott’s golf swing and tried to impart his down the line setup and move through the ball. I loved the way he kept his spine angle rock solid and the way he torqued against his very stable lower body, and modeled it for myself over the winter. Problem is this 54-year old bag of bones has nothing in common with Adam Scott. The wholesale changes fell apart with the first ball struck in anger.
The modern day swings of players like Scott, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, and Dustin Johnson, are all modeled off Tiger Woods and are not meant to be copied by desk jockeys. Each has clearly spent many hours in the gym, and if you watch the follow through with their driver swings, each gets tremendous body rotation and the shaft points towards the target at finish. Is the human back designed to undergo this much rotational stress over a protracted period? I’m left to think that it’s not and players with a more upright swing like Phil Mickelson are doing their backs a favor. Phil has his own physical issues, but I suspect lower back pain is not one of them. Only one guy on the Senior Tour torques his body even close to these guys and that is Fred Couples. Most others have more of a classic restricted finish and are still playing into their 50s. Of course, Freddy’s back issues are well known and I can’t help but wonder, beautiful tempo aside, if the tremendous rotation he gets is responsible.
So I smartly re-read the Grateful Golfer’s post on The Best Golf Swings Ever, where he reminded us that despite the number of writings and videos available on the swings of the greatest professionals of all time, the swing we should be working on is our own. This is great advice and would add that you copy the visualization, pre-shot routines, and mental preparation of the top pros, but when it comes to swing mechanics, focus on improving your own technique.
So it’s off to go pump some 12 oz curls old style. See you in the gym.