For the sake of the upcoming blog posts where I am going to give virtual lessons to youtube videos, I will classify the categories of swings…in my own personal lingo.
1. Awesome-this is a swing that is both aesthetically sound and effective in returning the club to the “sweet spot” that I have called the only important position in getting to impact properly on a consistent basis. Adam Scott, even with his struggles. This swing needs to be monitored only for posture and setup issues and an assurance no fundamental changes happen because of setup issues and/or injury.
2. Borderline-this is the category I have found myself in for the last 25 years. There isn’t anything wrong with it to the naked or untrained eye, but there is one small or fundamental flaw in the swing that prevents the player from achieving a higher level of play that is well within reach. Sometimes that flaw is hard to find…in my case impossible as no one figured it out till I did on my own this year.
3. Effective-this is a swing, despite it’s obvious irregularities, works very well in getting the club to the “sweet spot.” Jeev Singh, Fred Couples, Jim Furyk and everyone knows someone who shoots low with a swing that came out of a video on gardening. To teach this group, one must decide what idiosyncrasy allows these players to be so effective and make sure that remains the constant stabilizing force in the swing.
4. Bad-This is where most mid to high handicappers live and there is no disgrace. There are usually several simple changes in setup and fundamental swing issues that can be easy to get this group to “effective” or even “awesome” in some cases. There is no shame in having a bad golf swing.
5. Beginner-this group hasn’t hit enough golf balls to master the coordination of the swing. Simple setup and posture needs to be established for this group and they must get to group #4 before any swing thoughts are introduced.
6. Scratch-This is the only group I make fun of and the first video I am going to critique tomorrow falls into this category. These are the guys with the perfect reverse C finish, they are so proud of how pretty their swings look and everyone on the range and people they play with tell them so…but they never seem to shoot as low as their aesthetic swing would suggest, because it is so infested with setup and swing flaws that they never get their club to square. These are the guys with the 4 minute pre-shot routines… and you always hear, “I didn’t quite prostate my PP#3 and that’s why I hit that drive 80 yards right out of bounds.” There is a “one step at a time” process with this group…and there are usually a lot of steps. The good news is, when this group stops taking themselves so seriously, they have the potential to be great players.
BTW-if you are a member of group 6, don’t take offense, I am just having a little fun with you. I am also trying to make a point that having a pretty swing shouldn’t take precedent over hitting good shots.