Swing set

Golfers need to
experience swing issues

Workshop puts spotlight on new concepts


(April 2010)
Read Previous Golf Columns!
Dale Crafton

Recently, I spent three days in Palm Springs, Calif., at a PGA teaching summit, called Extraordinary Golf. This is a concept being developed by a teaching pro, Fred Shoemaker. His basic premise is that each of us has the innate ability to play the best golf we can play by simply “experiencing” our current swing and working toward “experiencing” the correctness we are looking to accomplish.
Shoemaker would say: “We can’t fix something until we’ve experienced it.”
When I first heard that concept, I immediately responded with, “I don’t want to experience that kind of swing ever again.”
His approach to teaching is that you have to fully engage what it is that you want to change before you can change it. To say it another way, you have to “feel” what is causing the problem before you can seek a long term solution.

Early Release

Photos provided

(Above) This photo is an example
of early release. (Below). This photo
is an example of a leveraged angle.

Leveraged Angle

I’ll give you a personal example that may help understand the concept. I had my swing taped (we can now do that at Cozy Acres) and was then asked what I saw. I shared two things in my swing that were concerns and focused on the issue I thought was the most pronounced. It was apparent to me my “leverage angel” (the release of the hands too early in the swing) was a serious issue. It had caused me a problem of consistently solid contact and lack of distance.
As I began to share that information, I was asked if I had ever experienced an early release. My response was, “Yes, I saw it on tape.” It was explained seeing and experiencing were two entirely two different things. I spent the remainder of the afternoon trying to “experience” or “feel” an early release.
The next morning, I worked on what an “experience” or “feel” would be like not to release early. Here is the process I used to experience the difference.

l. I took my regular swing in slow motion to see if I could determine when the early release began.
2. I started my swing from that point and continued my swing from there to the point of release.
3. I took half swings to “experience” the early release.
4. I began to “experience” what a leverage angle that was maintained felt like.
5. I began to do half swings with a significant maintenance of the leverage angle.
6. Finally, I would compare an early release with a swing that maintained a leverage angle well into the full swing.

I’m still working on it and have begun to teach this concept. As golfers, we are constantly looking for the quick fix, secret swing thought, latest tip that will take us to the next level. I encourage you to look for ways to experience the issue in your swing that you want to change.
To summarize, have your swing taped (Call Cozy to receive a swing analysis) issue in your swing that is a concern for you. Work hard to experience the feel that is causing the problem. Use slow swings and half swing to “get in touch – experience” with the issue you want to work on. Contrast that feel of your current swing with the one that you want to achieve and then compare the experience of each.

• Dale Crafton is the owner and instructor at Cozy Acres Golf Complex, 4040 Old State Rd. 62, Madison, Ind. He recently completed his PGA pro certification. Call him at (812) 273-3137.


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