Making a successful swing change is not straight forward and something that all golfers lose patience with throughout their development. Here’s a few areas to help you make a successful change. Remember a successful change is one that helps you improve your ball flight and allows you to perform when the stakes are raised.
How long should it take?
I think we can all get a little carried away when we rip a few shots like never before at the range only a couple of days after starting the change but is it that easy? To make a successful change it takes time and with a consistent commitment I would estimate it can take 3-6 months to implement the change with some level of comfort….all depending on amount of work put in.
Take Baby steps
In the early stages of the change, we are what is known as conscious incompetence where we know what needs to happen, but are not very good at repeating it or performing it well at all. I believe it is key in the first week or so to spend time rehearsing slowly, with plenty of visual feedback in a mirror. Hitting lots of balls straight away is not the best solution as it becomes difficult to monitor whether or not we are learning correctly. Slow, little and often to begin with.
As your understanding of how the movement feels and looks improves then start to add some balls in there but start off with low speed and low reps. It doesn’t mean you have to go backward to move forward, you just need to move slowly.
Golf development is for sure nonlinear, one week you think you have cracked it with a clear intention and understanding of what’s going on and the next week it’s all deserted you with self-doubt creeping in on what you are meant to be doing. It takes time and there will be bumps in the road. Stick to your blueprint with your coach when the water gets choppy, nothing good comes easy.
Keep your blinkers on
It’s always been so easy to get oside tracked when making a change, with easy access to information online. Don`t make your coaches job more difficult by trying the latest fad circulating the internet, I’d recommend working in a training space with your coach and making notes on your thoughts and feelings during this time period and receiving regular support.
Create some space
Don’t be a scrape and hitter at the range. We have all done it and its pretty therapeutic but it’s turning the brain off and learning can be prevented. Start with a few easy ways to help this take place. Place the basket of balls outside your bay or out of reach of the scrape and hit method. This allows you to create the space between each shot. I would also recommend changing club and target every 5 shots and removing the target altogether in the early stages.