How to Make Sure Your Swing is Repeatable
Professional golfer Tom Lehman, a Minnesotan long known for his ball striking, was once asked about the golf swing and he told a crowd of spectators that you can swing the club any way you want, as long as it’s something repeatable. He was talking about the importance of a consistent golf swing as a key to success on the course. We would all like a consistent swing like Lehman, but creating one can be pretty complex.
Speaking with a couple local teaching pros, they both agree that there is enough to talk about in creating a consistent golf swing to
fill an encyclopedia. But they did offer some solid thoughts on how to make sure your swing is repeatable.
It’s All About That Base
John Kendall, manager and pro at Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort, says that a consistent swing starts with a solid base in your set up.
“The first thing I always look at in a student is their base,” he said. “From the waist down, what’s happening there? Just like any other structure, your foundation is the most important thing, and if that is not sturdy or consistent from swing to swing, there’s no way you are going to be able to return the club back to the ball in a repeatable fashion.”
Kendall says that most of the people he teaches tend to have too narrow of a stance and it can impact their balance and swing.
“The width of your stance really determines how much area you have to move during the swing,” Kendall said. “Being too narrow really limits that, and that’s when people start getting to the outside parts of their feet and off-balance during the swing. There’s no way to swing consistently if you are off-balance.”
Looking For Perfect Timing
Chris Foley, of Chris Foley Golf schools, is the director of instructor at Cragun’s Legacy Course in Brainerd, and he approaches the idea of creating a consistent swing from a slightly different angle:
“People’s swings tend to be very consistent, but it’s that their ball flight is inconsistent,” Foley said. “Their inconsistent ball flight is based on the inefficiency and timing of their swing. If your swing isn’t very efficient, you are relying more on timing, and you are going to have a lot more inconsistencies in your game.”
Keys to Consistency
Foley says the biggest source of consistent ball flight comes from swinging on plane – where the shaft works back and through at a similar angle to what it is at address.
“When we swing both back and through at the same angle, the less manipulations we have to make, and the less reliance we have on timing,” he said.
Kendall urges golfers to watch the footwork of the best golfers in the world to study their balance.
“The best ball strikers in the world all have footwork that is very quiet and very similar,” Kendall says. “They are all very solid on their feet at the top of their swing. They’re flat on their back foot. At the end of their swing, they’re flat on their front foot.”
Foley, on the other hand, urges golfers to watch their own swings.
“The biggest thing for a person, whether it’s making practice swings in the mirror or videotaping themselves, is to watch their swing, so they associate the feel with what they see,” Foley says. “When you can do that, it’s much easier to make positive changes.”
Both pros agreed that physical fitness is a huge component of creating a more consistent swing. Fitness can help with balance, flexibility, and stamina to maintain your swing throughout a round.
“If you lack in any of those areas, you are going to make compensations,” Foley says. “If your legs get tired, or you get physically tired, that’s going to show up in your golf swing to where your consistency will be lacking.”
Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of Minnesota golf courses and resorts as international travel destinations. Our member facilities feature award-winning, championship golf courses and are geographically disbursed across the great state of Minnesota. The combination of exceptional quality and outstanding value make Minnesota one of the best golf destinations in the United States.