When I was searching for answers on the internet as to what my swing is supposed to feel like, I came across a drill by my favorite YouTube golf instructor. The drill was to simply throw the club. Practically, swinging the club, but instead of hanging onto it after the ball was hit, letting it go.
I believe that this is the best drill to learn what a proper swing is like. And of course to cure the “over the top” swing. The over the top fault is basically a swing at the ball, which results in a slice, mostly, and the chicken wings in the arms. It’s the kind of swing that most new golfer have. Why? Because they are taught to hit the ball.
The club throwing exercise should cure the “over the top” golf swing.
Why will it cure it? Well, simply because the goal here is to swing in the direction of the target, not in the direction of the ball. The same as with tennis or baseball. We don’t just hit the ball with the racquet, we position ourselves and swing the racquet so that when it hits the ball, it will propel it into the corner of the opponent.
My first attempt at swinging the club was unsuccessful, to say the least, and very scary. I tried that on the 7th hole on my golf course. I looked around to make sure there was no one around me. I took a stance and swung as hard as I could. Very bad idea!
The 7th hole is along a busy road with trees separating the golf course from the road. I swung the club, but it didn’t go in the direction of the hole. No. I released it somewhere over my shoulders, it went high up and to the left. My heart stopped. I was watching it like in slow motion as it gathered height, and went towards the fence and the trees. Fortunately it caught one of the last twigs and it fell on this side of the fence. Didn’t go over the trees and into the traffic.
I realised that I need more room to perform this drill. What I also realised that my swing was completely wrong, and I released the club at the wrong time. And here is the best part. It just showed me what I was doing wrong when I was swinging the club. I had NO target. My brain didn’t know where the club was supposed to go, so it released it from the grip of my hands at the last moment. That’s why the club went nowhere. When I set myself a target; a patch of dry grass about 20m away from me, it went in that direction. And when the club left my hands, I was standing in the most amazing golf swing position. Just like the pros do it.
After a couple of hours of this I was able to swing the club and hit a target 20-30m away from me and it would land within a meter of the target. Pretty accurate. What I also saw was that I had the perfect golf swing. Perfect back swing, perfect release, and no sign of the over-the-top issue. I swung in the direction of the target and not in the direction of the ball.
I still do this drill at least once a week in a park. Getting rid of the old habits is very hard. But I’m slowly getting it. I’m making a conscious effort to see the target as I swing the club. Sometimes I revert back to the ball, but I keep at it. Making progress.