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Stay In Rhythm, Stay In Your Game

Nick Hagen Golf Instruction Comments

Watching the Pros

After spending time at a couple professional tournaments recently, there were numerous reminders about the importance of balance in the golf swing.  It was great to see the ball flight of some of the greatest players in the world.  At Erin Hills for the U.S. Open, watching the likes of Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy on the practice range really provided the visuals of grace in the swing.  And then at the John Deere Classic (JDC) in Silvis, IL, there were some wonderful pairings on the course, and close views near the practice area too.  On the range for the JDC, we were able  to see and hear the flush shots of guys like Kevin Streelman.  The practice putting green was right next door too, and it was interesting to watch the routines that the pros use before play.

Kevin Streelman hits his approach shot on the sixth hole during the…

Kevin Streelman hits his approach shot on the sixth hole during the final round of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run on July 16, 2017 in Silvis, Illinois. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images

Up Close

Aside from the sound of solidly struck golf shots, being in the crowd at the pro events provided an excellent opportunity to watch rhythm.  That’s probably the biggest takeaway from these tournaments, the rhythm, the balance.  So in terms of the amateur golf game, that started some thought about what the pros do so well for consistency, and where amateurs struggle.  The balance and rhythm were fresh in mind, so it was simple to then practice with those thoughts for the course.  The pros are very calm and collected during practice, and generally there does not seem to be much for hurried motions.  The swings produce good looking shots that are well struck, and from start to finish there’s a balance of motion.  Playing in our local club rounds, I’m sure we all see unbalanced swings that work sometimes, but often produce poor shots.  The scramble events really hit home for me, as I notice by the end of the round how the swings seem to change.  The fluid swings of the group from the start of the round usually give way to fast and more powerful cuts at the ball.  Let’s take a look at a swing from Adam Scott, below, and study a bit.

The Study

This video is a YouTube clip from a different tournament, but still shows a nice display of the balanced swing.  Now, of course, we’re not going to be able to mimic this exact motion of one of the best swings in the game, but we can still focus on the tempo.  So what are we talking about here.?  We’re talking about keeping ourselves balanced with good rhythm during our golf rounds.  Look at Adam Scott’s full swing there, and how there’s a constant balance throughout.  He knows his swing, and the speed at which he needs to go about it to keep in control.  It’s a great looking swing overall, and it also has that smooth motion with the solid finish.  The key thought to all of this, is that we’ll have better odds of hitting good golf shots if we keep ourselves balanced.  And with good balance obtained, we can work to combine that with good rhythm to find our signature swing.

To the Course

In closing, for placing these thoughts into action, here’s what I have noticed.  Very simply, by staying in good balance and in good rhythm, it’s been easier to find a good swing on the days the swing doesn’t feel right.  Let’s face it, week to week (even on the pro level, as scores vary frequently) the golf swing doesn’t feel the same, so we’re looking for ways to keep the consistency.  The stroke play versus scramble play example is a perfect way to see how a swing can get out of sorts.  It’s fun to go for that extra distance on the drives during a scramble, but easy to fall into that trap of going all out on lots of swings.  Pretty soon after lots of those swings (the abnormal swings where you cannot control the balance), the rhythm is off and shots are all over the yard.  But, to get a swing back if it starts going bad, just think of the pros with the balance and tempo (smooth the swing out).  For practice and regular play rounds, this can be a great swing thought out on the course to play well.  The goal can be for us to stay in our own balanced swing that allows us to play our best golf.


Cover Image via YouTube

About Nick Hagen

Nick played four years of NCAA D-III golf in the No.1 role, and contributes from the low handicap perspective.  With several medalist finishes in college combined with four local tournament wins in Wisconsin, Nick will look to share tips along with experience.

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