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For many golfers this shot represents the toughest of the sloping lies and it is certainly a shot that took me a good few years to get to grips with. I knew the basic swing adjustments listed below but the key understanding for me was that stability is paramount and that I was better off taking more club and staying balanced throughout the swing.
Key Swing Adjustments
Automaticity in our domain is the executing of shots in the absence of swing thoughts. This is the most talked about area of golf psychology and learning.
Championed by Dr Bob Rotella in his best selling books and with it’s roots in ancient arts this area has massive implications for golfers and is the primary focus of my PhD research.
“A single conscious thought will direct the arrow from the course of it’s target”
Zen in the Art of Archery
he golf grip in detail with associate issues of changing to an orthodox grip.
Attentional focus is a huge are of motor learning research and includes a mass of studies in the golf arena. Blog post to follow
MAC is a modern system of training optimal performance states. It has it’s origins in eastern philosophy and contains strong elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is fundamentally different to mainstream sports psychology training.
Hitting your chip shots fat or thin usually comes about because the bottom of your swing arc is in the wrong place (usually too far back), which means the angle of attack is poor. You’ll either hit the ground behind the ball or hit up on the ball causing you to thin the ball across the green. The best way to overcome this scenario is to learn to use the bounce on the club and recognize the right feeling of the club ‘skidding’ through the grass.
Easier to Learn
Prominent research into skill acquisition suggests that learning by analogy frees up the mind from specific extrinsic instructions and allows us to perform without the over thinking associated with technical change. Rather than the learner having to compute the individual elements of a new movement, they can tap into a larger, exhisting motor program and adjust and adapt from that.
Don’t Re-trace Your Backswing!
This is a concept taken from the Everyday Golf Coach Power app which covers the dynamics of the swing in great detail. In the ‘Width in Back Swing’ video we emphasize the importance of not trying to re-trace your back swing in the downward movement. It’s clear from these screenshots how the downward arc is pulled to the left and closer to David’s body.
Taken from an article I wrote for Today’s Golfer Magazine
Use the Bounce to Slide
Through the Sand
If you are looking to break 90 on a regular basis then you will need to be able to control the trajectory and distance of your bunker shots. For this to happen we need to have the club sliding through the sand with minimal resistance and that means using the bounce on the bottom of the club and swinging slightly across the ball.