This past Fall we hosted a junior golf exposure camp in Pinehurst, North Carolina called College Golf Camps™ – BIG 5. Myself and a couple of other college coaches were watching junior golfers play during the competition portion of camp. One particular junior golfer stuck out more than the others. Why, you ask…. this group of coaches all said “he swings like he doesn’t care……” Hold on to that concept for a second.
Virtually, every college coach will agree that they want golfers to swing freely from takeaway to follow through. How can you swing freely without forcing it. The words “freely” and “force” seem like they should not be used in the same sentence.
The coaches all were keen on how this particular junior swung the club so freely. Essentially, there was no difference between his practice swing and the swing when he hit the ball. Did he not care about the result of the shot? Of course not…..as the coaches continued to talk about this junior and others, it brought up a very exciting topic in golf called “ball bound”.
The concept of “ball bound” is relatively easy to understand from this discussion. Others might have a different description but for this discussion it was simple. “Ball bound” was when the golfer limits his/her natural athleticism because he/she is so focused on hitting the ball precisely the correct way. Therefore defeating the bodies ability to swing freely and loose during the swing, specifically at the moment when the club strikes the ball.
As we watched other juniors, you could tell some had a small glitch or hesitation right at impact. The previous junior we spoke about didn’t have any glitches or hesitations…..There “real” swing did not replicate their practice swing.
Continuing the discussion with the college coaches, one coaches says “how do you get a golfer to swing freely?” One coach immediately said “tell the player to stop looking at the ball”. Another coach immediately says “WHAT?”…..The other coach began to paint this illustration below in our minds……
If you normally fix your eyes on the ball, illustrated by looking at the College Golf Camps™ logo. Move your fixed eyes to the red star, which is about 1 inch inside and 1 inch forward of the ball. The coach went on to say that the distance will vary for every golfer. His point was to get the golfer’s mind off of hitting the ball and onto swinging freely.
Later that day during the competitive practice portion of the camp. This same group of coaches implemented this drill at one station during the practice rotation. You should have seen the campers faces when the coach told them to not look at the ball……Most were shocked, some thought the coach was kidding….. Ultimately, the junior golfers followed the instructions of the college coach(which was wise). Guess what happened? Nearly every junior golfer began to swing freely which created more crisp strikes on the golf ball. No glitches, no hesitations, just precision shot, after shot, after shot.
So here is the drill: Use any club in your bag with a series of 4 balls. With the first 3 golf balls, fix your eyes somewhere inside and in-front of the golf ball throughout the swing. Then on the 4th and final ball fix your eyes on the golf ball. See what happens…….
Stay in touch with what college coaches want!
Incorporate this practice drill into your golf game. Remember, college golf coaches all want players who swing carefree and loose…..most of all they want players to be coachable!
Wizard of Junior Golf