As a professional PGA Certified Golf Instructor, when I analyze a player's game to help improve their total golf game, I look at it from a performance standpoint first (unless a player is using an injurious movement).
Which of the following 4 would give this player the best improvement?
✅ Improved distance control
✅ Improved directional control
✅ Increasing max distance
✅ Change in trajectory
That's pretty much golf, in a nutshell. Your swing changes should have those goals in mind.
When we find the performance parameter we wish to improve, we can then backward reflect to the ball flight laws (there are 5) that need to change in order to achieve that improvement.
For example, if a player needs to improve distance, they will need to either
✅ increase launch angle
✅ optimize spin (usually reducing it) and/or
✅ increasing ball speed (smash factor).
When we see the weakest link out of the ball flight laws, we then backward reflect once more to the impact parameters (there are 7) that relate to the ball flight law we need to change.
For example, if our player needed more distance, and their launch angle was too low, we could
✅ increase dynamic loft
✅ change strike location (higher on the face produces a higher launch) and/or
✅ change angle of attack (has a lesser effect on launch, but it tends to change dynamic loft concurrently).
This process may seem. little "involved", but when learned, it takes just a couple of seconds to see all the connections.
As a coach, this allows me to have a much clearer vision of what and why we are making a change. I look at performance needs, which determine ball flight changes, which determine impact changes. I then have a large box of tools I can dig into in order to effect a change in the impact parameters. Everything from
Direct impact changes
Skill development drills
Conceptual/understanding/golf IQ upgrades
Oppose this process to the "change X in your swing because X pro does it" approach of many amateurs, which can often yield poor results because it had nothing to do with any of the performance, ball flight or impact parameters that need to change for that player.
For example, I have seen players with cupped wrists at the top try to emulate Dustin Johnson's/Colin Morikawa's bowed (flexed) lead wrist at the top and lose function because it didn't fit with their existing swing matchups.
Want to learn more about this process and how everything connects, including match-ups and the processes for making a change in your swing? Check out my Golf Lesson Packages. Reach out anytime with questions or to set up a specialized golf training plan for you.
Tim Krumnow, PGA Life Member
Tim Krumnow Golf Academy, Director of Instruction
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