The latest decade of golf has seen incredible innovations in the teaching world. The advancement of launch monitors, 3D measurements, force plates, all of the advancements that video have brought forward, the knowledge of the golf swing is deeper than ever before. The issue is not in what information we are being given, the issue is in how we use that information. This in-depth measuring of the golf swing with 100s of data points to focus on has many golfers getting lost in the technique of swinging the golf club rather than the skill of playing golf.
All this information that golf pros are able to get on a player's swing and the assumptions that are drawn are now being disseminated to the masses through social media. The classic video starts out with a “If you’re sick of this flaw…” “Here is the simple fix in 30 seconds”. With the promise of a brand new golf swing in just a few changes the golfer diligently practices this new move to make it permanent. Walk the line at any driving range and you see golfers recording their swings and working the same swing move over and over in hopes of finding the magic. This kind of technical practice is what leads to a death spiral of changes. The golfer attempts to make this change, works for a little bit at it, the change doesn’t stick (because it takes months for any swing changes to really stick), then goes back to social media for a new fix. This kind of repetitive practice and constant tinkering with one’s swing keeps a golfer from ever truly lowering their scores. It may work for a week or two but then the fairy dust wears off its back to technical practice to try and rediscover it. Tiger Woods made this famous with his publicized swing changes, the difference is Tiger would give himself years to make the change, and he stuck with them even when his game was worse. This is how technical practice needs to work, if you are looking to practice once a week and see improvement, focus on skills not technique.
Technical practice is sexy, it feels good, and it looks good, but it often leads to worse scores not better. This kind of practice helps our egos more than our golf games. It’s fun to talk with our buddies about being one tweak away from a new career best, it's fun to go to the range and hit 7 iron after 7 iron at a flag and talk about that one that nearly hit the flag out of 100 range balls. It's fun to look at your swing and imagine what could be, but doesn’t translate to lower scores. What does translate to lower scores is skill practice, practice that helps you get the most out of your current swing, not tries to change your swing