How many times have you heard someone say, “You need to swing the long clubs just like you do the shorter clubs?” This sounds good in theory, but it just doesn’t make sense. After all, you can’t possibly swing a driver like a pitching wedge and expect it to go 100 to 150 yards further like it’s supposed to? Can you?
The equipment manufacturer’s goal is to make the game easier and more enjoyable, not more difficult. All those clubs we have in our bag are there to help us, not to confuse the issue. But, sometimes it is confusing… should I hit a 7 or an 8? If you only had the odd numbered irons it would be a lot easier. You would hit the 7 because there’s no way a 9 will ever get there. But, this causes another problem. How do you hit a 7 the distance an 8 would go? Just swing easier I guess? Now that I think about it, I’m probably better off to have the full set of clubs, after all.
The reason we have all those clubs in our bag is because they are all built to go certain distances, WITH THE SAME SWING. Now technically it really isn’t the same swing, but we certainly don’t try to make a different swing with different clubs. It’s a different swing because of the shaft length. With the short clubs we are bent more at the waist, which limits the amount of shoulder and hip turn we can have, and gives us a more upright swing plane. This is a good thing because a swing with a pitching wedge is not a power swing. It’s a more controlled swing designed to produce a more accurate result.
The “longer clubs” have longer shafts so we can stand up taller. This enables us to make a fuller shoulder turn which translates to more club head speed and more distance. Unfortunately, this also translates to greater margin for error. It’s like driving slowly is easier to keep your car on the road than driving fast. You just can’t do them both and expect great results all the time.
You see, it’s not so much that we are using the same swing as we are not trying to use different swings. You have 14 clubs in the bag, one is a putter. If you had a specific swing for each club you would need 13 swings just to hit the ball at all. Add 13 more to draw the ball, another 13 to fade it, 13 each for low and high shots…and you’re still a long way from a tour player!!
I know Tiger has more than one swing, as do the rest of the guys and gals on the Tours. I even have 2 or 3 swings I put to use during a round. But, I can tell you on about 90% of my golf swings my thought is to make the same old swing, time after time.
The game of golf is just too difficult to have different swings for different clubs. You’ll be a lot better off using the same swing, or swing thought, and letting the clubs do the rest.
Kim Anders is Director of Golf at Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Resort in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at Kanders@estrelladelmar.com or call 1.888.587.0609, Ext. 3010. Find out more about the golf resort by visiting www.estrelladelmar.com.