Swing Slow, Swing Great
I’m going to let you in on a little secret! The key, or secret sauce, to improving your golf swing, and bringing about real change, is learning to practice in slow motion. This tried, and true approach has helped many of the game’s best players throughout history (like Tiger Woods and Ben Hogan) master different positions and golf swing feels.
Whether you are a beginner golfer, 15 handicap, or tour professional, this same slow-motion practice can be employed to bring about great results! Seeing that you came across this blog, surely you have watched videos of at least several tour players’ golf swings captured in slow motion, but how do they achieve such a perfect-looking action at those full speeds?
Watch my YouTube video on this subject:
Take Out the Hit and Get it Right
The solution to mastering practically anything in life comes through trial and error. By lowering the speed, in this case, the golf swing, we can better achieve new positions and feel our desired swing changes.
So often, we see that little white ball and want to go hit it as hard as we can, but for training purposes, I implore you to take a step back and learn to move in slow motion first.
If you are practicing at the driving range hitting shot after shot with no real feedback, how do you really expect to improve your golf swing? How do you expect to truly strike the golf ball better?
Is this how a tour pro trains their desired swing change? Do they beat ball after ball at full speed until it magically sticks, or do they use a more diligent, patient approach?
If you want to make lasting change, I believe getting it right comes with many repetitions at slower speeds and, at first, taking the hit out of the shot. How do you expect to master a desired change instantly by swinging 100+ mph, and even if you do, how do you expect that change to hold up over time?
My belief is that it won’t. Throughout my years of coaching, I’ve seen the greatest progress from those who not only work hard, but work smart and pace themselves and their practice sessions accordingly. They get the most out of their sessions!
How The Best Tour Players Are Able To Make Different Changes To Their Golf Swings
We all know that there are an infinite number of ways to swing the golf club. Just look at the wide variety we see among the professional tours (i.e., Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm, Jim Furyk, Scottie Scheffler). But the question is, how do we improve our individual motion?
As far as how you should personally swing the club, without seeing your swing, I probably can’t be much help. After years of coaching and research, I have my preferred methods, but everyone is different, and there is no one right way to swing a golf club.
That being said, I do believe one of the key ingredients to bringing about any desired change in a golf swing lies in this slow swing approach.
How Tiger Woods Mastered More Than One Golf Swing
Take Tiger Woods for example. He has worked with numerous golf coaches throughout his playing career, Butch Harmon, Hank Haney, Sean Foley, and Chris Como, to name a few. With each new coach, he practically learned a whole new method and golf swing, but after each change was able to play some incredibly good golf.
I would venture to bet that with each change along the way (as we know he did during the Butch Harmon days), Tiger Woods used a slow swing approach to make the desired changes. Never have I seen a player master so many golf swings in a career and continue to play at such a high level. Tiger surely stands alone in this category.
In combination with this method, I expect Tiger used other tools along the way, such as video analysis, golf training aids, exaggerations, and other various technologies.
But at the root of learning, to bring about the desired changes, Tiger Woods needed to slow down, make great rehearsals, and learn the movements at a speed he could process and perform right first. Somewhere down the line, he could then hit seemingly every shot he needed in the game.
The King of Slow Motion, Ben Hogan
Perhaps no other golf swing throughout history has been as revered as Ben Hogan’s swing. With his swing, he seemingly achieved perfect positions and sequenced his movements so beautifully.
Come to find out, Ben Hogan himself also practiced his golf swing in slow motion, practically religiously. To this day, you can find old footage of him rehearsing the positions he was looking to achieve in his own golf swing.
If anyone truly mastered his own golf swing and game, it was Ben Hogan. Almost every player, coach, or fan that saw him swing a club said he was the best striker they had ever seen.
Speeding up Your Swing
To truly achieve your desired golf swing change(s), the one thing you really need to focus on is training the movement in slow motion. This practice doesn’t even have to involve striking a golf ball.
The focus should be on making good movement, getting better feedback (perhaps even taking a look at a swing video or rehearsing in front of a mirror), and getting it right before putting speed back in the system. Once you have a grasp on the movements, then you can begin speeding the system back up.
For this, I recommend a sort of laddering method. Hit several balls at lower speeds meeting your checkpoints, then begin hitting some at full speed. If it breaks down, then go back at hit more at the lower speeds. Bounce back and forth between speed levels until the desired changes seem to stick.
You will probably need to repeat this process for a long time and even add the slow reps into your rehearsals or practice swings to bring about the movement in the actual swing.
Speed is a great thing, but only if the swing channeling that speed holds up and gets the golf ball going where you want it to. Slow it down, rehearse, master it at lower speeds, then speed it back up!
One of the most difficult things in the game of golf to learn is patience. In all of the cases I mentioned above, for example, with Tiger Woods and Ben Hogan, their desired changes took a long time, sometimes years, to settle in. Be patient with yourself and the changes you are looking to bring about.
I hope you enjoyed this blog. Learn more about Milo Lines Golf and my online coaching academy, here: https://milolinesgolf.com/. With over 200 training videos, monthly webinars, and a supportive online community, become a member to start your training today.