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atonaltheory

Practice Swing Vs. Real Swing - How Can One Make These THE SAME

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I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem.  I have a great practice swing.  On video its tour perfect.  Put a ball there and it all changes.  Swing path changes.  The flip shows up.  Lay offs at the top.  No weight transfer.  You name it.  I can't be the only head case out there.  Lessons haven't helped.  Repeating things I don't normally do in my swing in the name of teaching muscle memory do nothing except send me into my head even more.  One teacher told me this is everyone's problem.  I don't buy it.  I see plenty of ugly practice swings from golfers who when addressing the ball, suddenly strike it perfectly and shoot 75.

What's my problem?  Is there a fix?

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I'd say your swing instructor was mostly right because when people take a practice swing they are normally less tense without a ball in front of them. Once they get over the ball tension increases and bad things happen.

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It is very common; perhaps something most golfers can do. It is kind of annoying, spending all this time on improving the swing and at the same time knowing you get it "perfect" on practice swings. You can use practice swings in your practice by taking some practice swings and try to replicate the feelings on a swing with a ball.
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Try to look elsewere besides the ball, maybe a bit infront. Just stop focusing on the ball. I think the problem people get is, that they hone in on the ball so much they go from swinging to striking. Really i try to think of it as getting the club in the way of the ball. This is why i try to have one swing though, if that's rotating my chest, or keeping my right knee a bit flexed. Thinking of something else takes the ball out of my mind while i swing, and really helps.

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Its already been mentioned but I will throw in my two cents.  I believe it was a book called Zen Golf, that described a philosophy of "Big Mind."  When I'm out on the range I can visualize the shape of my shot the rollout if I am around the green tree's, wind, etc.  On the course that one lesson I received that said to focus on one dimple on the back of the ball creeps in my head and all my effort and energy is to try to meet that one spot on the ball with my club.  Point being, if we shrink ourselves down to a tiny spot on a ball you will have tension.  If your able to open yourself up out on the course to your surroundings, you may free up your swing.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

Try to look elsewere besides the ball, maybe a bit infront. Just stop focusing on the ball. I think the problem people get is, that they hone in on the ball so much they go from swinging to striking. Really i try to think of it as getting the club in the way of the ball. This is why i try to have one swing though, if that's rotating my chest, or keeping my right knee a bit flexed. Thinking of something else takes the ball out of my mind while i swing, and really helps.

I think this is my problem.  I have no way to actually gauge it, but I think my swing speed goes way down when hitting a ball as well.

I have wondered if it would help to hit on the type of simulator that just tracks the club (you don't have to hit a ball).  Maybe being able to swing "loose" or "free" and then seing the visual (on the sim) of the ball flying nicely would help.

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From my perspective I find that a practice swing is just that, you are not trying to hit, guide, etc an object.  For me the idea of swinging the club and having the ball just get in the way works most effective.

Also I noticed that most top level golfer’s practice swings are anything but the actual swing in regard to speed (exceptions being the special shot, poor lie, etc.). The slow motion, the 3/4 motion, the exaggerated motion seems to be the preview of what is intended to come.

So I normally take less than a full swing, normally take a slow motion, and emphasize a relaxed, or loose, or tension free motion.

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Originally Posted by martee

From my perspective I find that a practice swing is just that, you are not trying to hit, guide, etc an object.  For me the idea of swinging the club and having the ball just get in the way works most effective.

Also I noticed that most top level golfer’s practice swings are anything but the actual swing in regard to speed (exceptions being the special shot, poor lie, etc.). The slow motion, the 3/4 motion, the exaggerated motion seems to be the preview of what is intended to come.

So I normally take less than a full swing, normally take a slow motion, and emphasize a relaxed, or loose, or tension free motion.

This is what I started doing.  I just hit my swing keys and do it slowly.  Then focus on the target.

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