Golf Swing Tips – Football-Style Scrimmage
Probably one of the best golf swing tips for creating a simple golf swing practice comes from football. During one of our hot two-a-day summer practices in Arkansas, we scrimmaged against the defense during the second practice. Run-through-type practice with pads did not provide feedback that a scrimmage would. Typical run through practices without scrimmaging against the defense did not offer the offense nor defense with critical feedback.
While Scrimmages do not replicate actual game day conditions, they do simulate the challenges the team would be confronting. Scrimmage is as close to game day conditions, without actually playing a game. Especially if the loser of the scrimmage match gets to run extra laps before the strength and condition training. That makes for long hot days for either the offense or defense. Scrimmage-type practice provides the golfer with great golf swing tips for the golfer to develop a truth or consequences practice.
The golfer can experience the same disconnect problem hitting range balls on the practice range if a scrimmage-type practice is not used. I was experiencing the same issue in my golf game of not being able to replicate my practice on the golf course. A golfer can be convinced that practice and course play are one in the same. But, in reality, the practice range can’t replicate the same conditions on the golf course. This is proven in the longest walk in golf, the distance from the practice range to the first tee box. The practice range, how we practice compared to the golf course, and how we play might as well be in two different worlds. I refer to this condition as the Jekyll-and-Hyde Syndrome, or the disconnect.
The 405- Scrimmage Training Drill
To deal with this disparity between practice and play, I developed a scrimmage-type golf practice called the 405- Training Drill. The 405- Training-type of practice provides the golfer with similar conditions he/she will face on the golf course. The golfer’s following the scrimmage-type practice will have repetition, but more importantly, consequences to learn by being their own golf coach. The 405- Training Drill provides instant retrospective feedback to the golfer under a self-coaching model.
The Jekyll-and-Hyde Syndrome in Golf
If you recall Dr. Jekyll developed an elixir in his lab that changed him from a gentleman into a depraved person. The two personalities could not be more opposite than Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in London. In golf, this elixir is a mixture of adrenaline, anxiety, frustration, and confusion that golfer has to deal with on the course. Some of the best golf swing tips are found in other sports like baseball and football. The root cause for the disconnect has more to do with your style of practice or training than your skill or experience level. The golfer whether you have a pro golf swing or beginner you can spend hours on the range hitting 50 to 100 range balls. Than during the round play totally different golf game. But at least the golfer is warming up and checking his/her impact on the range, so it isn’t a total waste of time. Essentially, this is all the golfer is doing on the practice range, just hitting golf balls.
I experienced the same Jekyll-and-Hyde Syndrome during my rounds in golf before my research. During my seven years of research for The ESPY Golf Swing Coach, I focused on the disconnect between practice and play to develop some golf swing tips the golfer can actually use. I discovered it had less to do with my level of play and more to do with how I was practicing and typical golf lessons. You undoubtedly have heard the quote, “Practice how you play, and play how you practice.” Pretty simple golf advice, but so true in golf.
I filled up three Xerox boxes with raw data from my research. Two were labeled “THIS DOES NOT WORK,” and one box was labeled “THIS WORKS.” In the box THIS WORKS was a small red book of my grandfather’s that contained his golf coaching notes and golf swing tips he used. In the front part of his red book was a footnote that read, “Talking and speaking aren’t the same process.” Under this note was an underlined term, “Five-O’clock Hitter.” The term Five-O’clock Hitter describes a baseball player who can’t take his/her batting practice to the batter’s box.
The 405- Training Drill, scrimmage-type practice is geared specially for the golfer trying to close this gap between the golfer’s practice and playing styles. The 405- Training Drill provides a self-coaching-style instruction to the golfer. The golfer will see how to improve the golf swing and game in real time. Read more about the 405- Training Drill, my article on coaching drills for golfers.