Golf Swing Tips – Football-Style Scrimmage
Probably one of the best golf swing tips for creating a simple golf swing practice comes from football coach’s play book. During one of our hot two-a-day summer practices in Arkansas, we scrimmaged against the defense. Run-through-type practice with pads did not provide feedback that a scrimmage does. Typical run-through practices without scrimmaging against the defense did not offer neither the offense nor defense the ability to experience game-like conditions. The golfer can use a similar scrimmage-type practice called the 405-Training Drill to improve their performance on the golf course without experiencing the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Syndrome.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Syndrome is where the golfer practices one way on the range or backyard and plays a whole different way on the golf course. It’s the inability for the golfer to take their game from the range to the golf course just a few paces away from the first tee box.
The reason for this syndrome to occur is the elixir the golfer develops in their nervous system called adrenaline. Anytime you develop adrenaline it causes the subconscious mind to kick-in. The subconscious mind is where all your (gross and fine) motor skills and instinctive behavior are located. The subconscious mind is what you play golf with, and not your conscious mind.
The golfer may vary well practice golf with their conscious mind, thinking through each element they are working on in the swing. But I can guarantee the golfer that once they step foot onto the golf course, their subconscious mind runs the show. So if you didn’t practice your golf game under similar conditions of the golf course, you won’t have that game you practiced for 20 to 30 odd hours available to you on the golf course.
While Scrimmage isn’t Actual Course Conditions, it Gives the Golfer the Ability to Train under Course-like Conditions
While Scrimmage does 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 day for either the offense or defense. Scrimmage-type practice provides the golfer with the ability to develop a reward 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 convince themselves that their practice is developing skills that they can take to the golf course. 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 doesn’t compared to the golf course, and how we play might as well be in two different worlds a part. I refer to this condition as the Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. 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 their repetition, but more importantly, under reward or consequences conditions that they will face on the golf course. The 405- Training Drill provides instant retrospective feedback to the golfer under a self-coaching model and adrenaline situation.
One type of 405-Scrimmage Training Drill that you can actually setup where you practice your putting is called the 405- Scrimmage Bunt Chip/Pitch Drill. Just use a backstop, like I have in the figure below, to catch those wayward shots that occurs from time-to-time. I practice one of the most difficult and finesse shots in golf, the Bunt Chip/Pitch shot within a 10 foot area. The same SYNC/PRESET/YAW technique used in this type shot is used in the full golf shot. The only difference is that the Bunt-type Chip/Pitch requires more feel, or the subconscious mind’s participation which is exactly what the golfer wants.
The objective is to get four-out-of-five chips or pitch shots series within a 18-inch radius of the what represents the hole or cup. I perform 10 series or more each day. The 405- Scrimmage Bunt Chip/Pitch Drill engages my subconscious mind directly. So when I do step foot onto the golf course I’m prepared to play the easier regular golf shots compared to the 10-foot finesse 405- Scrimmage Bunt Chip/Pitch Drill.
I produced a YouTube Video of me performing the 405- Scrimmage Bunt Chip/Pitch Drill that you can access by selecting the image below. The image below is my putting green in my training facility with a backstop. I was in the middle of renovating my training facility when I produced this video, the lighting is a little low.
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.
If you start thinking on the golf course, you will start questioning your techniques. This questioning will lead to self-doubt, that leads to confusion. And if there is doubt between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, the subconscious mind wins the standoff every time.
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 golf swing you can spend hours on the range hitting 50 to 100 range balls. Than during the golf round play a total different golf game. But at least the golfer on the range 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 and flexing.
The Xerox Box Golf Research Project
I experienced the same Jekyll-and-Hyde Syndrome during some of my rounds in golf before my Xerox Box Golf Research Project. During my seven years of research for The ESPY Golf Swing Coach, I focused on the disconnect between my practice and my play to develop data that could be used in a self-coaching system for golfers. I discovered should be encouraging for us amateur golfers, it had less to do with your level of play and more to do with how we practice and following 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 Xerox Box Golf Research Project. Two were labeled “THIS DOES NOT WORK,” and one box was labeled “THIS WORKS.” In the box labeled “THIS WORKS” confirmed coaching techniques and golf swing tips that my granddad had noted in his small red book that he used in his coaching sessions.
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 their batting practice to the batter’s box.
The 405- Scrimmage Bunt Chip/Pitch Drill is geared specially for the golfer trying to replicate a game-day practice sessions during their training to close this gap between how the golfer practice and how the golfer will play. The 405- Scrimmage Bunt Chip/Pitch 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. To read more about the 405- Training Drill, my article on coaching drills for golfers, select the link. You will see amazing improvement in your golf game using the 405- Scrimmage Bunt Chip/Pitch Drill.
I dedicated a full section in my book to how to set up a 405- Training Drill and 405- Scrimmage Bunt Chip/Pitch Drill including the equipment used. In Section 7.0 The 405- Training Drill, I detail the procedure the golfer can use from setting up a scale-down model of an actual golf course hole to the special balls the golfer can use. I would strongly recommend the golfer use the 405- Scrimmage Bunt Chip/Pitch Drill for their next practice session.
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