Matt Conner: Why it is important to take a practice swing
I am often asked by golfers if they should take a practice swing - my answer every single time is yes.
Take them seriously and your practice swing gives you a great opportunity to imagine the shot you are trying to hit.
It also gives you the chance to rehearse the length of swing that you will need to hit the ball the distance you require.
Finally, it will help you to create a feeling for the angle that the club head needs to descend into the ball.
I hear a lot that ‘my practice swing is good but I can’t replicate it when hitting the ball’.
You will actually find that they do not have a correct practice swing.
All that is happening is that the incorrect practice swing is causing the same incorrect motion when hitting the ball.
Normally when hitting a shot, taking a good divot in front of the ball is something that happens on chips, pitches, irons, hybrids and fairway woods when hit properly.
Most golfers miss the ground completely and sweep the ball from off the surface or hit the ground a few inches behind the ball.
A good drill to help create a better practice swing in order to help your swing when hitting the ball is to:
Take your set up for a practice swing - level with the ball but a few inches away and inside it.
Make a swing, not thinking of how to take the divot, just on making the divot in the front of where the ball would be.
This may take a couple of attempts.
As soon as you see the proper divot, use the same feeling gained from the practice swing and move to the ball and hit without delay.
What has just happened was that your brain gave you the correct information, the body responded with how it was going to do it and you just tried to replicate that motion.
Practise this drill on the range working on hitting in front of the ball, but when it is time to play, stick with this routine to help create a better strike.