Staying Sharp During the Lockdown
I hope you are all safe and staying indoors! I am sure most of you, like myself, are itching to get back on the golf course and the practice range. We are still not certain as to when the facilities will open but I think it will be one of the first few sports to make a comeback and we are definitely looking forward to that day.
I've often been asked the question as to why some Pros play better than others even though they invest the same amount of time in practicing and hitting the gym. You may have also noticed that some players Pros/Amateurs/Juniors always play the same way even if they come back after a long break. So what is it that these players do differently? Is it that they hit the ball much longer than their playing partners? This could be an advantage on some holes where you need to carry a bunker or a hazard or if they are playing a really long hole. But does this change the eventual result of the hole? I would argue that in most of the cases its a no, especially at the club golfer's level. Is it that one person's short game is better, probably could be a reason in some scenarios but that still isn't what I attribute to scoring well and being consistent.
Only the top players in the world know their tendencies and play to their strengths. All of us dedicate a lot of time trying to get the perfect swings and short game actions but the ones who end up making money from their playing partners in the weekend four-ball games are the ones who are aware of what they do and back themselves in doing so. The Pros have the ability and discipline to slowly bring about changes in their games over a period of time by putting in hours of practice but do club golfers really have that kind of time or inclination for it? I wouldn't think so. They would much rather go out every weekend and enjoy their games, play to the best of their ability and come back with a smile on their faces.
Unlike other instructional articles, this is not one where I will tell you about any sort of technique that you should follow but would advise you to pick out one or maybe two aspects of your game where you have felt good doing a certain move or having a certain feel. Whether this is technically correct or not should not matter at this point in time. If you have hit good shots or putts using this then there must be something technically correct in there too. Just 'shadow practice' this move or feeling for 5-10 mins every other day so that when you are back on the course you know you will already be comfortable with this particular shot.
I have had a tendency in the recent past to be a little too centered with my weight in my short game. I try and set up in my chipping posture even without a club, feeling like I have my weight distributed 70% on the left side and make shadow swings for 5 mins. I feel this will improve my contact and I will be in a better position with my short game when this lock-down is over.
These were some of my quick tips to be on top of your game even at this time while we are all stuck indoors.
Stay Safe and let's hope to be on the course soon!
Chiragh Kumar is a Professional Golfer competing on Asian Tour as well as the PGTI. He is the Winner of the Panasonic Open 2015, Asian Games Medalist 2006 and a multiple winner on the Indian Tour.