3 Secrets to Perfect Practice for Accelerated Improvement
Online Golf Instruction By: Chuck Quinton, Master Instructor • FULL BIO •
If you want to improve at golf as quickly as possible, it's time to find out the secrets of the fastest improving students and the golf practice tools you need.
As someone who has helped tons of golfers at all skill levels, I have a lot of insight into which golfers improve their golf games the quickest.
You might think that it all comes down to putting in lots of practice time.
You'd be wrong.
Of course, you'll need to put in the time to ingrain your swing improvements, but there are wayyy too many golfers who spend a lot of time practicing and gain nothing except frustration.
So, what separates the players who improve from those who don't?
It boils down to 3 concepts:
- Be Your Own Coach
- Get Feedback
- Use the Tricks
The video goes in depth on each topic and even walks you through how to best use our learning program, including how to get the most out of your free swing reviews (if you are a Premium Member).
It all begins by changing your mindset and accepting a new role: coach.
Be Your Own Coach
Here's a crucial principle you obviously know but may have never fully considered what it means to your game:
The overwhelming majority of the time, you are working on your swing alone.
That's, of course, true whether you are following an online system like ours or taking in-person lessons.
So, you have to be your own coach.
Becoming your own coach is essentially what RotarySwing.com is all about. We educate you on how you can greatly improve your game and let you know what golf practice tools you'll need to improve.
Our goal is to lead you through a process that will allow you to improve each year, for the rest of your life.
The first key to becoming your own world class coach is to have the knowledge.
Watch the videos…all of them, in order. But don’t just watch them, work through them.
Knowledge alone will not make you better, but putting the knowledge into action can make you great!
The students who improve the fastest MOVE. Get up and actually perform the drills.
Don't just guess what it feels like to do the Necktie Drill, for example. Get off your couch, put a necktie around your neck, and do the drill until you get it right.
If you get up every day and have the goal to perform perfect reps for whatever move you are working on, you will get better, and fast.
And when it comes to reps, remember that quality trumps quantity.
That gets us to feedback, which can help ensure quality in your process.
Did you ever play pee wee football?
I did, and I remember the bone crushing hits, lightning fast plays, and the fear that I might get clobbered by the humongous kid on the other team.
Now watch it as an adult.
The kids are tiny. They move at what seems to be a slow jog.
Oh, and the giant from the other team...he checks in at 4’1” and 95lbs.
The point is, we humans are very poor judges of what is happening to us in the moment.
Tiny swing changes can seem monumental. What “feels” outrageous appears to others to be a tiny tweak.
We can’t be trusted to change our own swings without external feedback.
This is where the camera (or mirror) is your best friend (but sometimes feels like your worst enemy).
The camera (or mirror) will tell you exactly what you are doing.
It doesn’t care how long you have been working on a move.
The camera will not shy from crushing your dreams or from giving you physical proof that you have not been wasting your time, that you are indeed improving.
Cameras don't lie.
You must have feedback on a regular basis to improve your swing.
(By the way, don't get overly caught up in the type of camera to buy. Mobile phone or "cheap" cameras will do just fine in almost all cases.)
Because it's often very hard to progress from doing drills without a ball to doing them with a ball, we also highly recommend using an impact bag.
This tool provides an intermediate step, allowing you to make full speed swings while practicing new movements. It alleviates the anxiety of having a ball in front of you and wondering where it's going to go.
(You can purchase one from our store here.)
Use the Tricks
Last, in this video I will go over a couple of tricks to help you speed your improvement.
Good teachers have been using these for years, even if they don’t know why.
These tricks will help you retrain your nervous system much faster.
They also help you to get the “feel” for a brand new move.
As a Rotary Swing Instructor, I'm proud to say that some of the fastest swing improvements that I've ever seen have happened right here on our site.
Stick with the process and keep MOVING!
Sometimes starting slow helps you to improve fast.
Checkpoints for Practice
- Be your own coach
- Use a mirror for spot-check feedback
- Use a camera for in-depth feedback
- Use the Forums to clear up any confusion
- Exaggerate the correct movement patterns to help break bad habits
- Start slow, then speed up a little and practice with an impact bag
Video Transcription: Practice Pt 1: 3 Secrets
As a golf instructor, I get to see a lot of different students. Some students improve their golf swings very, very quickly. They're going to drop their handicap and greatly change their swing in a period of just a few months, while other students tend to put in just as much work and just as much hard effort, but they're not improving their game very quickly. Over the same period of time, they may have made no noticeable golf swing changes, and their handicap is exactly the same as it was before.
It really comes down to practicing golf effectively and efficiently, doing the correct things. Hard work alone will not get you better at golf. Just by performing moves, you're not going to get any better at golf. You have to be performing the correct moves, and doing it in the correct way.
The Best Golf Practice Plan
It really comes down to three basic pieces, and those are being your own coach; the fact of the matter is, no matter how much golf instruction you're getting, no matter how many golf lessons you take, you're going to have to be your own coach.
You're spending the most amount of time with yourself. You control when you practice, where you practice, how you practice golf. You're going to have to be your number one asset and be the best coach that you can, and that's what the Rotary Swing is about. We're teaching you how to coach yourself.
Golf Practice Tools
Number two is about feedback, and number three, we're going to use a couple little tips and tricks to really help to improve our game a lot faster than just repetitions alone.
First off, being your own coach; that's exactly what the Rotary Swing website is doing for you. We're giving you a list. There are all kinds of golf instruction videos; it's giving you the best information on how to improve your own game. You have to be your number one asset. You're going to be with you the most amount of time.
As you first join the site the very first thing you're going to do...every coach still needs somebody to give them some guidance, so the first thing you're going to do is you're going to send in a swing to be reviewed.
As you're waiting for your swing to be reviewed, start working through the videos. Start from the very beginning, learning how to learn, and the introduction. Work your way down the list. Watch every single video in that section, and start working forward.
That's going to help you to get the most information and understand the most about your own swing and what you need to do, so that you can coach yourself more effectively.
Building a Golf Practice Routine
Now, when you get your review back it's going to key in on a few basic moves that are giving you the most problems with your swing. At that time, you're going to go ahead, read the review, watch the videos that correspond with your review, and study up on those.
Again, you're going to start from the beginning and study all the videos so that you have as much knowledge as you can. Then you're going to start working on those moves. Let's say, for example, your golf posture is poor so your shoulders are kind of slouched. I recommend a couple posture videos for you, or another RST certified instructor does.
You're going to really study up until you know exactly how the posture should look, and exactly how to get into perfect posture. Then you're going to go out and you're going to start coaching yourself. One of the big keys to getting in good posture is to make sure that you have good posture standing up, then simply let your hips drop back until you can see the ball without cranking your head forward, then letting your arms hang down into a good position.
Most Important Golf Practice Tools
You're going to be able to look on camera - that's where the second part comes in, of having feedback. You're going to need to get a camera and you're going to need to have a mirror, so that you can coach yourself.
If we can't see ourselves, we're always going to assume that we're doing everything perfectly. I see it time and time again; people put in a ton of work, they hit thousands of golf balls doing the moves incorrectly, and it's really wasted time.
They haven't improved their golf swings because they haven't done the moves correctly. They've only done the hard work part.
We're always going to assume that anything we do, we're doing perfectly. When I go out and I play a really good round of golf, and I'm 3-4 under halfway through the round, I feel great, in my head I feel like I am a Tiger Woods highlight round, like I'm being featured on ESPN, my posture looks great, my setup looks great, I'm getting tons of lag, everything's just perfect.
Then when I watch the video, somehow someone has switched the tape in the camera to where there is a completely different person in there than what I thought, and the posture needs work, my elbow's flying...it could be a multitude of things, but that's how human nature is.
We're always going to assume that we're doing everything great, until we get the feedback and see if we're doing the moves correctly.
Get yourself a mirror for golf. We have 360° mirrors on the site. These are really handy. You can set them up on the ground. They're portable, you can put them in your golf bag. That's going to help you to get some feedback, and it's very easy. If you can't use a camera, this is your fallback, the 360° mirror. You can also use a full-length mirror when you're practicing in your house.
Now, the camera is the best because it's going to show you in full speed. You're not going to have to look at the mirror or anything. You can just take your normal setup, normal swing, it's going to show you exactly what's going on. That's your best line of defense.
We're going to do some videos that are going to show you. I'm doing a video on the mirror, the camera, and an impact bag. It's going to walk you through that, show you exactly how to use those, and why they're so important.
Now that we've gotten our feedback and we know what to work on, we've watched all the videos, we've practiced the moves, used feedback and improved on these positions, and you feel like you're doing it perfectly; that's when you want to submit another swing review.
Once you feel like you're doing the move absolutely the best that you can, and everything that you see that you need to work on with that particular move that we've been working on, is better, submit a review then, and I'm going to check it or another RST certified instructor is going to check it and say, "OK, that's perfect, here's the next few pieces that we need to work on."
There's really not much point in sending in another swing review unless you've made significant improvement to it, if you understand what you're trying to do. If you send another swing review, we're just going to have to go over the same stuff again, which we don't want to do.
I want you to be able to coach yourself. That way, you can get the most improvement in the shortest period of time, and I'm just going to help walk you through the system and keep you on track.
Now, if you're confused or a little bit unsure of how you need to practice or what's going on, you've already watched all the videos, that's the time you can use the Forum to ask questions.
Underneath all the videos there's a Forum. Post a question on there. One of the RST certified instructors will bet right back to you and help you with any of your issues. If you're confused, that's a great tool to take advantage of.
The last part is a couple of the tricks and tips that I was telling you about. The first one is exaggeration; a really, really good key, it's going to help you to improve so much faster.
A good example of something I see every day is the hands are going out away from the body, and the club head's coming inside. That's very, very common. To exaggerate this, I'm going to feel the opposite. I'm going to feel like my hands go inside and my club is staying well outside. As you're first starting to work on this move, you want to feel like your hands are going way in and your club's going way out.
What you're going to find is that, as you're feeling this exaggeration, it's going to be a lot closer to being correct than it feels. When you go back and look at the camera, or when you look in the mirror, what feels very exaggerated is actually pretty close to being correct.
This is going to help to speed up the process so it doesn't take you two months to get into the position that we need to get into.
We're going to keep on using this exaggeration until you find when you make a full practice swing or you're hitting the ball, you're making a full motion feeling the exaggeration, and you go back and look at the video, it actually starts to get exaggerated - your hands actually do start to go inside, the club head starts to go outside for that particular move - that's when you're going to tone it down and go back to something that doesn't feel as exaggerated, to get it just right. Then you're going to just keep on ingraining those moves until they feel comfortable.
As we mentioned before, one of the other tricks to help you improve is actually going slow. This is something that I do in all my lessons. If I'm going to work with you on creating lag in your golf swing, I'm not going to start out doing full swings of lag. You're never going to get there; it would take us six months to get you any kind of lag.
The first thing I'm going to do is describe what lag is. I'm going to coach you on how to coach yourself on creating lag, and then we're going to start working very, very slow speed, slow-motion practice drills and we're going to gradually speed that up, eventually start working with the impact bag and then hitting balls only when you're very, very comfortable doing all the steps along the way.
That's the second thing that we want to do. The slower you start, and constantly push your barriers of "where's this going to fall apart?" as soon as it falls apart, go back to something you can control, and then start to build up from there again.
The slower you start, the faster you're going to improve. I want you all to improve a ton this year. If you follow a lot of these principles, it's going to help you to improve as fast as you can. I look forward to seeing you more on the site.
Part 2 Transcript
We all want to get as good as we can, as fast as we can. I think we all have that in common.
In order to do that, we need to not only work on the correct things, but we need to work on them in the correct way. We really need three different pieces of equipment that are going to help us improve as fast as possible.
The first one is an impact bag. If you don't already have an impact bag, you absolutely must get one. This is going to be crucial on your driving range practice time and is one of the most important golf practice tools. Here's how we use this.
Let's say we're working on lag. We get out to the range, first we're going to work on these slow motion drills. We're going to use a camera to do this - I'm going to get to that next - but first we're going to work on these slow motion drills.
I'm working, I'm squatting down into my left side, I'm keeping my shoulders closed and my arms are getting back in front of my body. OK, this is feeling pretty good. I feel like I'm maintaining really good lag with slow motion drills, and that's Step One.
Step Two is, I've got to do this with some speed, but if I try to hit the ball right away I just lose it, and I go right back to what I've been doing before. I'm flipping my wrist and I'm cupping at the bottom, all kind of bad stuff I've been doing forever, so I need some kind of intermediate step, and that's where the impact bag comes in.
This is your intermediate step. It takes away all the fear of hitting the ball, and just allows your body to make the swing, full speed.
What you're going to do, you're going to work on the same things, maybe make a few practice swings, and then you're going to do one full speed, where you try to maintain lag...if I don't knock over my golf bag!
This is going to help you to make a full swing, hit something that's going to give you kind of the same feel as a full swing hitting a ball, but it's going to take away all the anxiety of having a ball in front of you, so this is absolutely important.
It's also going to help you, specifically, with impact. It's going to help you to get those hands leaning forward and get into some positions that are tough for people to get into. That's number one. You've got to have an impact bag.
Number two is a mirror. We sell these on the site also. This is just a 360° mirror. That's what it's called. It sits on the ground, and it's going to allow you, no matter where you are...because it's so compact, you can set this up. You can put a club or a stick down on the ground, just set that against it at whatever angle you want to.
This is going to allow me, as I'm making swings...let's say I'm working on keeping the club from coming too far inside, so I've been really pulling this club inside during the takeaway. Now, as I'm on the range and I'm practicing, maybe I don't want to check the camera every two seconds.
I've got a mirror down. Now I can check in the mirror and say, "OK, that looks pretty good. I think I'm bringing my takeaway back exactly how I need to." It's going to give you immediate feedback. It's all about feedback.
We have to know if we're doing these moves correctly when we're practicing, or you're going to spend a whole day practicing the wrong things and you're going to go back and check it at home in the mirror, and it's going to look terrible. You've got to have a mirror to get feedback.
Now the third part, the third piece of equipment that everybody needs is a camera, and this is a must. If you're going to work on your swing, you've got to have a camera. You can get a real fancy camera like I use in my lessons, that'll do 1000 frames per second. They're a little bit expensive. You're looking at $400-500 for a good one.
Or you can get just a regular old used camera. I'll tell you where I get these. I bought several of them before when I've done lessons. I like to have cameras just lying around to do some different things with them, and I get them at the pawn shop.
Cameras - Vital Golf Practice Tools
People buy nice cameras. This one's a Cannon, and it's going to do everything I need to. It's compact, it takes video, 30 frames per second is fine if I'm just working on a few moves in my swing. These are very inexpensive. I think I paid $30 for this one at the local pawn shop. It's about a $300 camera new, but you can get them used and they're just fine. If it breaks, oh well. Go buy another one.
But this is key. Whenever you practice, you've got to have a camera set up. If you don't have a camera, you definitely have to have a mirror, but ideally you're going to have a camera set up, and as we're working on these moves - again, let's say I'm working on my takeaway - and I feel like I'm doing it great and I'm making these swings, and oh yeah, this feels wonderful.
Then I go back and look in the camera and, as you can see, this club is way too far inside. I was thinking in my head that I was doing it great, and if I don't have any feedback I'm always just going to assume I'm doing it perfectly.
You've got to have the camera to check yourself. I'd make four or five practice swings, I'd go back, check in the camera, see if I'm hitting the right positions. If I am, I'm going to move on to try to speed this up, so maybe instead of stopping during the takeaway I'm going to go ahead and swing to the top and see if it holds together.
If it holds together there, I'm going to start swinging with a full practice swing. Does it hold together there? If it does, I'm going to start hitting balls doing that. If it holds together through all that, then I've gotten a great day's work in and my takeaway is well on its way to improving.
That's how we have to improve. It's all about feedback. It's all about seeing in a mirror where you are, seeing it on a camera, the moves that you're making, and using a tool like an impact bag to take away the fear of hitting a golf ball.
I hope you all improve incredibly fast this year, and good luck with your golf game.