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The term "slice" or “slicer” in this instance is a generalized term for ALL swing flaws.
Maybe you are a ‘swayer,’ ‘over-the-topper,’ or ‘lack of rotator.’
No matter your swing flaw, it is CRUCIAL that you understand…
YOU CANNOT FIX IT IN THE WEIGHT ROOM… alone.
Way too often I see people broadcasting on social media:
“Complete these exercises to fix your slice.”
“Complete these exercises to eliminate your sway.”
Or the worst one…
“Complete these exercises to compress the ball better.”
Run the other way.
Let’s dive into why.
The golf swing is a skill.
And skills maintain contextual dependency.
Meaning, they require context and are very dependent on the environment and task at hand.
Think about it this way for a second:
You are stepping up to the first tee with an old college buddy. You haven’t seen them in years! Since then, you have been working hard on your game. You have fine tuned your swing, and it is in a great place!
You are playing a course you are very familiar with, you’ve played it dozens of times and have scored low there plenty!
But yet, you find yourself tense and nervous on the first tee.
You feel like you are shaking over the ball.
Hands feel sweaty.
And your pre-shot routine just doesn’t feel the same.
But, why? You’re comfortable on the course, you’re comfortable with your swing, the only thing that has changed is your friend being present.
He is now a part of the information within the environment. His presence adds a level of variability to your environment, creating the nerves you presently have.
This swing you are about to hit is going to be very different than any of the ones you hit on the range. Our movement is dependent on our emotions and perception of the world around us, which, in this case, is very different than the one we were experiencing on the range before playing.
All of this is to say, skill execution is extremely contextually dependent.
Your movement is dependent on your emotions.
Your movement is dependent on your perception of the environment.
Your movement is dependent on your physical competencies.
The list goes on and on...
So let’s bring it back to the training setting.
Of course, there is a large physical component to the golf swing. Your physical abilities matter a ton.
So completing exercises in the weight room that strengthen certain positions and movements can be very beneficial to seeing progress in your golf swing.
You will not fix your swing with weight room training movements alone.
You need to express your physical outputs within the actual sporting environment (on the range, or better yet, on the golf course) in order to see actual swing improvements.
Work with a golf coach. Complete purposeful and intentful range work.
The Instagram coach promising you’ll learn how to compress the ball with these three magic kettlebell exercises is full of s***.
No you won’t.
You will get stronger. You will get more powerful, mobile and stable. You will develop a greater physical output base. You will learn the process of movement acquisition and skill execution by learning new exercises. You may even strengthen specific positions we seek out in a “good” golf swing.
And all of this will indirectly improve your golf swing and ability to play the game of golf.
But it will not fix your swing flaws.
To build the skill, you need to learn it within the context you’ll be utilizing it.
How much of this “position specific” strengthening should I do in training?
In my opinion: fairly limited.
Your training time within the weight room setting should mostly be devoted towards developing higher levels of physical outputs (strength, power, mobility, and stability), as well as expanding your breadth of movement abilities to increase the adaptability and resilience of your body as a whole.
All of which will indirectly improve your golf swing and golfing abilities.
Swing technique work and position specific strengthening and reinforcing should primarily be reserved for the golf course or range Movements learned their will be much more transferable as the environmental context that we are motor learning within is much more synonymous.
So, there’s my rant for the day.
Don’t believe the Instagram coaches when they promise you’ll fix your swing with X exercise.
Magic beans don’t exist.
One exercise isn’t best for everybody.
You can’t fix your slice in the weight room.
Let’s go low.
Carter Schmitz, CSCS, TPI