By: Arlen Bento, WGCA contributing writer
Now that we are near the end of the year, a lot of golfers will be hanging up the sticks for the winter season. For many of us this means very little work on our golf swings…or does it?
I am a big fan of indoor golf for player development. I have been using video technology and launch monitor technology indoors for over 20 years and I have developed many great players starting in my net. Many people ask me why I encourage so many students to start inside, and I always give them the same answer: It is a lot easier to teach the golf swing without worrying about what the ball is doing.
I often get a puzzled look when I say this statement, but it is a true belief of mine that the golf ball messes up the golf swing when you are first learning how to play.
Now of course, I understand that we have to take the swing to the range and the course, but learning the swing and building confidence is a lot easier inside. When you take a new player out to the course or range and give them a club, it is a very awkward situation. The grip is not natural, nor are the stance and the posture or figuring out how to hit the ball. Most people take a grip that is comfortable, lift the club up and chop down in an attempt to strike the ball. Usually this attempt is met with a hard thunk on the ground and a ball that slides off low and fast in the wrong direction.
With an indoor lesson, you can eliminate all that initial tension and focus on what really has to happen in the golf swing. You have to swing the club, you have to move your body and you have to let your feet shift your weight. Once you can create a swinging motion, you can introduce the ball and the odds of making a solid contact are dramatically increased.
In my studio in Stuart, Florida, I work with a lot of new players who just want to be able to hit the ball, I always joke with them, “Let’s learn to swing the club and let the ball get in the way.” I have a great system in my studio that gives great shot feedback using two different launch monitors. I can really simulate what it is like on the range or even the course, so the indoor lesson is much better than it was 10 years ago.
So, my advice to those of you who are getting ready to put the golf swing on the back burner for the winter: don’t. Find an area where you can swing, a place that you can work on the movement of your body. If you can get some wiffle balls they can help. Better yet, get a net, a nice hitting mat and maybe some technology, or find a place nearby that offers indoor golf.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website at www.arlenbentojr.com.
Master Teaching Professional Arlen Bento Jr. is an award-winning golf coach, business owner, product developer and writer living in Jensen Beach, Florida. He is the former head golf professional at the PGA Country Club at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and the director of golf at Eagle Marsh Golf Club in Jensen Beach, Florida.