Swing Movement - Repetition or Duplication?
July 2012 Sporting Clays Tip
by Dan Schindler
Possibly you're familiar with my articles, TIPS and recommendations to build precision into our sporting clays game. Compromise that precision in our set-up and/or swing and the target simply cannot be hit consistently. Let's examine this more closely.
Over the Father's Day week-end I watched the heart-breaking US Open golf match. The course was brutally difficult and golfers hung by their fingernails to stay in the hunt. Jim Furyk led by 1 stroke on Sunday until the very end where his swing failed him. As briefly as I can explain this, Furyk has a very unorthodox swing. There are a lot of "jerky" movements going in different directions which he absolutely must control / coordinate to hit the shot he wants. 1 small error in his wild-looking swing would inevitably lead to a mis-hit, which it finally did.
As a shooting Coach who wanted to see Furyk win, it was stressful to watch his swing. Shot after shot, watching all the swing movements, I could not help but wonder when all his miraculous swing coordination would finally slip. Notice I said when, not if. When it finally collapsed - literally minutes away from his winning after 3 grueling days - it was his worst golf shot, ever, in his entire career. It cost him the US Open trophy and may have cost him his entry into the golf Hall of Fame.
Our swing precision is no less important. An unorthodox sporting clays swing can work, right up until it breaks down. By that I mean - there is a difference between swing repetition and swing duplication. Repetition can get another X. But it will take swing duplication to get another X, and another X, consistently. The top shooters have learned this - hence their scores. They can duplicate the correct swing in any given shooting box. They do this with an "economy of movement." Knowing ahead of time that the "X" allows only a very small margin of swing error, their swing achieves a high degree of duplication, aka accuracy. To duplicate that swing - consistently - they've built the purest swing possible. That's why top shooters look so smooth, so deliberate. Not cautious, but conservative with their swing movements. This minimizes swing mistakes and ensures swing reliability.
I'm certainly not suggesting you minimize your swing into a "dead gun." But any and all unnecessary, random movements of the gun will cost us targets - and have cost us targets. "Flag waving" muzzles can actually repeat the successful shot - but for how long? A competent Instructor can evaluate your swing for economy of movement. Once adjusted, swing duplication will definitely increase your X count and move your game forward.
Be safe and I greatly hope to see you out on the course.
I believe being a writer incurs an obligation to your readers. The writing should deliver on its promise to be educational, entertaining, reporting or possibly some of each. Over the many years of putting my opinions in print, I knew, try as I might, this day's messages might not appeal to every reader............
How many of us are exasperated and discouraged by our consistently shooting lower scores in competition than in our social or practice rounds? It seems competition stirs up this volatile mixture of urgency, expectations and consequences for every shot. It's the same target we shot earlier this week............