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Range vs Course - Alignment, Tempo, Tension

One of the most common (and puzzling) phenomena in all of golf is the transition from the range to the course. Quite often, players will go from being absolutely "dialed-in" to suddenly unable to find a fairway/green. As an instructor, this is something I encounter quite a bit as my lessons will often move from the teaching studio to the first tee. Thankfully though, troubleshooting this breakdown usually involves less technical work and more of a "check-in" regarding a few key fundamentals.

Playlists: Practice Strategies, Find Your Best Swing Quickly

Tags: Poor Contact, Not Straight Enough, Not Enough Distance, Practice Strategies, Mental Game, Concept

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This concept video is if it's not alignment, check tempo and tension.

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So oftentimes golfers will get into a pattern where they're hitting it just great on

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the range, especially out of my studio.

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And then I'll take them on the course and instantly stuff will break down.

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The most common thing I see breakdown is alignment.

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On the range we often have lines and things that help with our alignment.

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I may even practice a lot with an alignment stick, which I highly recommend.

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But it also I need to practice being able to duplicate that alignment without the stick.

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And sometimes when I'm practicing with the range my alignment is good and then I get

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on the out on the course and one part of my alignment starts to get way off and that

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just throws off all the relationships that I've been practicing on the range.

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But some golfers, you know what?

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We put the camera, I show them their alignment looks good.

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If your alignment looks good, then I want you to check in mentally with tempo and tension.

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In general, if the golf swing feels faster, it's typically going to be earlier or more

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aggressive arm activity.

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Typically when the body feels or when the swing is dominated more from the legs in the hips,

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the swing will feel slower.

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Your club that speed may actually go up or it may feel the same.

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But it will feel slower compared to if I get my arms involved early.

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Typically when you get your arms involved early, it will feel quick.

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It might feel jerky down at the bottom, but it'll feel quick in transition.

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So I like to have golfers when they're practicing on the range, working on at least

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two, preferably three different tempos.

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So let's say that my normal tempo is about 80%.

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I might have been 75, that was really good.

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I want to see if I can practice a tempo at least a couple notches lower.

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So let's see if I can do a tempo that's more like 50%.

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And it's not so much about the distance that I hit it.

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It's about can I hit it solid with multiple tempos?

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If I struggle to hit it solid with multiple tempos, then usually what happens is when my sequencing

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or my excitement level gets a little bit off on the course when I get a little amped up,

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my swing is going to break down.

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So that was the softer tempo.

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Now I also want to be able to hit it solid with a stronger tempo.

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So if I have a hard time swinging above 90%.

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I feel like I'm less susceptible or I feel like I'm more likely to have things breakdown

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on the course.

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So tempo is one of those big things that can change from the range to the course.

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If you're not practicing it or if you're not being aware of it.

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So challenge yourself.

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If you find your hit it great on the range, you drive over to the T and things breakdown.

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Take a little mental inventory and check in to see if you've changed your tempo.

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The cousin of tempo is tension.

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So what can happen is golfers either start gripping it tighter with their forearms.

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They tense up their shoulders and their neck.

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Or sometimes you'll see it kind of anchored in the feet and the knees.

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But they'll create a little bit more tension.

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And that tension is going to challenge the geometry of the shot.

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Instead of swinging smoothly, now there's a little straight line in the middle of what should

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be swinging and all my alignments get off.

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So that one's you need to practice being aware of where you naturally keep your tension

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and about what level and then feel the next time you go on the course, try to pay attention.

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Do I store the tension in my jaw, my arms, my hands, my fingers, my hips, my back, my feet.

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It can be anywhere or everywhere.

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So just take inventory and then you can do a little relaxation and kind of stress relief trying

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to take the tension out next time you're on the range.

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Basically train yourself to be ready for where you're going to store a tension.

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So if you breaks down on the course, first check alignment.

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If that's not it, check tempo, if that's not it, check tension.

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When you get those three pretty well curalled, you're much more likely to have your range game

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transfer with you to the course.

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