Currently I have been trying to “master” the 7 iron in golf. I know the technique and I understand the stance and formation of the body, it’s just that I need be able to transfer that knowledge into actually hitting the ball. During the past two meetings with my mentor, we have been practicing mainly with the 7 iron. He says that it is important that I can master the basic hit before I start to experiment with other clubs such as drivers.
I am currently trying to hit the ball without the use of a T (which is basically a t shaped object that elevates the ball slightly off the ground making it easier to hit). One of the main things my mentor consistently tells me not to do, is to not move vertically. Before I swing, I bend my knees slightly and I tilt in forward just a little bit, but when I wind up my swing I keep raising my waist which is the one main reason for consistently slicing the ball. Increasing or decreasing the height of my waist can cause me to slam the ground in front of the ball with my club, or completely miss the ball, two things a golfer would want to avoid. Another similar reminder my mentor tells me to do is not to move horizontally when hitting the ball. You want to decrease your lateral movement as much as possible so that you get the middle section of your swing align with the ball. This dramatically increases the distance the ball will travel and also increasing your accuracy.
Another important technique for hitting the iron 7, is weight distribution. This means distributing the weight from my right leg to my left leg during my swing. My mentor tells me to place my head just slightly behind the ball so that instead of slamming the ball from atop, I can drive it from below. When you follow through with your swing you want to distribute that weight to the front foot. This causes your back foot to twist a little which can relieve some stresses in the body. This also prevents your front foot from twisting which can cause lateral movement and destroy the swing.
My mentor also reminds me that my arms should be fully stretched out when it makes contact with the ball. This is why setting up your body stance before the swing is essential. It correctly places the tip of the iron when your arms are stretched out right on the ball. To be able to fully extend my arms, when I wind up for the swing I have to tuck my right elbow into my ribs while keeping my left arm straight. To do this, I actually pull up the club with my right arm and my left arm just follows.
Now to answer some of this week’s Questions
Were you communicating effectively with one another? Explain
The communication between me and my mentor is simple yet effective. When he talks, I listen. When I talk, he listens. It is important that when the other person is talking we show signs of attentive listening and return the respect for each other. The number one most important thing in a relationship is respect.
What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?
1. Setting many short term goals with one long term goal in mind and informing my mentor of these goals. If he knows what my goals are, he can then modify his teaching so that my goals can be met.
2. I’m going to start practicing (at least once a week) with my friend’s golf set to increase the effectiveness of each meeting. Instead of reviewing what we did last week for a short bit and practicing with my mentor, I can practice on my own time and focus on learning new things with my mentor.
3. Ask more questions! Asking more questions won’t only improve the communication skills during my meetings, but will also help me learn more. Asking effective questions can quickly clear any confusions and be a gateway to new information.
What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?
My mentor is extremely patient with my slowly developing skills. He shows signs of commitment and he also shows that he actually likes to be there. With his enthusiasm and my enthusiasm, this can stabilize my enjoyment of golf and also make me want to learn more. To be able to learn lots and lots effectively, it requires me to actually enjoy what I’m learning, which in this case is golf.