Katie is a Summer 2021 intern at Minitab and attends Penn State University. Katie has been golfing all her life, and in 2019 she won the AMCC (Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference) Conference Champion title.
When I was a little girl, golf was always a fun thing I did with my dad on the weekends. He helped me swing my first club and bought me my first set. After many years, I learned to love the game. I love golf because it is different than other sports. It is all about what you can do all by yourself on the course. So, when my co-worker got roped into playing in a golf tournament and had never played golf, I knew I had to help. We began researching about all the things that go into a perfect golf shot.
Mind mapping the keys to a perfect shot
As a newcomer to golf, she quickly was overwhelmed by all the information and advice available. I reminded her that Minitab Workspace has a brainstorming tool that can help her bring all her thoughts and ideas together. She kept researching and asked me for any tips I could give her too.
After collecting her findings, she created a mind map with Minitab Workspace that explained all that she had to do to achieve that perfect golf shot:
After creating the initial mind map, she realized that it still seemed complicated. She then created another mind map, but this time categorizing all the steps by body parts, to make it less overwhelming.
After categorizing all the information by body parts, she realized that most of these ideas needed to be done simultaneously, so she began to break the mind map into three sections: Beginning, Middle and End.
Create your own mind maps today...
After categorizing by beginning, middle and end, it became clearer how to execute a perfect shot and she found it was divided into steps. Finally, she consolidated it to a 9-step plan:
9 Steps to the Perfect Shot
Step 1: Stand over the ball with knees bent
Bending your knees creates balance and helps to keep your swing in the correct plane. It also keeps your swing more controlled by restraining your hips and legs, so you do not over-swing.
Step 2: Bend your top half slightly from your hips
This creates a center of gravity and puts all your weight in the middle of your stance/feet. In addition, creates balance so that you do not fall over when you swing up and back and it helps to keep your swing consistent.
Step 3: Have a soft grip on the club and place the face of the club behind the ball
Having a soft grip relaxes your hands and arms, and a looser grip creates more freedom for your right hand to pull the club head through. (More right-hand freedom = more club head speed = more distance in your ball)
Step 4: Taking the swing: Begin to raise your arms back in a straight line from your body
Keeping a straight line from your body is important because keeping your left arm straight during your golf swing creates consistency in your swing. It also helps to generate power and promote consistently solid strikes each time.
Step 5: Start to move higher in your back swing while keeping your front shoulder down
Keeping your front shoulder down will point your body/shoulders at the ball. This allows you to go at the ball at a steeper angle so you can get under the ball which lifts it up in the air.
Step 6: While keeping your head still, an eye on the ball and your front foot stationary
Keeping your front foot stationary is important because it creates consistency and more accurate shots. Having fewer moving parts lowers chances of error. In addition, keeping your head still and an eye on the ball helps to minimize head movement. Head movement can cause you to swing out of plane and minimize solid contact.
Step 7: Shift weight to the front foot and begin to swing downwards
Shifting your weight to the front foot is crucial because it explodes your weight through the ball. This allows you to turn better and get more length in your swing, which ultimately creates more distance.
Step 8: Strike the ball at the starting position
Striking the ball at the starting positions allows for the ball to be hit square on the club face so that it gets maximum distance and accuracy. In addition, the club has time to get under the ball and make solid contact.
Step 9: Rotate your club and hips through the ball
Rotating your hips causes a chain reaction in your entire body to help tempo and rhythm of your swing. It also creates power, consistency, and accuracy, which helps you to hit the ball square on the club face.
After realizing that Minitab Workspace also has a Process Map feature, my co-worker turned her 9-step plan into an easy-to-follow flowchart on the entire process of hitting a golf ball.
By creating the mind maps and flowchart she learned a lot about the importance of each factor and how to execute each step. With a lot of practice and the help of Minitab Workspace, she now knows exactly what goes into a well-executed golf shot and she feels more comfortable about her upcoming tournament.