Every person will have different attributes of build and strengths in their hands or legs or core and range of motion limitations in certain areas.... This is the exact reason we will never look like someone else when we swing a golf club.
No-one will ever say that my golf swing looked like Ben Hogan's when compared on video or when comparing still static pictures. However the dynamics of the motion are much closer when viewed below than most people would see or believe.
The answer to the title is - we CAN DO BOTH...
Take a look at the adjacent pictures.
Camilio Villegas shows a classic bent right arm into impact. His shoulders and hips are quite comparable in their rotation ratio. His right leg is flexed and driving with the club with his balance working around his left heel and right toe. The shaft of the club if extended would run right into his belly button region just above his belt.
Chad Campbell shows a more thrusting right arm into impact. His hips have opened up and his shoulders have stayed squarer in an unmatched hip/shoulder alignment. His right leg is straighter and stopped in relation to the club into a more flat footed toeward balance point. The shaft of his club if extended would run up higher into an area closer to the sternum.
So in moving the golf club through the motion Villegas is returning the clubhead and shaft to a much closer position to his address position than Campbell is.....
Ever wondered why golf is seemingly easy one day and you can do little wrong and then the next day you feel like you have never held a club in your hands before!!
FEEL........ It is the lifeblood of a consistent player.
So how do we create feel?.... Well we need to start off by thinking...What do we feel with?.... The HANDS.
Our hands provide us all the sensation of feel, so the more we can feel the club in our hands the more feel we are going to have...right....This is a huge reason I am all for heavier and not lighter equipment.
Now I am not advocating using the hands to swing the club. That amounts to having minimal control of the club and it's orientation and not enough body activity to move the club. I am talking about working the pressures of our entire body ALL the way into our hands throughout the swing. Pressures in the right direction throughout the swing are the glue that allows motions to function and stick and repeat with more control.
How can we gain the most benefit from our practice sessions?
Whenever possible do your practice in a controlled environment. By this I mean if your course allows you to hit your OWN balls at practice ....DO IT. The experience of hitting your own golf balls out into the distance can really help fine tune your learning experience. Growing up I had 100 balls in my shag bag. I would hit this entire bag of 100 balls with my wedges and then the same amount with my short irons and then onto mid irons and then long irons and ultimately the woods, which adds up to a lot of balls in a day. After each 'repetition' of 100 balls I would have to go pick them up. Knowing I had to retrieve my own balls zoned me in to taking more time between shots. It made me zone into my target. It made me be much more precise in my practice because I didn't want to have to walk too far off the beaten track to retrieve the balls. And God help me if I lost one and came back to start the next batch with only 99 or 98 balls in my shag bag.
I know many golf clubs supply range balls for revenue and for ease and people regard this as the easiest method, but hitting unsentimental range balls provides a different environment in the mind. From my experience I become less attached to the shot knowing I didn't have to retrieve the ball I was about to strike. However if you can get out to a field or hit balls on an unused hole (as Hogan did at Shady Oaks) and know each ball means something when the time comes for 'pick up' then you will be amazed at how much more in tune we become with our swing and mental capacity.
How many strokes per round does the average golfer waste due to poor decisions? If I told you a 20 handicap player could be a 15 handicap player within a month only by making better decisions would you believe me?
While we all want to improve our golf swings so we can hit longer drives and straighter irons and we all want to chip it close and one putt every green- the truth is a good golf swing and short game is only a part of being a successful golfer. The major area of improvement that is available for ALL golfers is to learn the art of manging themselves better around the golf course.
Course management. We hear that phrase all the time. Do we listen? We love to quote Sam Snead's famous line "you have to dance with the gal you brought" but how many golfers actually bring those words into context with their actions?
Over my years as a professional golfer plaing in pro am events before the tournaments I have witnessed countless poor decision making from golfers. The shot selection and the things they try to attempt almost always play a much bigger bearing on the disastrous scorecard they hand into the scorers hut at the end of play than their golf swing could ever do.
We all have a standard ability- this is based on our handicap. To go outside this standard or level of ability and attempt shots we have no right in attempting is every golfer's downfall. We compound the mistakes by venturing farther into trouble when trying to escape a predicament.