In a recent survey of 24 PGA Tour players, 18 said they didn’t think about anything at all during their swing.
Those that did have a swing thought said it was to focus on a spot a few inches in front of the ball, to encourage swinging through, or hitting “the inside of the ball” so as to swing from the inside.
NONE of them said they had ANY technical thoughts about their swing. So if this is what the best players in the world are doing, shouldn’t you do it too?
Obviously a Tour pro has less reason to worry about the mechanics of their swing – they work on their game day in and day out and have ingrained solid, repeatable swings.
But whether you are a weekend or tournament player, a good golf swing needs to be an aggressive, athletic action, not pieced together by a series of “correct” movements.
Does a soccer or basketball player think about how far and at what angle they take their arm or foot back while taking a shot? Put simply, the more you try to control your action, the harder it is to perform that action.
The same applies to golf. The less you think while you’re swinging, the better your swing will be.
Here’s a practice drill for you right out of my new eBook Fundamentals and Practice Drills for a better mental game.
My Tour player friends have let me in on what they believe the most effective ways are to practice and narrow the gap between the pro mind-set and the average player – and that’s what I’ll be sharing with you in the eBook.
Available for instant download for $17 and if you buy today, I’ll throw in a copy of the audiobook. Simply click here to get them.
1. Hit a dozen balls as you normally would and focus on a technical swing thought.
2. Hit another dozen balls, only this time (after visualizing the shot and having a clear target) say “1-2” to yourself as your swing.
“1” all the way to the top, and “2” through the ball. This technique was made famous by Tim Gallwey back in the 1970s, and it’s still considered to be one of the best ways to clear your mind of technical thoughts and to maintain a good rhythm.
See what the difference is in the shots. Impressive, huh?
That’s because the stronger our attempts to control our swing, the more errant our shots become. The more swing thoughts you have – the slower the brain will send signals to your muscles.
There is a tendency to try and analyze and prevent the action that caused the last bad shot during the swing. We’ve all been there. But how did that work out? I’m sure it made things worse, which is proof that trying to fix a swing fault during your round – or even worse, during your swing – is counter-productive.
Leave the swing thoughts for the driving range. Instead, truly connect with the shot you are about to hit. Become immersed in the shot itself, not in the action required to produce it.
You have plenty of time to do all your “thinking” during your pre-shot routine (see the first of these email lessons if you need a recap!).
Keep your routine going and keep visualizing the shot until your “go trigger” tells you it’s time to make a confident, thought-free, aggressive swing at the target.
Why not make thought-free swings a goal for your next practice session or round? It’s always better to make process rather than results your goal. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. Setting yourself goals such as “Thought-free swings” (instead of outcome goals like score) is one such goal you’ll learn to give yourself after you’ve read the Mental Game Fundamentals and Practice Drills eBook, your indispensable guide to practicing the mental game. Don’t waste any more time practicing in the wrong way!