What do you focus on?

What do you focus on during your swing on the golf course? 

Is it keeping your head down or your left arm straight? Or is it the timing of your wrist hinge or making a full turn to the top of the backswing?

Whatever it is, you might want to think about leaving it on the driving range.

One of the most challenging things about becoming a better golfer is conquering our biggest enemy. It’s not the golf course, the elements, competitors, or anything like that.

It’s ourselves, and many times our golf swing thoughts.

Don’t think about the swing

To me one of the most harmful thoughts golfers can have is about the swing itself. Golfers will have a checklist of golf swing thoughts that they go through before, and during their actual swing.

The more you think, the more stress builds up and this brings on tension. With any kind of tension, a free flowing swing is just not going to happen.

During my playing career, I was often guilty of questioning a bad swing or shot and trying to rectify it with each following shot. I would play my best golf when words like tempo and rhythm were going through my head.

 

What should you be thinking?

This varies from person to person. I believe a swing thought should be a positive mantra that makes sense only to the individual and to no one else.

It is something you imagine or say to yourself with your practice swing, and then just before you hit the ball.

A few examples could be:

  • "smooth and slow"
  • "back of the ball"
  • "inside the ball"
  • "60 per cent"
  • "easy does it"
  • "grip and rip it" ...

OK, so you can ignore the last one. But you get the idea?

Photo credit: 1.5 seconds of thought

Photo credit: 1.5 seconds of thought

 

What do the pros think?

I focus on my facial muscles. When you can get your mouth to relax, your whole body relaxes.
— Keegan Bradley
Under pressure, I do use one simple swing thought: I pick a spot a foot in front of the ball and hit over it — hard. That takes my mind off the outcome of the shot and keeps me in the process.
— Rory McIlroy

These two swing thought examples are not even related to the actual swing!

Practice and rehearse your swing thoughts... on the range only!

I don't think there is a better of example of hitting a ball subconsciously than when you hit your first shot into water or out-of-bounds on a hole, storm to your bag, pick out a ball and then proceed to hit a near perfect shot!

This is what makes professionals as good as they are, hitting different types of shots over and over and over. Working on timing, sequencing and feelings associated with the shots.

When at the range, work on feelings and work on simple thoughts. Marry those together and then put them in to play on the course.

 

Where's your head at?

I would love to help you out with trying to develop a swing thought that works for you.

Book in for a lesson today and let's see where your head is at.

 

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