Keep One Swing Thought to Reduce Stress

Last weekend I played a very tough course outside of downtown Chicago.  The course is called Bull Valley and from the tips the slope is at 151.  Our group played from two up and the slope is still a 141.  Needless to say the course was tough.  I knew it was going to be tough going into it and on the range before the round I made a decision.  I decided to pick only one swing thought and commit to it all day.

As I was hitting balls I felt very comfortable with my contact and ball flight when I was thinking only of getting the shaft of my club in line with my shoulder plane on the back swing.  From there I felt comfortable with my positions and I felt free to swing through the ball.  It produced a nice draw for me and I felt at ease standing over the ball.

Over the past winter and this season I went on a campaign to really get down to the fundamentals of my swing and improve them.  It has helped a lot in terms of understanding my swing, but at times it has filled my head with too many mechanical thoughts.  Often times before a shot I would be thinking about my grip, knee flex, shoulders, head position, face angle, weight shift, wrist hinge, shoulder turn and on and on.  The bottom line is that my head was so full of swing thoughts I never felt comfortable taking a swing.  It was impossible to create a consistent swing when I was over analyzing every swing and making adjustments for the next shot.

This approach made actually playing golf very stressful and at times miserable.  I had forgotten how to visualize a shot, hit it and go get ready for the next shot.  By focusing on only one swing thought I felt liberated from all of the technical swing thoughts I have had all season.  It let me play my swing and my shots one at a time and with very little stress.  The removal of the stress over my shots was huge for me because it made the round much more fun.  If I had made some putts it would have been a very good round for me, but that is a whole other story!

If you are like me and think about your swing and golf all day every day it can be hard to “let it go” when you are on the course, but this trick helped me free myself up a bit.  Give it a shot and feel free to share what the one swing thought you use is.

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3 Comments to “Keep One Swing Thought to Reduce Stress”

  1. My one swing thought. I’d rather it be to slow then to fast.

  2. Very sage advice. you should read and reread this post over and over 🙂 I have a small cache of swing thoughts but my favorite one is to keep my upper arms connected to my chest as much as possible. Keeps my turn full helps me feel connected. Thanks!

  3. Thanks Brian. I have taken this swing thought to the course twice now and it has worked out very well. Makes the rounds much more fun.

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