Stop Thinking about Your Swing!

If you are anything like me you desperately want to get better at golf. You think about your swing at night, at work and maybe even while out at dinner. You probably even stroke putts and hit chips somewhere in your home. You watch golf on the weekends and you read about it during the week. You have taken lessons, purchased strange training aids and struggled to get significantly better. I am guilty of all of the above and I am beginning to think it is more of a detriment than anything else. The reason I say this is because the more I think about my swing the worse it gets. I’ll explain.

I recently came back from a six-day golf trip in North Carolina. While I was on the trip I played a lot of golf. I played so much golf, I didn’t have time to think about my swing. I never had a long period of time where I was sitting at my desk wondering what my next round would hold. My next round was always the next day. The next range session was only a few hours away. It was easy to let go of some of my swing thought anxiety because I knew I had a chance to work on it in the very near future.

Now I am back in Chicago and I am thinking about my swing again. I’m thinking about it  a lot. Sitting at my desk not knowing when my next round will be is causing me to think about my swing more than I want. Since I have been back, I have played two rounds of golf. They were my two worst scores I have ever shot on this course. Being stuck at a desk and having two terrible rounds of golf to reflect on is causing me to think about the mechanics of my swing way too much.

Last night I went to the range to pound out some of these new demons. I bought a large bucket and went to work. I knew my grip was a bit off, as was my takeaway and my release just wasn’t getting the job done. I was determined to fix all of these things. Want to know the result? The WORST bucket of balls I have ever hit. I was hitting my pitching wedge a good 20 yards left of my target. 20 yards!!! I was furious.

I bought a second bucket. This time I said to myself, “keep your head still and hit down on the ball.” The result? A bucket full of golf shots. I started to hit the ball straighter and further by just trying to smash the ball into the ground. I wasn’t worried about my takeaway or my angle of attack and blah blah blah. I have written this before, but over thinking the swing is an absolute game killer.

A lot of mechanics goes into the golf swing. My experience so far has been that over thinking those mechanics can be a real pitfall. This might be a gross over simplification on my end and I recognize that. My experience has shown me that getting the swing thoughts out of my head is the best way for me to play golf. There are a few more range sessions in my near future as well as a few early morning 9 hole outings before work in order to keep working on my game. If I don’t have something on the horizon I know I will let myself fall back into over thinking and analyzing my swing.


3 Comments to “Stop Thinking about Your Swing!”

  1. You have hit the nail on the head with the mechanics and overthinking my man. The good news is that you are not alone. What’s important is frequent play (not necessarily six rounds in six days) but frequent enough that the act of playing becomes second nature. Then you think less and let your body react more. Many of the great NBA players became great by playing pickup or street ball, over and over again, not necessarily practicing the mechanics of a free throw or jumper in the gym. There is a time for mechanical work but enough play has to balance that out. For us desk jockeys, it’s tough. I’d think one 18 hole round on the weekend and a single mid-week 9-hole outing should get the job done. Good luck and remember to think target!

    • Thanks Brian. I totally agree that one round on the weekend and a 9 during the week should be enough to get me playing more. It is also interesting that coming back from North Carolina I felt I was playing more as opposed to trying to make swings. After my first bad round here in Chicago I reverted way back to the old ways and now i’m fighting to get back to just playing when I go out. I know i’m not the only one who fights this, and I am trying to find a realistic fix for my desk jokey situation.

  2. I agree that the swing is all muscle memory. It is not something that should be thought of will performing. Additionally, I have played my best when I am focused on golf, not my swing. Your post definitely hits home with how I think good golf is played. Thanks for sharing


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