What are 9 of the most popular golf swing thoughts that many Golfers have before hitting a golf ball?
- Keep my head still
- Left arm straight (right arm for left handed Golfer)
- Shift my weight
- Eye on the golf ball
- Turn my shoulders
- Don’t sway
- Make sure to swing easy
- Clear my hips on the way through
- Follow through all the way
Now which of these 9 are you thinking about before and during each shot? What? All 9?! Before and during each shot? Seriously? Wow!!!
The question I must ask is: if you did think of these 9 thoughts (or something similar), how many can you expect to do “correctly” on each golf swing? Now, I’m not saying that I agree that these are important thoughts – in fact, I believe that many of the 9 can do more harm than good to a Golfer getting ready to hit a golf ball. But, besides that point – the question needs to be: How much can you think about during one golf swing and still be able to hit a good golf shot?
Now, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that women can think about more things at one time than men can. This is a point that my wife has expressed to me many times over the last 10 years while she gives me my list of “Honey Do’s”. Yet, even the greatest multitasking female couldn’t consciously think about and do all 9 of those swing thoughts (or even 4 of those thoughts) during a golf swing that takes less than 2 seconds!
And besides, if you did ask a Golfer that happens to be on a ‘Good Streak’ for a few holes on the golf course – “You’re swinging so well, what are you doing?” – The answer 9 times out of 10 is simply something to the affect of: “I don’t know. I’m just trying to swing smooth.” Yet, if you say to a Golfer that happens to be on a ‘Bad Streak’ on the golf course – “What’s going on? You’re not playing as well as usual. What are you doing?” – The answer 9 times out of 10 is usually something to the affect of: “I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m probably thinking too much. I’m trying to … and also to … and on some swings I try to … Ohh, I just need to stop thinking about so much!”
Have you ever been in either of those situations yourself?
Now please, don’t misconstrue that I’m saying that if you only think of swinging smooth (and nothing else), that that will allow you to play your best golf ever. There might be more that goes into it. However, it’s a good place to start with rather than really screwing yourself up by trying to keep your head absolutely still while thinking of the 8 other things you need to do.
Yet, we need to make the distinction between ‘swinging smooth’ and ‘swinging easy’. I believe these are two totally different concepts. For example: For years, Golfers have marveled at how Fred Couples and Ernie Els have the ability to swing so smoothly. Yet, in typical Golfer talk – the description of their smooth swings have been misidentified by many Golfers marveling: “Ernie just swings so slow and easy and hits the ball a mile.”
Which is not true because Fred and Ernie don’t swing slow.
Couples – who still is in the top 10 in Driving Distance at 290 something yards a drive – has a swing speed around 120 miles per hour. There’s nothing slow or easy about 120 mph. Especially when the average male Golfer swings their Driver at speeds approaching 90 mph. And yet, after hitting a bad shot, this 90 mile per hour male Golfer will often say: “Oh, I tried to kill that one. I swung too hard. I wish I could swing as slow as Freddie Couples.” And the craziness about that statement is that you actually are already swinging 30 mph slower than Couples. Swing any slower and you’ll be 40 or 50 mph less than Freddie!
A Golfer that tries to swing “slow” and/or “easy” often throws off the timing of their golf swing more than they know. Which is the total opposite outcome of what they were hoping for. Whereas this Golfer will try to swing slower so that their timing (and consistency) will improve – the slowing down of your swing can cripple your golf swing in multiple ways. Too many ways to explain here – though we can get into two of the more frequent problems it can cause many Golfers.
A Golfer that’s trying to slow down their backswing could be causing more harm than good because of what happens much of the time when they transition from the back swing to the forward swing. If you’re swinging too slow on the way back – as you make the transition to now swing forward, you have two choices:
One – Continue to swing at the same speed and hit the golf ball ‘nowhere’. ‘Nowhere’ can be translated into – you’re not hitting the golf ball much distance at all because you have a very low swing speed. Yes, you maybe a little more accurate – however, you’re very short off the tee – making the hole very long and many times much more difficult.
Two – Abruptly speed up your forward swing so that you can create some swing speed to hit the golf ball farther. However, many times when a Golfer transitions from a slow back swing to a fast forward swing – many Golfers have the tendency of having their arms and hands outrace their body – while other Golfers may have their body outrace their hands and arms. Whichever tendency it is for you – just know that it could really foul up your golf swing in a big way.
So, many Golfers get stuck in the game of changing their swing every other shot because of this. The first shot they try to swing slow and they hit the golf ball much shorter than the people they’re playing with. The next shot they want to hit the golf ball farther while maintaining a “slow and easy swing” – so they have a slow back swing and then to get a little more power on the forward swing – they swing hard at the ball. Which invariably throws off your timing, swing path, swing plane, blah, blah, blah and causes the golf ball to slice off into the trees, or causes you to pop the golf ball straight up in the air, or top it 50 yards or …. whatever else a golf ball can do to annoy you on the golf course.
So on the next swing this Golfer decides they rather stay in play than lose another golf ball – so you go back to the “slow, easy golf swing” for a few holes so that you can play: “Well, At Least I’m Keeping It In Play” Golf. Yet, after a couple holes of: “Well, At Least I’m Keeping It In Play” – which translates into hitting the golf ball short and taking 3 or 4 shots to reach the green – you try one more time to swing with a little more power and …. let’s just say you go right back to the slow and easy swing that allows you to play the unfulfilling game of “Well, At Least I’m Keeping It In Play” Golf.
Do you know anyone that plays that way?
For Golfers that want to gain extra yards (while still keeping the ball in play) – we can very easily help you increase your controlled club head speed using what we call – ‘Effortless Power’. We work with many Golfers (from around the world) helping them to smooth out their golf swings which allows you to create the sensation of having ‘Effortless Power’. And that ‘Effortless Power’ often gives you the feeling as if you’re “swinging easy”. Yet, in reality, you aren’t “swinging easy” – you’re ‘swinging smoother’ along with having more power, control and consistency!
And although most people reading this will never approach a swing speed of 120 mph with their Driver – you can still improve your distance (and consistency) by having your swing speed increase from the 80 mph range to the 90 mph range or 90 to 100 or 100 to 110 – while swinging even more smoothly than you are right now. Trust me, I’ve seen it many, many times where a Golfer has gained 20, 30, 40 , even 50 yards on their Drives and then remarked: “I can’t believe that I hit the golf ball that far. Wow! And it felt like I swung soooo easy!!”
The Monkey falls into the trap of trying to “swing slow and easy” and then gets into the battle between having no distance (but being straight) vs. trying to get more distance (but being inconsistent)
The Player knows that there’s a huge difference between ‘swinging smoothly with Effortless Power’ vs. “swinging slow and easy with no power”
Go ahead, be Player!Regards,Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life