To play golf well … you need to be aggressive in how you swing. However, because the typical Golfer is thinking about too many things every shot … they have no aggressiveness whatsoever.
Yet, as many people will say that they’re already “overly aggressive” because they swing too hard – the “too hard” comment may be a misconception on your part.
A better way to describe what most struggling Golfers do is they swing with an uneven pace. Meaning slow in most areas of the swing as they’re thinking about what needs to be done correctly (as well as what needs to be avoided) … then at some point in the forward swing … they remember they need to gain power to get distance.
Thus, one part of their body … probably their hands and arms – thrusts at the ball … leaving the other parts of their body behind. Causing you to make an awkwardly, off balance, inconsistent … golf swing.
What is the cause of this?
It can be said that the #1 bad habit in golf isn’t “lifting your head”, “taking your eyes off the ball”, “bending your left arm”, “reverse pivoting”, or “coming over the top” … the #1 bad habit in golf is “overthinking”.
As Dr. Barry Schwartz, author of the book – The Parody of Choice – wrote: “if we have too much information at hand, we become overwhelmed. When we become exposed to seemingly endless choices, our decision-making process is stunted and we can become debilitated.”
Translate that to golf … and you have the traits of the typical Golfer that has too many things they’re thinking about in their golf swing. They become “overwhelmed and debilitated” with the task of hitting a golf ball.
And as University of Chicago Professor, Sian Beilock wrote: “You cannot think your way through a routine, practiced action like making a putt. Compare it to quickly shuffling down a flight of stairs. You could do that without thought.
“But if I asked you to do it, and at the same time think about how much you bend your knee each time or what part of your foot is touching the stair, you would probably fall on your face. That’s what happens when people choke. They try to think their way through the action.”
In golf … the Golfer is thinking so much about small details – many of which are actually happening naturally, without thought – that you’re doing the equivalent of the person shuffling down the stairs while thinking about the angle of their knee bend.
This is why Golfers should be focused on drills that allow them to feel their golf swing. Thus, as Sam Snead said, “you’re putting brains in your muscles”. These “brain-muscles” don’t need to send their thoughts to your already overthinking brain … the muscles can handle these movements themselves.
Which then allows you to make a smooth, yet aggressive golf swing which produces many consistent shots.
How do you get yourself on this PLAN? You start by understanding the value of using drills that train your muscles to do these things naturally. As opposed to “thinking your way through” the tips you read in the Golf Magazines, or the Youtube videos or the golf lessons you have taken where you were over-taught to do things you already naturally do in your swing.
You start by committing to understanding the feel of your golf swing … not the mechanics of the swing. Let me worry about the mechanics … that’s what I do for a living. I take the complicated mechanics and present them to you in simple, feel improving drills that allow you to stop overthinking on the golf course.
Because the skill of a Superior Instructor is to take the complicated golf swing and communicate it to the Golfer in a way that allows them to simply feel their swing … not overthink it!
My advice for you is to reread the above paragraph … and then go back through all your lessons, magazine articles, youtube videos … and see if that is what is being portrayed to you. Or is most of it just complicated information that actually happens naturally in the golf swing … just like how your knee naturally bends at the perfect angle for you as you shuffle down the stairs. Because if you think of the knee bend (going down the stairs) … you will fall (on your face).
Or as Professor Beilock says – “Under stress, many people think about the mechanics of their actions to control the situation, but that conscious thought actually diminishes their expertise”.
The Monkey is overthinking their golf swing
The Player is feeling their swing
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life