Think about your last round of golf for a moment. Were you standing over the majority of your shots focusing on a checklist of positions and swing thoughts or were you relaxed and focusing on the target and the conditions at hand? If you are guilty of the first situation, you are trapped in a frustrating game of hit the ball and are missing out on many of the enjoyable aspects of the game of golf.
In it’s true essence, golf is a target game and should be a fun and enjoyable experience. The “game” of golf should be played at a creative level and not a mechanical level. The perfect golf swing is the one that fits the situation at hand, not the one you spend hours on the range trying to perfect under constant unchanging conditions. When you are focusing on swing mechanics you are not able to focus on target awareness and end up taking action on the ball instead of reacting to the target and the shot at hand. As a result you are playing golf swing and not golf.
The physical mechanics and positions of the golf swing are widely taught today thanks in particular to all the wonderful new technology and swing analysis software that is available today. It seems that every month there is a new theory or secret on how to create the perfect swing. Dissecting the whole into parts to see how each one functions can be beneficial for analysizing where your swing might be breaking down but can be very detrimental if you are trying to actually create these positions in your swing. Simply put, you can’t have a swing unless you have the motion of a swing present in the clubhead, you can’t dissect a motion into its parts and still have a motion, so you can’t take a swing apart and still have a swing! Consequently if your concept of the swing motion is muddled up with mechanical thoughts and positions and you take that to the golf course you will probably be focused on some form of conscious swing effort instead of reacting to the shot at hand. You are now playing golf swing not golf and your ability to improve your scores, play better golf and enjoy the game becomes frustrating.
The solutions for overcoming this “problem” are based on simplifying your understanding of the full swing into concepts based on a complete balanced motion. Leave the mechanics on the lesson tee and create an evaluation system of your “swing motion” with your instructor that allows you to understand why your ball goes straight, left and right. This allows you to make quick adjustments based on what the ball is doing and frees you up to begin to become more target aware and less mechanical. When you begin to actually play golf and not golf swing you will finally be free to play better golf, improve your scores and most importantly have more fun.