Feel Your Golf Practice Swing
Golfers struggle to be athletic when playing golf because they have a hard time transition from their analytical (think too much) side of their brain to their athletic side of their brain. The most common error I see when working with players is that they have “mechanical” (technique) related swing thoughts rather than having “feel” related swing thoughts.
When using using FocusBand golf mental game training device, I am able to identify where players go wrong in their pre shot routine. Most of the damage is done before the player even walks into the ball, which creates a bad shot. FocusBand, first used by Jason Day on the PGA Tour, has partnered with Flightscope launch monitor, so we are able to figure out a pre shot routine that translates to a more consistent-powerful swing and positive results. Every player I have worked with achieves a more consistent golf shot when they are in their “athletic” (feel) side of their brain compared to their analytical side of the brain.
How do you achieve a “feel” oriented practice swing?
You have probably noticed that you play better golf when you “don’t care”. Obviously when we are playing verse our friends or in tournaments we want to care, so how do we achieve that relaxation when we are under pressure or playing a round of golf that matters? It all starts in your pre shot routine!
Example, when you arrive at your ball, pay attention to the upcoming shot and ask yourself:
- What shot am I most comfortable hitting?
- Our instincts will tell us what is most comfortable. For this example, lets say we naturally see a fade for the upcoming shot. Even if you think you are “supposed to” hit a draw, lets play a fade because you will be more confident and trust the fade.
- Pick out a “safe” target. (Erroring on the fat part of the fairway or green)
- Visualize or describe to yourself where you want the ball to start and where you want the ball to end.
- Take smooth, tempo practice swings of what a fade feels like. Do NOT think of it in a mechanical or technique way.
- Mechanical thought – I have to get my swing path left and have my face open in order to hit a fade
- Feel swing thought – what does it feel like to hit a cut shot? Feel the practice swing in good tempo rather than mechanically trying to place it.
- After your practice swings, walk into the shot – check alignment and try to re-create that good tempo-feel practice swing
If you have trouble creating the feel, try to focus on your breathing pattern. Most times I will have my players start a long, slow deep breathing pattern before they arrive at the shot to begin step 1 of the pre shot routine. Breathing is the best way to control your anxiety and tap into the ATHLETIC side of your brain creating consistently great golf shots!
Below is a video showing me using FocusBand in the golf school. Pay attention to the iPad and how the brain on the screen (left side of ipad) goes from green to red. After step 1 of the pre shot routine, you want to be green throughout the rest of the routine and through impact.