For the sake of simplicity, all advice on swings and drills is provided from a right handed perspective; lefties …. well, you know what to do!

Ever since the game has been taught professionally, there has been debate on the emphasis that should be placed on swing mechanics vs. feel.

The goal for every golfer should be to go out and play with a free mind and great target awareness. See the shot and execute the swing, while not consciously thinking about swing mechanics.
The problem is that you can’t get to that place without practicing lots of reps of swing mechanics.

Most good players learn their swings. They decide on the type of swing they want to use, then they find somewhere to practice their swing mechanics until they become second nature.

Then they go to the course and learn to play the game.

There are some players like Bubba Watson who are naturals, who have an uncanny ability to hit the ball far and well, but they are rare exceptions.

Most of us need some sort of guidance – books, DVD’s, youtube clips, formal instruction, etc. For us ordinary folk, once we find something that works we need to be able to repeat it, and that comes with lots of practice. Repetitions of swing mechanics, to be more specific.

Mastery of the mechanics must precede “feel” for anyone. “Feel” is what you get after the mechanics are automatic. That takes in anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 repetitions per segment of your swing, then assembling the segments.

I have played with some players that have great natural talent, but they can’t repeat their swing consistently because they don’t know it intimately. By knowing it, I mean making a swing, watching and understanding what the ball does, then having the knowledge and ability to make changes if necessary.

I offer this sales analogy.

I have had businesses in the past where I had to train a sales force. I would insist that my sales people either used a sales script that I developed, or that they develop one of their own that I would approve prior to them making presentations to prospects. It contained all the necessary elements, introduction, features, benefits, the close, etc.

Some of the “natural” salespeople resisted this until I asked them how they could change their presentation of their closing ratio was not up to par? You can’t change what you don’t know. You can’t repair or troubleshoot a presentation that has changed from customer to customer depending on your mood.

It’s the same with golf.

Accidentally hitting good shots isn’t good enough. You need to know what you did to make the ball do what it did. You need fundamental knowledge, or maybe better stated – knowledge of the fundamentals. You can’t repair or troubleshoot a bad swing that has no fundamental method, pattern, process, or plan.

As a golfer who wants a repeatable swing, you need to know two things:

  1. Ball flight faws
  2. Your swing pattern (the “script” of your swing)

If you can observe how a ball is reacting to your swing, and if you know the ball flight laws, you should be able to figure out what fundamental aspects of your swing are causing that flight.

If it’s all good, you have the knowledge to repeat the swing.

If there are problems, you have an idea of what to repair.

You can call it a swing method, pattern, style, or whatever you choose – but without that knowledge how can you develop or maintain skill?

So study a few different methods, choose one, and learn it; or take parts from several different methods that are compatible, piece them together, make that your swing, and learn that.

Educating yourself is the key. Your golf will then be much less frustrating, and you might even get to be good at the game.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,


Tom Tucker is a World Golf Teachers and United States Golf Teacher Federation-certified golf instructor. He may be contacted via his website or at the Plum Creek driving range in Batavia, NY.