Tom’s Featured Tip:
Feel Your Swing

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!

These days, many players are diligently working on speed drills to enable them to hit the ball longer, that’s what most players consider to be the Holy Grail of golf.

I could argue that point a little, but I won’t.

Hitting it longer involves swing speed, strength, and coordination – an often ignored concept.

Everything done during practice is designed to improve the ability to execute technique in order to positively influence the result of your swing. A golfer’s inability to execute a practiced swing technique can often boil down to a lack of specific strength and muscular coordination.

I’m not talking swing sequence, I’m talking muscular and neural coordination. It’s a combination of technique, strength, and how it feels when you execute your swing – kinesthetic awareness.

The first step involved in being able to feel your swing is developing enough strength in your body to support your swing. Whole body strength training, with emphasis on core strength, should be worked into your life. If you’re not reasonably strong, it becomes harder to feel your swing.

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to get stronger, even at an older age.

The next part is developing your own swing style and owning it. Owning it means having the ability to execute a repeatable angled downswing arc on the proper angle for each club in your bag. I’m not saying that the backswing isn’t important, but delivering the club correctly into the impact area is more important than your backswing. Impact is the only non-negotiable fundamental in golf.

The final part is separating your swing into small segments, practicing each segment separately for lots of reps, then piecing everything together for the final product.

A great book on the number of reps that it takes to build a neural pathway for a golf swing is “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle.

As you move forward with your practice reps, your swing will start ingraining itself into a neural pathway, the more you practice, the more that happens.

Next time you go to the practice tee, work on some slow paced drills – if not static, to really feel muscle engagement at each stage of your swing.

Then work on medium paced swing drills, then full paced swing drills, trying to feel muscle engagement during each swing.

Actually practice feeling the swing motion.

If you have trouble feeling your movement, or if you are always off balance at the end of your swing, try making swings with your eyes closed. Without balls at first, then with a teed up ball in a place where you can do it safely.

This will heighten your kinesthetic awareness of movement and balance.

When you actually play, use your swing keys to prime your swing during your pre shot routine; then when you execute your swing, let it rip with no thought other than target awareness.

I’m tempted to say “it don’t mean a thing if you can’t feel that swing” but that would be way too corny.

Feel the swing motion and reap the benefits.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,