Golf Swing – 1 Mental Trick to a More Consistent Golf Swing

Golf Swing – 1 Mental Trick to a More Consistent Golf Swing

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Your golf swing is the most important part of your game — no perimeter weighting or sweet spot can save your score if your swing is off. Since it doesn’t take much to throw off your swing, even minor errors and issues can leave your score far below its potential.

Golf’s Golden Rule

The number one rule of golf is simple: relax. We love this game for the camaraderie, the lush surroundings, and the test of skill and strategy, so don’t let those benefits be overshadowed by the frustration of developing your swing.

Also, worrying too much about your swing can make you hyper focus, or concentrate too hard. Because golf swings require such a delicate balance of strong and gentle touch, hyper focusing on a single aspect of your swing can cause you to overdo it (or neglect other aspects), which not only doesn’t improve that one stroke, but also doesn’t teach you very much about your swing in general.

Additionally, when you bring a lot of stress onto the green, your muscles are more likely to be tense, which means your swing will end up being rigid rather than flowing. Remember that golf swings are similar to dance moves: they look and feel better the more you practice them, and everyone does them a little differently.

How to Grip the Club

This next part is easier if you’ve already taken the time to relax. As mentioned earlier, stress causes muscle tension, which can lead to rigid appendages and slouching, neither of which is good for golf. If your arms are too rigid or your hands are gripping the club too tightly, you could be messing up your swing by bringing outside stressors into your game.

In order to prevent this, pay attention to the way you hold the club. Ideally, golfers use what is called “neutral hands,” which essentially means positioning your hands and gripping the club in the most natural way possible. Having neutral hands allows your body to move easier, making the several steps of a golf swing into one graceful, streamlined motion.

In order to get neutral hands, stand up and relax your shoulders, letting your arms hang loose at your sides. When you look down at your hands, they are naturally positioned so that you can see only your first two knuckles.

Now place your lead hand (right for left-handed people, left for right-handed people) gently on the club, your thumbs pointing downward. You should have a view of your hand similar to when it was hanging at your side: just the first two knuckles showing. Make sure that the space between your thumb and forefinger isn’t pointing at your chin — instead, you want it to be directed toward back toward your shoulder. After placing your lead hand, place your other (or bottom) hand below your lead hand, careful to keep it in the neutral position.

Positioning Yourself: Stance

Now that you’re holding the club correctly, let’s move on to stance. Relaxing into your stance is essential, as the rigidity of your arms, legs, and back will all affect how well you swing and how far your shot goes. First, to position yourself, imagine two straight lines about shoulder-width apart that run from the tee box to the green, one of which intersects the ball. Stand with each foot evenly on the other line, your weight balanced squarely on the balls of your feet, and with your feet spread apart about shoulder-width.

Next, posture: keep your spine straight as you bend forward at the hips and bend your knees just slightly. Be sure not to over think straightening your back or you may end up with a stiff, weak swing. Instead, remember that straight spinal posture allows the back muscles to relax — just don’t let yourself slouch. Now let your whole body relax in that way: without losing the stance you’ve achieved, allow each muscle group to loosen, especially your hands, as squeezing the club too tightly will cause tension and stiffen your arms. This relaxed but precise stance will keep your body balanced and your swing powerful.

The Swing Itself

Compared to the steps that precede it, the two parts of the swing itself appear easy. For your backswing, make sure your weight shifts to the front of your back foot as your shoulders move evenly away from the green, and be sure your front arm is pulled up into an L of ninety degrees.

As you release into the downswing, your weight should shift to your front foot as the arm in an L-shape swings toward your target in one fluid movement. Also, make sure you’re not rushing your swing: you should be able to count “one-one-thousand” on both the back- and downswing.