My friend has a golf swing that is fairly slow and rhythmical with a good follow through. However, his problem is that he has great difficulty in starting his downswing by moving his hips first, yet I have seen him do a practice swing without the ball there and it is perfect
Why is it that when the ball is in front of him he just seems incapable of hitting it with a swing that is as good as the practice swing? This set me thinking how I could help him out.
Here's what I think. If you have a nice smooth practice swing, and everything goes to hell in a handbasket with a ball there. There is only one explanation. It's all in your head. At this point, it's a mental thing that you have to overcome.
ALL of your energy and thought is focused solely on the OUTCOME of the swing instead of the swing itself and where the ball ends up after the fact. You're putting too much pressure on yourself and its killing your smooth swing. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you should be over thinking the mechanics either. I know some golf practice drills in that help conquer that issue.
However, when you have total confidence that you'll hit your target, you'll nail it most every time. You see, there is nothing on the line when you practice your golf swing so everything moves like a well-oiled machine. But, put a little pressure on you and BOOM! Your nice smooth golf swing goes the way of the dinosaurs - HISTORY!
Go to the range and do the following mental drill. Put yourself on your favorite, most memorized golf course. Play an entire round (except for putts). Before you shoot, during the practice swing, say in your head (or out loud) the word "fluid" during the backswing, and "swing" on the through-swing.
Also do this when you swing with a golf ball in the way. Doing this will DISTRACT YOUR CONSCIOUS MIND so your subconscious can take over and swing like it knows you can swing. I've done this many times just to get myself out of thinking about mechanics when I swing. It works, or at least it works for me.
One more thing...you should think of your swing as a means to an end. By doing this, you'll have less pressure on yourself. In addition, before you swing, use the visualisation that the top golf pros use. In your mind, have the golf ball ALREADY on the target. Have it there in your mind before you even set up. This will increase your confidence and help you to swing smoother.
And what's more, I told all this to my friend and now his hips move the same when the ball is there as on the practice swing. He said that the most helpful thing was using the words which took his mind off the ball - the practice swing became the real swing!
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