Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fix Your Swing When The Wheels Come Off

All golfers know that playing this game is often a struggle. Sometimes the challenges are external circumstances be­yond our control, while other times we seem to get in our own way. After twenty years of playing golf, I know what it feels like when your game has deserted you.

In every round of golf we face some sort of adversity that tests our will. What separates low handicap golfers from high handicappers is how one reacts when the poor shots appear. It is a golfer’s greatest temptation to “fix” his or her swing on the course, but when we start fixing our swings we fill our heads with swing thoughts and lose our sense of feel. The golf course is not the place for any sort of experimenting. The average golfer accumulates so many swing thoughts throughout a round that good play becomes nearly impossible. I’ve come up with a few “emergency thoughts” that help me get my game back on track while on the golf course. These positive swing thoughts will prevent poor play or turn things around as soon as possible when your game is in trouble, adding to your enjoyment on the golf course and lowering your score.

A Swing Key That Works

Before beginning a round of golf, select a swing thought for the day. The best place for thinking of a swing key is at the driving range during warm up. The most effective swing keys are simple and not specific to any part of the body. When golfers resort to manipulating certain parts of the body in hope of finding that ‘perfect move’, they can easily start over thinking. An example of a simple swing key would be “balance”, “soft hands”, or “swing within yourself” After committing to a single swing key, do not change to other swing keys. Proper preparation for a round of golf should include these positive, non‑technical thoughts. A player’s warm‑up session serves as a time to stretch the body and focus your mind. When you plan a day of golf, show up early enough to hit a small bucket and get all the experimenting out of your system. Free your mind from all the needless tinkering and play golf, not golf swing. In the next post, we’ll discuss “balance”, “soft hands”, and the importance of the “pre‑shot routine”.

Bobby Hinds is a teaching pro at Woodley Lakes Golf Course and has over 10 years of teaching experience. In each post, he will share with us some helpful thoughts and tips to help lower that index and make your game more enjoyable. To schedule a lesson, or for more swing advice, email Bobby at