Swing Feels

Swing Feels

Players usually refer to technical things they focus on while playing as “swing thoughts”. In fact, I once read Jack Nicklaus recount the final round of the 1972 US Open at Pebble Beach and actually state that he had 8 swing thoughts that day.  How is that humanly possible?  We can’t argue that he did anything wrong because he won the tournament.  But, what did he really mean when he said he had 8 swing thoughts?

In 1972, Jack Nicklaus was 32 years old and had hit countless golf shots over 20 years.  This means he had achieved some level of automaticity with his movement. That being said, he felt he needed to have subtle feels that would allow him to perform at his best.  To give you a modern day example of this, Justin Rose has stated that he has multiple swing feels he rotates through based on how he is performing to help him to get on track.  He said that all the feels fall within the same swing philosophy which is much different than jumping from swing thought to swing thought as many golfers do.  In fact, the typical range session for a golfer is to hit 10-15 shots with one swing thought and, without any evidence of consistency, jump to the next one.  And we wonder why people don’t improve?  You must stick with your plan based on your most recent assessment. 

The process of actually making changes and transferring them to the course will involve subtle feels.  You can only find those through consistent and intentional practice.  Make sure you are approaching your practice sessions with clear objectives to create awareness around your movement so you can harness it into those swing feels that will help you to perform at your best on the course.

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