By Matt Trimble, PGA
Do you practice? What do you practice and why? Imagine spending three weeks tying your shoes in a new way. Will you forget how to tie them the old way? Nope, but now there’s two ways of tying your shoes. When you’re running late for work and quickly throw on your shoes, which way will you tie them? If your mind is on auto-pilot and you’re not focused on the task at hand, you’ll likely revert back to the technique that you used the most.
It’s the same with the golf swing. Most people don’t practice. Those that do often have no idea what or how to practice, so when they think it’s time for a change, it usually leads to “try this” or “try that” trial and error. But no matter what they try, they’ll most likely revert back to the form with the most repetitions.
Building and maintaining a great swing begins with knowing what to change and why, followed by knowing how to change it. Then it’s a matter of ingraining the changes through purposeful practice. Teaching professionals can help you with this by recommending drills, thoughts and teaching aids. However, you must then practice the new concepts until they flow naturally when on auto-pilot, under pressure, or focused on the target.
This takes repetition, commitment, and time, but it’s the best way to finally play “golf” – instead of “golf swing.” To play golf well, you need to simply play instead of tinkering with your swing while on the golf course. If you’re thinking about body parts, angles and swing mechanics, you’re not playing golf at all. You are practicing – which is great – however this should be done in the appropriate place with someone who can help you to get golf-ready for your next round. Continued quality practice will not only allow you to perform, it will also lead to more enjoyment of the game. What are you practicing?