Disclaimer! This is long!
To avoid reading it all:
In a sentence: "Lose the mechanical swing thoughts, even if you suck pretty bad."
I have been playing about a year. A little less, actually. Lowest score, 110. Normal score, 120. Typical inconsistent contact, and inconsistent ball flight, which brings typical frustration.
Play or practice 4-8 times a month. (It varies)
Additionally, I am a daily reader and sometime poster on TST, and have read a LOT about, and watched a LOT of golf over the past year. I have also had 3 lessons from Professionals that were very helpful to me. I think that I know more about golf than most with my experience level. In short, I am addicted to golf, full on.
I usually play with a few buddies who shoot in the 80s and 90s. It pains all three of us to see me struggle, though we all have a good time!
As I was conducting my daily rambling for 30 minutes straight to my buddy who shoots in the 80s about the flavor of the moment swing fix that I was SURE was 'it'. 'This will get me over the hump to bogey golf!' (Can't remember what it was, now)
My buddy says 'Consistent contact. Hit the damn ball!!'
I realized then that I have been driving myself crazy trying to fix my swing, and ruining any chance of success in the process! I am constantly abuzz with swing thoughts, both on and off the course. I had overdone it. Classic Paralysis by Analysis. I vowed then to focus on as few things as possible, and to trust my swing. I narrowed them down to three things gleaned from my extensive study and limited experience:
1) Become 'Target FOCUSED'
2) Swing Easy
3) Make Contact
I just got back from the range, and have never hit it better! With ALL clubs, too!
I offer those three pieces of advice to anyone who is roughly at my skill level, and seems frustrated by the search for a fix or several that are 'the key(s)'.
I cannot explain how big this seems to me. This is the first time I feel like I have made a change that really really helps my game overall, and noticed immediate results.
The biggest hurdle for me was clearly mental. I posted this NOVEL here because I think I am not alone, and I want to help, if I can.
Here was the mental hurdle so difficult to overcome:
I was certain that I was 100% justified in NOT trusting my swing, whatsoever.
I could not let go of swing thoughts during the actual swing itself. I thought that I needed them, or at least one of them. I thought that if I dropped my focus from any number of rotating thoughts, everything would fall to pieces immediately, and I would have no chance at hitting the ball well at all. I believed that my swing thoughts were the fabric holding my wild, inconsistent swing just barely together.
I was WRONG! Those thoughts were strangling my swing, and literally filling it with tension, which was KILLING me out there.
The tipping point was after my buddy told me to hit the damn ball, and I realized that no matter what I thought I knew about golf and the golf swing, my results were clear: I still suck after a year of pretty dedicated mental and physical effort.
I finally gave up and let it all go. I literally said to myself out loud:
"I can't do MUCH worse. MAYBE I can trust my swing, even though my wild inconsistency would suggest otherwise. Oh well. What have I got to lose? EVERYONE says swing easy and visualize your shot. Though I have seen NO evidence to suggest that my swing is trustable.. Maybe some magic will happen. I doubt at least that ill shoot worse than my standard 120..."
It was just a range session, but I did those 3 things (Really, 1 and 2, mostly - #3 basically took care of itself!)
Hit em straight!!