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Are you a feel or mechanical golfer?

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,


In the words of the great Lee Trevino, there are feel players and mechanical players, with most people falling somewhere inbetween. A 100 percent feel and 100 percent mechanical can achieve the same results.


Criteria -




Natural ability. The swing could be either ugly, strange or fairly orthodox looking, but works all the same. Would play a multitude of shots from 150 yards with various clubs. Doesn't benefit much from tuition. Doesn't need to practice much.




Learnt ability. The swing is learnt and probably looks fairly orthodox. Would have only one or two options from 150 yards. Benefits greatly from tuition. Devotes a lot of time to practice.


I would class myself as 70/30 feel/mechanical player - mostly natural but need to tweak technique a little, benefits from basic advice, would practice once a week for 2 hours and play 2 rounds of golf a week to continue to improve.


What are you?



post #2 of 81

Everyone is a feel player. Even when you learn the mechanics, you have to feel it. I think a better distinction is intuitive vs. calculating. 

post #3 of 81

Grab stick, hit ball. 


Thinking about mechanics only makes my head hurt and reminds me how little I actually understand about the golf swing.

post #4 of 81
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post

Everyone is a feel player. Even when you learn the mechanics, you have to feel it. I think a better distinction is intuitive vs. calculating. 


I've met plenty of players who have a set play for any shot or lie and never, ever improvise.  They usually play well in predictable situations, but are lost when a shot requires some imagination.  They have a Pelz style short game with everything calculated to death, but when the calculations fail, so do they.  To me, that's mechanical - robotic.


I am very much a feel player.  That hurts my long game as compared to the typical mechanical player, but I think that it makes me more competent in the short game and in recovery situations.

post #5 of 81
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post

Everyone is a feel player. Even when you learn the mechanics, you have to feel it. I think a better distinction is intuitive vs. calculating. 


post #6 of 81

Mechanics helps you make progress at the beginning, but eventually you must use feel to tell if your finer mechanics are correct.


Even with videotaping of golf swings, I need the right feel to be able to fine-tune the game. Problem is, the main feel I've noticed the last couple of years is my right hip getting tight, starting about the 15th hole. I do all the exercises, but still struggle at the end.

post #7 of 81

When I'm playing well, I'm a feel player. I keep my head clear of minor swing thoughts and focus on my tempo, which usually results in a solid swing and better results.


When I get mechanical and start focusing on swing thoughts, it tends to work to the detriment of my game as a whole. I get so focused on solving my perceived problem, that I create a handful of new ones in it's place. I've learned that (for me, anyway), I need to correct my swing flaws on the range - trying to do it on the course is a fool's errand.

post #8 of 81

I fall in the "feel" category.  My son who is working really hard to get his game together was having problems chipping and pitching.  We were practicing one afternoon and he asked me about different shots I was hitting.  I had hit a couple from a hillside above the green that were like lob shots but from a lower spot I hit a pitch and run kind of shot but yet from down below the green I was hitting lob shots again.  He asked me why.  I remember I told him...."for me, it is all about how I "feel" the shot should look."  I have practiced all kinds of shots, trajectories, etc.  Honestly, I think that is why if I miss the green, I walk up to the ball with couple of club options in my hands. 

I have some friends who have recently worked on their games very hard too but they are, in my mind, stuck on mechanics and they are struggling.  Their swings have become almost robotic, a bad robotic I must add. 

post #9 of 81
I'm really trying hard to be a stupid golfer. Those are the guys that make the big bucks!
post #10 of 81

For full swing, I'm totally mechanical. I would have loved to be the feel player - but my natural swing and the ball going down the fairway just weren't two things that came together.  I've learned a golf swing mechanically from beginning to end.


Short game and putting would be different for me.  I do a little of the Mickelson hinge and hold.  But other than that I just do what comes natural. Short game always seemed easier to me.  And my short game is way better than my full swing.

post #11 of 81

With regards to the golf swing I think I'm a mechanical golfer because I can't trust feel.  In general I'm a logic guy so I'm more comfortable with science and numbers than interpreting feel or what I'm supposed to feel.  I'll use the numbers to direct me towards what I should feel and work from there.   With regards to shots on the course I use both though admittedly I'm more ambitious with my "feel" shots than my mechanics can back up at this point. 

post #12 of 81

every player is mechanical and feel player. You have to have feel no matter what. IF you didn't feel anything you couldn't be mechanical to begin with because you would be able to feel the mechanics of the swing. So no matter what everyone is 100% a feel player. I they are not opposites of each other. Some swings are more mechanical then others. Like Matt Kutchar is very flat, and his swing is basically rotate back and through.


I would say, its mechanical versus non-mechanical. I can see the difference, Bubba Watson versus Matt Kutchar, but there all feel players.

post #13 of 81

Feel...To a fault.


As a stereotypical holistic action learner it works great for things I have never done before but the guys that follow the dots usually eventually catch and pass me...If they develop feel along the way.


To be as good as you can be almost always takes both (but good luck getting a holistic type to follow mechanical rules).

post #14 of 81

Lee was wrong.


What he meant to say was that some players just guess, trying different things until they stumble onto the one that works that day/week/month/whatever, while others will hone in on what they need to fix (the mechanics) and them stumble around (but take far less time, typically) trying to find a feel that fixes the mechanics.

At the end of the day, everyone fixes the mechanics by employing some sort of "feel."

post #15 of 81

Basic salesmanship..."Feel, Found, Felt"...   "I understand what you "feel", in fact, I have "found" that often times in the past, I have "felt" the same way. Now let help you understand  how.........

post #16 of 81

I started as a "feel",imagining how a golf swing should feel. Then got frustrated,studied a bit and spent a LOT of time at the range in order to become "mechanical". Once I learned the principle mechanics of a golf swing I tried to become "feel" again. If I'm playing well and am hitting my second shot from a level place in the middle of the fairway, I'm feeling mechanical, if I have a lob wedge in my hand from within 25 yards of the green, I'm a 'feel' player. If I'm putting on a flat green from within 8 feet, I'm both or neither.

post #17 of 81

Feel.  I have no idea about swing path, angle of attack, other swing mechanic jargon.  When someone tells me that I'm too steep or flat all I know is what the ball did and where it ended up.  I can fix any abnormality in a couple of holes. 

post #18 of 81
I think everybody has some of both but if I were to choose I would say I am mechanical. I study and try to work on my mechanics as much as I can and I very rarely play a round without hitting a bucket prior. 150, no circumstances, I am hitting the same shot... my shot. The one I have worked on for countless hours and swings at the range and on course to be able to hit. When I run into a non traditional shot for the first time, like hitting under tree limbs while surrounded by trees, I may try to use feel to get lucky or pitch out but then you can bet I will be at home later learning that if I keep my right shoulder up my ball won't go in the air and I can punch it through the next time to advance toward the green and not waste a shot.
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