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iacas

Playing Golf Without a (Swing) Thought

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125 members have voted

  1. 1. How often do you play a competitive round of golf WITHOUT a swing thought or a focal point? Please read first post before answering.

    • Never - I always have something in mind
      45
    • Rarely
      45
    • Often
      23
    • Always - I just hit the ball and don't think about anything like that
      6


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I usually have some kind of technical thought but i try to make sure i don't change it during the round. If i decided i need to focus on something it should not change because i hit a couple of bad shots.

But my best scores come where i "let" it happen. No technical thoughts or forced focus!

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I try to keep my swing thoughts in the single digits. ;-)

Lately, I'm usually thinking something like "keep the chest toward the ground" or "smooth transition."

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Lately I've been letting way to many swing thoughts creep into my mind during a round.  It's gotten to the point where I lose focus during my swing because I'm thinking about 500 different swing thoughts.  My goal for my next round is to have one swing thought through out the entire round.

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Rarely- when I'm playing my very best I just see and do without thinking how. Although, I'm usually working on a certain swing feel but my goal is to groove the feel until I don't have to think about it during a competitive round.

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Never

Back swing thoughts:

Feel the weight on the inside of the right foot (I'm right handed), shoulder to chin, pause at the top (get in sync).

Not necessarily going slow but slowing it down, hard to slow down when White Rabbit is playing in you head  ( Jefferson Airplane).lol

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Usually never, but played a 36 hole tournament this Sunday, and when starting out on round 2 I played the most stress-free no-thought-golf which lead me to be -2 for the first 9. Then I realized I was climbing up the leader board and came back to earth (carded a +1).

But man, those 9 holes were magic. Total ball control, hit 8/9 greens. The one miss was because of a height difference misjudgement. Still got a par.

Hope to get into that state of mind again!

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Ooops, I goofed my reply and voted Always instead of Never.

I like having swing thoughts and think it helps me improve. At times I've had some trouble having too many thoughts at once, but it's become easier to single down on a few.

Another point is that it keeps the mind occupied with something. I have a hard time thinking about "nothing" and rather think about knee flex than whatever random thought might pop in.

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I often have too many thoughts in my head. I try to think of one thing such as "swing smooth" and end up a load of others creeping in. I must have an overactive mind or something :-\

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I have not played that many competitive rounds ... but honestly the few I have played actually wore me out mentally, thinking of swing thoughts combined with course management thoughts ...

I played rider cup format once ... I won my match on hole 17 ... I was too exhausted mentally to play 18 ...

Disclaimer: I do not have much mental capacity to start with ...

My last two match plays went to 19th hole, and decided on 18th hole.   Like you, I was exhausted at the end.   Ditto on the Disclaimer.

The thoughts going through were ... if I hit this ball on fairway, I have a good chance to win the hole and the match.   I need to swing good.   Don't fail me, my almighty golf god.   My team partner is watching.  Why can't he look away?   If I miss, what do I say to him?  Should I apologize or pretend it's no big deal.   Gee, I am hungry.   I should have eaten something on hole #9.   Damn, it's hot today.

After all that thoughts, I hit my drive into a hazard.   For the record, until that tee shot, I hit 11 out of 13 fairways.   I lost the hole & the match but my team won.  So, it wasn't all bad.

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You'll hear from time to time that a golfer went out and played a round of golf without a swing thought. Maybe they'll say something about how they just pictured the shot they wanted to hit and then hit it*. It feels like many of the winners on the PGA Tour (or whichever tour you watch) will say this fairly often, leading to a belief that "playing thought-free golf is how you play your best."

I think there's a little bias in there. Namely, we don't recognize how many times the winner doesn't say that he played without a thought. But still, enough people have said it that it is a valid way to play golf… if you're at the top of your game.

So, do I absolutely recommend this for everyone? No. If you're Jordan Spieth right now, maybe you don't have a lot to think about except "hey look, there's my ball, and I want it to go there. Cool." But for almost everyone else, I do think you should consider adopting a strategy of having a single thought and making it a focus of your pre-shot routine and swing. If it is a word, try to make it a single syllable. If it's a feel, rehearse it (or even exaggerate it) before you swing and then just repeat it.

My daughter, Kelly, was a pretty fair high school golfer, and has taken a lot more lessons than I ever did. Her teachers were assistant pros at Oakmont Country Club during the time that she caddied there. The teacher who got the most out of her had her practice specifics at the range, but when she went to the course told her not to try thinking too much, and simply swing the club. When Kelly was asked, "What are you thinking about when you are hitting your shot?," she would reply, "Nothing. I am trying to blank-out my mind." It seemed to work for her.

I, on the other hand, started writing down my swing thoughts 40 years ago, and I continually update them as my swing mutates. Most of these swing thoughts have been developed on the range, short game area, or putting green, hitting hours of practice balls. After hitting balls, I would write down the swing thoughts that were most successful and then take them to the course with me. The areas for swing thoughts include the driver, fairway woods, long irons, short & mid irons, short game and putting. Then within each of these areas the thoughts are broken down to pre-swing, back swing and forward swing. The last revision of my swing thoughts was November of 2013 and before that it was 2008. There are about 40 different swing thoughts for all of the areas, but in reality I have certain triggers that will allow me to get my swing where I want it.

Now when it comes to swing thoughts on the course, the first thing I do before each shot is go through a predetermined routine that allows me to have a constant before I hit the ball. Not much thinking here, but I try to do the same thing every time with my pre-shot routine. After my pre-shot routine is when the swing thoughts occur. First, I square my clubface to my intermediate target, and then my first swing thought is to keep my head still. This triggers a good shoulder turn and stops me from swaying. My second swing thought is a relaxed grip. This allows me to have a nice, smooth tempo. And, my last swing thought is to finish on my left side. Since I generally play a ball that moves left-to-right, getting to my left side prevents me from slicing and turns the shot into a "gentle fade."

I love this game. :-P

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I always have at least one thought in my head when I'm on the course.  Lately it's been on the backswing and making sure I start it with a one piece takeaway and actually rotate at my hips.

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I always thought my now 23 yr old son was an excellent golfer because he did not think about technique. He went for feel.

As opposed to analytical me...

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I always thought my now 23 yr old son was an excellent golfer because he did not think about technique. He went for feel.

As opposed to analytical me...

When I was 19 I played the best golf of my life, I don't remember ever thinking about my swing, I just walked up and hit using hand-eye coordination, never gave mechanics a single thought. I didn't keep a handicap back then, but if I had to guess based on scores I shot I was probably single-digits. Those were some good times, just visualize a shot and execute.

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oh thats me over thinking things...it depends on which club I have...my friends all say the same thing...just hit the ball...iam just vocal about what iam thinking....after they hit a bad shot....then they start saying what they did wrong...LOL..iam super duper hi handicapper..so Iam just glad to be on the course and not working and trying to learn as I go along...trying to get better everytime I go out.

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The one area that I don't put as much thought towards is probably the one I should be thinking about the most - putting. Up until this year, I would really over-think and over-play most slopes. Now I just take a quick read, make a decision on which side of the hole to aim, and go by feel on the speed. On the short putts, it's a fast address and stroke. I definitely don't blow as many short putts as I used to.

On chips and pitches, I take four or five practice swings while looking at my landing spot, step up to the ball and try to repeat without thinking.

The closest I come to reducing thought towards full swings is when I remember to slow down my tempo and swing smoothly.

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I've been guilty in the past of overloading myself with too many swing thoughts.  I end up tight as a spring, twisted up like a pretzel and unable to execute anything remotely resembling a decent golf swing.  I now try to focus on one thought, relax and let everything else happen - with much better (and more consistent) results.  Even my golf buddies have commented that my swing looks much smoother and easier.

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Some people do not seem to be getting the point of this thread-It is this- [LIST] [*] If you have more than one swing thought you have too many. [*] If you have fewer than one swing thought you have too few. [*] Swing thoughts can be different for different types of shots-Chips, full swing, etc. [/LIST] -Is that about right @iacas ?

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Some people do not seem to be getting the point of this thread-It is this-

If you have more than one swing thought you have too many.

If you have fewer than one swing thought you have too few.

Swing thoughts can be different for different types of shots-Chips, full swing, etc.

-Is that about right @iacas?

Pretty much.

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