Why your routine is more important than your golf swing
Many golfers spend so much time worrying about their golf swing technique that they have little or no chance of playing their best golf.
Traditional instruction focuses almost exclusively on golf mechanics so it really is not surprising that golfers place a high amount of emotional energy on their golf swing. They don’t know what else to do!
I have said that to play golf well you need to take counter intuitive steps – that is, you might need to do things that aren’t obvious or go against traditional concepts.
It might not seem obvious, but your routine is more important than your golf swing. Let me explain more…
A correct routine will enable you to work out what you need to do behind the ball (think) and then give you a process to walk to the ball and execute the shot automatically (and hopefully successfully).
Thinking about your golf swing while you are over the ball is NOT the right thing to do. This will almost always lead to failure.
It doesn’t matter how good your golf swing is – if you don’t get your routine right you will undo all of your hard work. If you can’t hit the ball instinctively and automatically you won’t enjoy the benefits of a good golf swing.
A good routine has two parts, the physical and mental. The physical part of your routine is less important. It allows some variance, for example you may choose to have a practice swing or you may not or you make take three waggles instead of four. It doesn’t really matter.
The mental part of your routine is less flexible. You MUST be consistent with your thinking on each shot. You will become a remarkable golfer when your mental routine becomes consistent over a long period of time. Here are the keys to a good mental routine.
- Work out what you want to do when you’re behind the ball. How far do you want to hit the ball? Where do you want to hit the ball? What club do I need to hit? These are questions that you need to ask each and every time. This process is done behind the ball before you start walking towards the ball. NEVER over the ball.
- Once you know what you want to do you must execute the shot automatically. Automatically should be interpreted as playing naturally or instinctively. This is allowing your subconscious to take control. Subconscious control leads to mastery and remarkable golf and is what I call golf’s vital skill.
Greg Norman was a master at the above steps. He spoke about Think, Choose and Do in one of his books from the 90’s. He thought about his options on each shot, he then chose one and then executed the shot without fuss or doubt. He then repeated the process over and over. I believe this allowed him to dominate golf for so long – not his golf swing.
If you want to be the best player you can be you must lose your attachment to your golf swing. Emotional attachment or believing your golf swing is a priority causes you to become tight and powerless. Your golf game won’t flow and you will be anything but remarkable. Over concern for golf technique and mechanics is the biggest fault in golf today. Let it go! It’s not that important!
A correctly performed routine will allow your game to improve naturally over time. You will continue to learn and make steps forward. You will get better with each round you play. By leaving your golf swing alone that too will get better. It’s like magic – it will improve without you knowing how. This is natural learning at its best and it certainly beats the alternative.
For more information about obtaining a better routine check out my book, Play Golf Your Way – I cover the steps above in greater detail.