How can Jordon Spieth be the #1 Golfer in the World and then miss the first 2 cuts in the FedEx Cup playoff? [Barclays: “worst round in years”, Deutsche Bank Championship, “terrible yet again”] We do know that he changed to a new set of clubs for the Barclays and then went back to his old clubs the following week at the Deutsche Bank. This is crazy. What is going on?
The answer is simple and we are all affected by it. When you are on a winning streak, your mind and body relax. You find a groove that feels so comfortable. It really is your mental confidence. There is a fine line between perfection and losing your COMFORT ZONE. When things go wrong, doubt creeps into your mind. It plays tricks on you by changing your relaxed and confident swing. The difference between leading a tournament and missing the cut in professional golf is really not a lot of strokes. A few bad shots (shanks into the rough, into the water, over the green) and your confidence is ruined.
How Can You Control YOUR Head Game?
I write this blog as much for my game as I do for your game. So I am always watching others messing up their shots as well as doing a reality check on my great shots and my failures. I’m always researching to find that magic that Jordon Spieth lost over the last few weeks.
Accept the fact that this is a “Head Game”. Any mental lapse in focus can and will kill your swing. I am talking about your drives, fairways shots, sand trap shots, chips, pitches and putts. Each shot is a different swing so you need to be focused on the subtle changes for each swing to ensure success.
1/ Study Golf or Take Lessons to Learn the Correct Swing for Every Club in Your Bag: Consistent focusing on the correct swing is the only way to improve your game. If you don’t have a clear understanding about how to complete each swing with each club, you will never perfect your game.
2/ Swing Cadence, Tempo or Rhythm : When your brain is relaxed and focused, its easy to keep a consistent rhythm in your back swing and your follow through. Your perfect swing happens when you allow your club to finish the backswing without rushing the transition. If your mind takes over and you want a little more speed or power, your grip tightens, your cadence speeds up and you lose that smooth transition by rushing your swing and cutting your backswing short. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN!
The next time you see someone miss-hit a shot, Learn from their mistakes. Recall if they rushed or shortened their backswing or was there a whipping action at the top of the swing that throws the club out of sync with the rhythm of the swing. Was their practice swing in perfect balance but their swing (at the ball) out of balance. Were their hands swinging faster than the motion of their body? Do they have the effortless cadence of the Ernie El’s swing?
3/ Focus: When your clubs don’t feel right (the way Jordon Spieth felt with his new clubs) or you are distracted by anything like noise or external thoughts, your mind changes its focus and your swing pays the penalty. You need to put 100% of your focus on your correct swing and follow-through.
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SWING TIP NEXT WEEK: What is the unique thing about golf (UNLIKE ANY OTHER SPORT) that allows you to improve every shot? Are you taking advantage of this?