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Most Successful “Swing-Thought”


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 When it comes to “swing-thoughts”, I personally have tried my fair share over the years. Some of which have yielded consistent and positive results, a few which work depending on the day, and many that have crashed and burned undeserving score cards. Trying to keep things simple, I limit myself to one thought while swingIng. Depending on what Shot I’m playing or what my miss is for that day, I will have 2-3 different “thoughts” to stay focused on for that day/round.

 It’s a beautiful thing when keeping things simple, with a handful of these Mantras in your pocket pays off on the course. 
 

 On that note, I would be very interested to hear what others “Swing-Thoughts” are that have worked well, saved someone from disaster, kept a round on course, etc. This can be for any/all shots whether be off the tee, from particular lies, particular thoughts for different clubs, shot -types, trajectories, etc.

 I figure with enough combined years of golfing wisdom here, there has to be something I can absorb/try in the course. A different perspective is always refreshing, and in a worse case it doesn’t work and you try something else. One of your simple “swing-thoughts” could be something that changes my gold game forever. (With the understanding that what works for one person doesn’t always work for another.) 

 

 

 

Edited by BenjaminButtonz

Papa-Bear was Here. 

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I am not a very technical player so my moves are more thought / imagery.

Last year I began to tell myself "Smooth-Smooth" during my backswing and forward stroke.  

This was done primarily on putts and as I began to really love it, I would use it for chips and pitches.  

I don't necessarily say it for longer irons and woods but I will say it during my practice swings.  Smooth-Smooth helps me stay loose and in tempo.

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Mine is stop having swing thoughts and create swing feels. 

If setup is correct then I am free to pick a target and shot I want to hit. Rehearse the feeling in need for the swing. 

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16 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Mine is stop having swing thoughts and create swing feels. 

If setup is correct then I am free to pick a target and shot I want to hit. Rehearse the feeling in need for the swing. 

So much this.

I always think about my target and ballflight in the swing. With my irons, if I've done everything correct in setup and takeaway, when I get to the top of the swing I get a feeling like I want to swing through the ball, smashing it with my right palm on the way through. It's not something I consciously think about, it's something my body feels in reaction to doing everything before the downswing correctly.

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Swing thoughts are the main reason why it's hard to take your swing from the range to the course.  When on the range working out issues, swing thoughts are important as long as you don't have too many.  Engrain the thought so you don't have to think about it on the course.  When you do, it takes away your feel for the shot and where you want to hit the ball.

The thought I have on the course after picking a target is Make a good shot.  Anything negative is not understood by your brain, so don't think... Don't do this; don't do that; don't go there!!! Trust me; you will do this, do that , and go there!

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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3 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Mine is stop having swing thoughts and create swing feels. 

Like Ricky, I've settled in to a feel thought which also helps me with tempo. The feel portion is to guide the feeling of dropping the hands down into the slot to keep swing inside. "Pull the.....chain" like pulling a ceiling fan light chain straight down to the ground. Tempo wise "Pull...the..." on backswing (it's also a little shorter to remind not to over extend backswing) with brief pause at transition, and "chain" on downswing as hands drive down with butt end of club pointing towards the ball.

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When I'm on the course I try not to have a swing  thought.  Clear mind = pure swing/contact.  Some of the best driver/iron/wedge/putter swings I've had I don't even remember what I did for that swing. Now, if my swing is off, then all kinds of swing thoughts go through my head which usually results in worse swings, lol.

 

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After watching a bunch of Golf Sidekick videos where professionals were talking about rhythm and tempo, that's the only thing I try to focus on once I pick my line. As long as I don't try to kill it and have a smooth rhythm, the shots seem to go pretty well. 

Rag tag bag, but it does the job. 

Taylormade R1 driver.

Ping G400 3 wood.

Cleveland Halo Launcher 3 hybrid.

Cleveland CBX launcher irons (5-PW). 

Assorted wedges (48, 52, 58).

Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 putter.

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On 8/6/2021 at 2:33 PM, John W Sutch said:

Was fitted by a Callaway rep for the Fusion when introduced. 9 deg with Recoil ES 450/F3 shaft. Loved the driver at the time. Excellent dispersion and good distance for a guy 70 yrs of age. 210-220 yds. Played the driver for a couple of yrs with satisfaction. Then Cobra introduced the Speedzone. Heard great reviews about the driver and decided to try it. Needless to say I was impressed. Was hitting the ball 20 to 40 yds further than with the Callaway. Dispersion was about equal. So I ordered one. 9 deg with UST Helium shaft SF3. Is my gamer but still play the Calloway from time to time. Have enjoyed both clubs.

 

21 hours ago, MDGolfHacker said:

When I'm on the course I try not to have a swing  thought.  Clear mind = pure swing/contact.  Some of the best driver/iron/wedge/putter swings I've had I don't even remember what I did for that swing. Now, if my swing is off, then all kinds of swing thoughts go through my head which usually results in worse swings, lol.

 

MDGolfHacker

This is the purest form of the truth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve over-thought a drive on the tee box and sent my ball into the woods. Only to follow it up with the “f&$@ this….. time to grip it and rip it I’m over this hole…” only to lookup after hitting the ball and watch it ride a rope all the way to the fairway. 
 

Papa-Bear was Here. 

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For the last week or so, I’ve tried to not have any swing thoughts during an actual round and it seems to have helped.  I’ll picture my shot from behind the ball to line it up, take a practice swing or two to get the bottom point of my swing, and then take the shot with my brain on auto-pilot.  I’m restricting swing thoughts to practice only for the remainder of the season.

 

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My best rounds coincide with one swing thought “smooth 30%”  of course my buddies say Im still swinging full speed but it feels like 30% to me and helps me sync up and find the center of the clubface… well sometimes at least!

10hcp armed with Cobra Dr, Taylormade wds, apex Ir’s and Cleveland wdg

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6 hours ago, BenjaminButtonz said:

All of these replies are awesome, thanks everyone! It’s interesting to see a mix of things I’ve tried or used I. The course before, and a few outlooks that are new to me as well. 

BB, I’d be curious to hear if you try anything mentioned that was new and if you think or feel may have worked for you. Of course it’s not just “I’ll try this one shot….” But after a couple rounds let us know. 

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To explain my one and only swing thought (be ready, it's weird) you have to understand that it has nothing to do with golf, I only use it to calm my mind when over the ball. I've found that any thinking is counter productive for me, as it only leads to tension.  So, when anything try's to force it's way into my mind prior to swinging I mentally sing a line from a song in the musical Annie, "The sun'll come out tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar, Tomorrow".  It's impossible to be fearful or tense when I internally sing that, it's so weird it just makes me smile when I do it, and then I swing.  By the way, it's a song my now 25 yr. old daughter used to always sing to me when she was little, whatever works my man.     

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I have a very simple swing thought in Practice and on the Course and it is really an over simplification.  I pick a target with driver, irons or putter and then I say to myself--Introduce the face of the club to the back of the ball.....no other thoughts, just do the introduction.  That simple thought has slowed my swing down, given me patience to finish the back then swing without trying to hit the ball too hard. 

I am a decent player at 74 years old and shot 75 on a difficult course here in Vegas today--Cascata. 

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Here's something that has served me well over the years.  It's ok to have a swing thought or two, however have them while you're standing behind the ball zoning in on your target and the type of shot you want to play.  Once you address the ball don't replay what you just thought about standing behind the ball.  Take a slow deep breath, waggle a couple of times, then make a swing.  Once you make this a habit you'll be amazed how it will free you up.  Don't get paralysis by analysis over the ball.  Good luck.

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As the round progresses I get the dreaded “KILL” swing thought. I tried counting: 1 - 2 - swing on 3. While it slowed my takeaway it did not eliminate the Kill Switch. So like others, I am working on feel. I pic a target image to occupy my mind, and then I go for a swing feel. Unfortunately, I have days when I completely lose my smooth swing feel and struggle to get it back. That is my biggest dragon to slay … keeping a relaxed feel. I guess I get tense. I don’t know what goes wrong.

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Almost anything from a technical standpoint will work for a few holes, then result in overdoing some aspect that takes my swing right out of rhythm. I'm a musician on the side, so the only thing that works at all consistently for me is to count to get rhythm and keep my tempo from revving up: 1 to press forward, 2 to trigger my hip rotation and weight shift back, three to start my downswing. There's other things I do to visualize, set up, release tension, but when it comes to the swing itself I'm better off putting my conscious mind to sleep.

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I’ve had various swing thoughts with varying levels of success over the years. But swing thoughts are totally dependent/tailored to each individual- so sharing what works for me (and doesn’t) would be of no use to another player more often than not.

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Today I had “putting thought”   I “locked “ my knees so my knees are extended  throughout the stroke   This seem to keep my stroke a lot smother  and I made more long putts.  The con was my back hurted as it seem I locked my lower body and my motion was all upper body    Likely torque my back. I m not sure but I think my hips moved during my putting stroke and this “locking” keeps the lower body still 

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On 8/13/2021 at 10:29 AM, BenjaminButtonz said:

 

This is the purest form of the truth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve over-thought a drive on the tee box and sent my ball into the woods. Only to follow it up with the “f&$@ this….. time to grip it and rip it I’m over this hole…” only to lookup after hitting the ball and watch it ride a rope all the way to the fairway. 
 

 

The (F) %!%# it swing is usually the best one. Maybe we need to do 18 of those off the tee,lol

 

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I usually find a thought or feeling on the range a few minutes before my round. 60% of the time, it works every time. 

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On 8/13/2021 at 3:18 PM, RocasRocosas said:

For years I fought a slice until I started using this swing thought for the downswing; “backhand the first baseman. “ This help promote an in to out path and releasing the club. 

This one is Awesome! Love it. 

Papa-Bear was Here. 

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I completely understand that what works for one person, might have adverse or no effect for someone else. With that being said..

 

Thanks for all of the insight into all of your thoughts! All of it will help me hone my own collection of thoughts, feels, and visuals used on the course/during practice sessions. 👍

 

Prior to this post, some of my successful thoughts and feels were:

- Pointing my lead shoulder down at the ball on back swing, the. Transitioning to pointing trail shoulder down at the ball through impact. Same motions/ideas as the drill holding an alignment stick across your shoulders with your arms crossed. Point the leading end down at the ball on your during down swing, then trailing end of stick at the ball through impact.
 

This helped ensure a good turn during the swing, and helps keep me from getting to “sloppy/shifty” .

 

- Keeping the driver head low/far away during the takeaway/backswing. Picture a ball behind your driver head, and someone standing behind you on the tee box. When you start to take the club back, feel like your trying to slowly push/roll the ball sitting behind the club straight back to the person behind you. 
 

this feel helps keep me from picking the club up/ getting to steep in the back swing. 
 

- “Laser Butt” 

I have to give credit for this one to the boys at MeandMyGolf. Picturing a laser coming straight out of the “butt-end” of your grip. (The small hole at the end) (if the golf club was a gun, the grip would be the end of the barrel) Now If I haven’t confused you yet, keep following. 
 

at the end/finish of your swing, finish the follow through pointing that laser at your target, and hold it there. This helps me make a full turn through the ball, when I’m getting “stuck” or not hitting my desired line with the ball flight. Also helps with releasing the club. This works well for every club in the bag except wedges. I’ve noticed it helps me more on iron shots personally. 

 

 

Papa-Bear was Here. 

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I am approaching my millionth swing thought 🤣. The one that I have had the best results with and is still currently employed is super simple.

 

Target

React

Notice there is no thoughts about the swing. 

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