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Garry Rippy Golf offers golf lessons, golf coaching, golf instruction, golf classes and golf schools in Austin, TX. This blog contains golf instruction articles, golf tips and golf instruction videos by Garry Rippy, PGA.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Swing Thoughts...How Many do you Have?

Now that everyone has had time to enjoy watching the video of Fred Astaire dancing and hitting golf balls in the previous post, I have several questions to pose:

a. How many swing thoughts do you think he had while hitting golf balls?
b. Did he have a pre-shot routine that took over 15 seconds?
c. Do you think he was worried about the result of any the shots?
d. How tight do you think he was gripping the club?
e. Do you think he had a score (and I don't mean musical) in mind?
f. Was he thinking about his dance steps?

I think you can see where I am going with these questions.  Obviously he made dancing look really easy, but he made golf look really easy as well!  Being the great dancer he was, I think he was just letting his body react to the music and golf just happened to be one of his dance steps included in his routine.  Every step just blended together and was graceful to watch.  The key here is he was "reacting" and not "thinking" during this routine.

Now, how do you think the routine would have looked if he had all these thoughts?


I am just guessing, but I do not think the routine would have been near as much fun to watch.  Do you feel like this could be your list of swing thoughts? 

Let's look at how he signed his name.
His signature is free flowing just like his dancing which indicates he was holding the pen very lightly.  Again, he was not thinking about making the letters, just putting the pen to the paper and letting it happen.

Swing thoughts are fine on the practice tee.  But, once you get to the course, you have to dance to the music.
It is not the time to be thinking about your swing or results.  Do you want to play golf, or play golf swing? 

Instead of swing thoughts, try swing "feels".  In other words, try to feel smooth and easy, as opposed to thinking "don't swing hard".  I am sure Mr. Astaire spent countless hours rehearsing his steps, but when it was show time, he quit counting steps and danced to the music.

During your next practice session, I want you to sing a phrase of your favorite song to yourself while you are swinging.  Not out loud, just to yourself.  What this will do is quiet that little voice in your head that is spewing all the swing thoughts.  Nick Faldo once said he would bite the end of his tongue to keep that little man from talking in his head.   Once you are comfortable on the practice tee with this process, take it to the course.  I think you will be suprised at the results and your swing will be much smoother.

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