It’s important that you feel comfortable and confident with your most recent swing changes and improved mechanics BEFORE heading out to the golf course. Not only will you feel more relaxed and at ease, but you’ll be freed up to concentrate on tempo and feel since your mind is released of all those pesky swing thoughts. And that, my friend, is when you start to REALLY have fun!
But how do we GET comfortable? The first thought might be “practice” and that would not be wrong. But in order to achieve maximum productivity and improvement, there is a “when”, “where” and “how” to practice.
The golf course? Not the time or place for practice. When you are on the golf course you want to focus on tempo, timing, feel, etc. Mechanics and swing changes are the last things you should be thinking about. One general swing thought to keep you on track is the very most that should be taking up space in your head. But that’s it. This includes the short game. ESPECIALLY the short game. The short game depends primarily on feel so if you are focused on mechanics while on the golf course, don’t expect things to go well.
The place to focus on mechanics is the driving range and practice area. Swing changes occur there and before you take those changes out on to the course, make sure you have spent a reasonable amount of time honing your new skills. Once your confidence is unwavering, you are now ready to release yourself to the golf course.
I find that the gap between thinking about mechanics and being able to rely on feel closes faster when I actually incorporate feel into my practice sessions. I close my eyes while taking a full swing, chipping stroke or putting stroke and am instantly able to pay more attention to how the swing/stroke FEELS as I grind those proper mechanics. With my eyes closed, focus is taken off hitting the ball and shifts it to the different sensations in the body as it navigates through the correct positions in the swing. This is my quickest route to improvement. It also makes me that much more excited for my next round of golf!