There is something magical about the game of golf. The silly pursuit of getting a little white ball into a hole causes golfers to become poets.
We love to talk about the beauty of the natural golf swing. How a complex sequence of movements, when done right, can hit amazing shots.
The game has inspired numerous books and movies that turn the natural golf swing into amazing prose. Here are two of our favorites.
Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy uses his golf poem to explain the natural golf swing and as a pickup line for Rene Russo’s character.
“The critical opening phrase of this poem will always be the grip, which the hands unite to form a single unit by the simple overlap of the little finger.
Lowly and slowly the club head is led back, pulled into position not by the hands, but by the body, which turns away from the target, shifting weight to the right side without shifting balance.
Tempo is everything, perfection unobtainable, as the body coils down at the top of the swing. There’s a slight hesitation. A little nod to the gods.“
At this point, Roy has only reached the transition or top of the swing, but you get the point.
Today, we are focused on finding your natural golf swing.
Every golfer is different, so what swing were you born to use?
For this topic, we go to another magical character of golf cinema, Bagger Vance. Bagger is a mysterious caddy that shows up in the middle of the night to help Matt Damon’s character.
His advice is relevant to this topic. He simply states:
“Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we were born with. Something that’s ours and ours alone.”
This is our goal today. We want to help you find your “true authentic swing” – we want to bring out your natural golf swing.
What Is Your Natural Golf Swing?
Let’s start by defining the concept of “your natural golf swing”.
Simply put, it is how you hit the golf ball when you don’t think about your golf swing.
You know what we mean. You aren’t worried about trying to maintain your spine angle or shallow out the club.
You were born with your natural golf swing before bad advice from your buddies messed it all up!
We think that sometimes simple is better.
A common mistake made by golfers is overcomplicating the process of hitting the golf ball.
You may be able to shoot lower scores and reduce your golf handicap by returning to your natural golf swing!
3 Prompts To Find Your Natural Golf Swing
We all start off pure.
The first time you visit the driving range the only thing you know is your natural golf swing, but as we watch YouTube videos and listen to friends things get complicated.
Before you know it, you have developed the shanks and the yips because there is way too much going on in your mind.
It can help to start over – return back to your natural golf swing. Here are a few techniques to give this a try.
1. Don’t Think – Turn Off Your Brain
Golf Hall of Famer Arnold Palmer once said “Golf is a game of inches. The most important are the six inches between your ears.“.
Golf is a mentally challenging sport. It is easy to lose confidence prior to approaching the golf ball or get stuck in “analysis paralysis”.
Swing thoughts can be helpful, but they can also clutter your mind. A good rule is that you should never have more than one swing thought at a time.
With that being said, what happens when you make a swing without thinking? Forget everything you have been taught and simply hit the golf ball.
This is a great way to return to your natural golf swing. It’s the “KISS” acronym. Keep It Simple, Stupid.
This sounds easy, but can actually be hard to execute. The next time you practice at the driving range, give it a try.
Tee up a golf ball and make your natural golf swing. You might be surprised by the results.
2. Paint The Picture – Be An Artist, Not A Technician
One reason we lose our natural golf swing is that we get too technical. We get worried about our spine angle, swing plane, and club position and forget to hit a golf shot.
Your golf swing doesn’t have to be perfect to hit great shots. You need to trust it and play with confidence.
We think you can improve and return to your natural golf swing simply by changing your mental approach to playing the game.
Try this idea. Instead of thinking about your golf swing, focus on the shot you are trying to hit.
Visualize in your mind how you want the golf ball to fly. Use your golf swing to “paint the picture”.
Let’s talk about an example. You are in the middle of the fairway and 160 yards to a pin that is tucked on the back/left of the green.
This would be the perfect time to hit a high draw 7-iron that lands just right of the flag and spins to the left.
A technician would probably do the following. Move the ball forward in their stance. Close their stance slightly and take the club back slightly to the inside.
As you can see, there is a lot going on in the “technician’s” mind. You should try the “artist” approach.
See the shot in your mind. Visualize the golf ball rising in the air, curving slightly to the left (draw), and landing next to the pin.
Once you see it in your mind, use your natural golf swing to “paint the picture”.
Practice visualization on the driving range – you will be surprised how often you can create the shot you see in your mind.
An important tip if you try this technique. Never start your swing until you can “see” the shot in your mind. This will require some discipline.
3. Reboot – Take A Break
Golf can drive you crazy. One day you play great and the next day you can’t do anything right. It is quite easy to get frustrated during & after a bad round.
Once you get frustrated, you lose the ability to focus and you start trying anything to hit a good shot.
This drives you further away from your natural golf swing and leads you into a slump.
We have all been there. Your golf swing breaks down and you play several bad rounds in a row. Your golf handicap starts going up along with your blood pressure.
You start to dread going to the golf course because you are convinced you are going to play poorly.
You don’t get excited when you get off to a good start, because you know the collapse is coming. You don’t want to get your hopes up.
When it starts to feel hopeless on the golf course, you have hit rock bottom. If you reach this point, a break might help.
You don’t have to quit the game for several months, but leave the golf clubs in the garage for a couple of weeks and let your golf game and your swing “Reboot”.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Don’t dust off the clubs until you miss them. Until you wake up in the morning and feel the urge to hit some balls.
This short break can renew your love for the game and bring your natural golf swing back.
Embrace Your Natural Golf Swing And Make Tweaks
Let us be clear. We are not saying that golf lessons, swing tips, and swing thoughts are bad ideas. In fact, they are critical to your improvement.
We just don’t want you to forget about your natural golf swing. This is how your body wants to move, so you don’t want to abandon it.
Start with your natural golf swing and make tweaks to improve it. Keep track of the changes you make so you can always find your way back to “your swing”.
For example, your natural golf swing might be too flat and your certified golf instructor wants you to work on getting more upright.
This is a great way to improve your ball striking but only focus on this one tweak.
Trying to make multiple changes at once is both hard and can cause you to lose your natural golf swing.
We were all born with a golf swing inside of us. The best players in the world improve their swing but never lose contact with their natural move.