Is Feel Real?
“Feel isn’t real” is a favorite cliche of many golf instructors who love to use video and measurement devices. While the merits of that concept are debatable, what is inarguable is that every golfer has swing feels that are very real to them. In this lesson, I’ll discuss how to use those swing feels to improve your consistency and add variety to your shot making.
This Lesson Is For You If:
You’re seeking consistency in your golf swing
You want to hit a variety of shots
Connect Feels to Shots
There are countless things we can focus on or feel during the swing. The next time you’re at the range, pick one element, experiment with it, and see what effect that has on your shots.
An example from my own game is the feel of pulling the grip toward my stomach as the club gets near impact. Most days, if I don’t actively pull the club, my strikes tend to be on the heel, and my shots tend to draw. With a small focus on that pulling feeling, most of my shots will fly straight. If I pull as hard as I can, I tend to hit the ball extremely high with a cut.
Another swing feel I use is turning the knuckles of my left hand toward the ground through impact. Depending on the day, I may need a small focus on this to hit straight shot or I may need none at all. Putting an emphasis on this move leads to lower shots, draws, or pulls when it’s overdone.
Other feels you can experiment with include the “release” of your right hand, pushing off your right leg, and the rotation of your forearms in the back or down swing. If you have a feel that’s helped your swing, please share it in the comments section.
Feel Isn’t Permanent
In the section above, you’ll notice that I said “most days” and “depending on the day” when talking about how certain feels affect my swing. This is because no feel is permanent. Your body is always changing and your swing is always adapting, so a swing feel that was absolutely necessary a week ago may be ruinous today.
When I’m warming up before a round, one of the primary things that I’m doing is finding a feel that will work for that day. If I can leave the range confident that I have a driver swing feel that will put the ball in play, I’m a happy golfer. But I always keep in mind that, even within a round, things can change. As your body gets tired, you may need more or less focus on a given element. Stay aware of your feels and be flexible.
What you feel may or may not be “real” in terms of video or 3D motion capture, but it’s real to you. Don’t ignore your natural sense of how your body moves and what you need to do to hit quality golf shots.