Speak Your Body’s Language
If I gave you a swing tip straight out of a Kurt Vonnegut fever dream – “Infundibulate around your wampeter” – it might be the best, truest, most perfect thing anyone has ever said to you, but it would be useless. Why? Because you can’t understand it.
In this lesson, I’m going to arm you with the ability to speak your body’s language so you can give it clear instructions and make real improvements in your game.
This Lesson Is For You If:
You want to learn ways to fix your swing on your own
You’ve tried tweaking your swing but haven’t seen results
What You’re Probably Doing Now…
What you, like most golfers and golf instructors, have probably always done is focus on internal cues. An internal cue is something like, “Rotate your hip” or “Keep your head still.” It’s a cue that tells your body what to do with itself.
Why doesn’t this work? Because it’s not how humans are wired. The research on this is clear, but you can simply look to other sports to see that it’s true. Basketball players don’t shoot the ball thinking, “I need to pronate my wrist.” Pitchers don’t think about the external rotation of their shoulder when hurling a fastball. Receivers don’t think about extending their fingers when reaching for a pass.
…and What You Should Do Instead
Instead of focusing on internal cues, use external cues. External cues focus on things outside of your body – the golf club and the ball. This is what we’re evolved to do: set and accomplish clear goals.
A great external cue could be, simply, “Hit the ball, then the ground.” If you’re hitting the ball off the heel of the club, think, “Hit the ball in the center of the face” (or try to hit it off the toe, as I suggest HERE).
These “simple” cues are best whether you’re working on the basics – not hitting it fat – or dialing in higher level things like shot shape and trajectory. If you’re trying to control your shot shape, consider putting an alignment stick in the ground a few yards in front of you and thinking, “Start the ball left/right of the stick.” If you want to tweak your swing path, use some tees to mark your ideal path and think, “Swing over these tees.”
Get to the Point!
The very short version of this lesson is this: tell your body what you want. Don’t beat around the bush, don’t get sidetracked, don’t worry about the “how.”
You don’t care (or, at least, you shouldn’t care) if your arm is straight. You care that the club hits the ball before the ground, that the ball hits the center of the club face, that the club face is square to the target, etc.
Put your focus on the goal you’re actually trying to achieve and you will see much better results.