Instinctive Golf – Keep it simple!

We rely on our instincts for many things we do in everyday life especially when generating power, accuracy and balance. At times with the golf club in our hands we have a tendency to make life a little bit harder for ourselves. Creating a simplified motion generated from good foundations, moving towards a more natural starting position and swing and one where natural forces are able to assist us in the process, allows for a much more repeatable movement and in turn greater consistency. Golf doesn’t need to feel like hard work, the more we battle and force the club into unnatural positions the harder it is to gain success consistently and it certainly doesn’t seem quite as enjoyable!

To simplify matters it may be helpful to use your everyday intuitive instincts to make golf easier for yourself. For example, think of things that you may do in everyday life that you naturally carry out without thinking about how you do them. Take the example of throwing a ball (overarm).

You take your stance, legs ample width apart, knowing that too wide will cause restrictions and too narrow a loss of stability. You naturally hold the ball more so in your fingers, knowing that grasping the ball tightly in the palm would inhibit natural hand action and make it much harder work to generate effortless power. You then let the throwing arm extend from the shoulder, rotate the body, whilst allowing the natural hand action from the wrist and fold from the elbow. (In the case of the golf swing the right elbow will naturally fold during the backswing rather than the left – for a right handed golfer) If you created too much tension with limited hand action and purely used the arm as one lever, instincts tell you that again this will cause limitations. You also know that if you don’t turn your body, power is inhibited. You create a stable lower body, anchor the weight around the inside of your right foot (right handed) knowing that excessive weight placed on your left foot or moving to the outside of the right foot will lose power. As you start to throw towards your target, you transfer the weight to the left foot, turn the body from the ground upwards and release. You wouldn’t quit or decelerate half way through, lean back or finish with your weight on your back foot or drive ahead with your upper body losing your balance. You would let the throwing arm continue to its target whilst the body naturally turned out of the way. You know intuitively where the power sources come from without having to think about it. You know that less tension is more efficient, that allowing time to carry out the motion in a sequential well timed movement rather than trying to get the process over with as quickly as possible will maximise distance and accuracy. You are also very much aware that it would benefit to throw in balance. Many of these natural instincts when throwing a ball tie in (in a generic sense) with successfully generating power and accuracy in the golf swing.

With the golf club in our hands we sometimes forget these natural instincts and try to utilise other slightly more unnatural methods and movements, which in turn often create the opposite of our desired results. Where the golf swing is concerned, less is often more, simplifying matters and relying on natural forces and instincts makes the game a great deal easier, more enjoyable and offers the opportunity of greater consistency.