Staying In The Groove
This is kind of an opposite topic from last week, when I wrote about the importance of an early season tune-up with your golf professional. I received an email from Jeff D. of Kansas City, wherein he asked:
How do I keep my swing once I get in a groove?

I feel like every time I get in the zone with my swing everything is working because I'm not thinking. How can I stay...well I guess you could call it brain dead???? If things start to fall apart or come unglued, how do I get back in the groove? Should I tape my swing for reference?
Well, Jeff, let’s begin with the concept of “brain dead”. I don’t think that’s what you really are achieving, but what you get into is what I call a “groove”, where the swing is happening without you thinking about it much. It’s usually the result of work on the range and getting yourself in proper set up position before you start your swing, and very often the “click” of a single, simple swing thought as your “trigger”. But what happens too often is that you play well for a few rounds, and then you drift away from – or over accent – those fundamentals that got you in the groove in the first place.

If you watched any of the Transitions Championship this weekend, Jim Furyk offered a perfect example of this. On Saturday and most of Sunday, he was very deliberate in his approach to every shot, to the point of drawing commentary from the guys in the booth. But as he got to the final few holes, where he admitted afterward he “was leaking oil”, his pre-shot routine changed and quickened, and he hit some ugly shots.

The same happens to all of us, as this is a darn difficult game to master. John Madden once said, “you never ‘get’ golf”. That puts it as plainly as it can be put. Every golfer, from the best to the worst, drifts in and out of their peak performance. Whether it’s one shot at a time, or a round or a month of play, you’ll hit highs, where everything goes great . . . and lows, where you feel like you’ve never played so poorly. It’s all part of playing golf.

Whether to video tape for reference is a personal choice, but if you’ve never done that, be aware that your swing looks NOTHING like you THINK it does. And unless you are a skilled swing technician, you shouldn’t try to analyze what is right and wrong in it.

My suggestion is to remember the swing thought that got you into this groove . . . write it down somewhere . . . and be sure not to overdo it. If you made conscious changes in your set up, posture, grip or ball position, make note of those, as they are your foundation. And if you had any conscious thoughts about playing that led to good ball-striking, write those down, too.

And accept that golf is a game of grooves . . . and ruts. They sometimes last a season, more often just a few rounds. An old adage says:
One bad round, forget it.
Two bad rounds, hit the range.
Three bad rounds, get a lesson.
That pretty much sums it up for me.

I hope you enjoy your new EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge, and I remind all of you that we give one away every Tuesday to the person that sends in the question I select for that week’s topic. See you Friday.

photo swing
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[ comments ]
GolfSmith7 says:
I recently had my swing speed monitored. My Seven iron was 90mph so then I started seeing how fast I could swing it and I got it up to 101 well that threw off my groove and it has taken me two full rounds to get it back. What has helped is my weighted 8 iron and weighted driver. The extra weight helps grove in your swing and get back my tempo that was thrown out of whack by trying to get macho and cranking up my swing up.
phraynck says:
Your swing looks on video nothing like how you think it is. 100% true.
bducharm says:
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!! That will groove muscle memory - under pressure you need to rely on muscle memory to make those good swings!!!
aaronm04 says:
I think that "brain dead" feeling is known as "The Zone" and all sports have it (it has other names too). You are having a natural athletic reaction based on what you've practiced. It's a great place to be and a hard place to find.

What helps me is to keep a journal. I keep mine on my Gmail account (there's a Journal feature) so I can add to it from anywhere. I use it especially after taking a lesson since I always have so many things to remember. I put a variety of thoughts in there. I also try to keep a list of "mantras" in there (swing thoughts as Terry calls them) that have worked for me. It's a nice thing to refer back to when you're in a funk and see what helped you before.
Banker85 says:
TeT says:
OK I gotta finally ask: Banker85 what the hell is that in your hand in your pic, is it a Bong or what!!! Maybe its on the wall and just looks like a bong. Everytime I see it I expect your post to start out with ....Wow Man....
jeremyheslop says:
TeT: if you goto to his profile and click on images you can see it is a golf club he is holding and that the "bong" is a sticker on the wall.
xrayg1971 says:
what i like to do is record voice notes on my phone after any oggd round or range session .. i now have about 8 and i refrence them when im playing bad . I also refrence certain ones before i play a round to know and try and remember exactly what i was doing when i was playing a good round or range session. i title my voice notes , driver, irons, woods, chipping etc ... make it pretty easy , does it always work NOT but at least i have some posotive feedback to hear that will maybe turn the light on lol ..
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