Too Many Swing Thoughts In Golf ? (3 Solutions)

Do you ever stand over your tee ball and have what seems like a million thoughts running through your head?

You might be thinking…

Shift my weight

Keep my head centered

Make sure I make a complete turn

Keep my head behind the ball

Don’t swing too hard

And on and on and on.

Maybe it is time to find a system in golf where you have less swing thoughts, freeing up your mind and body to make a fluid swing.  One that produces quality results and returns the fun to the game.

There are different approaches by different coaches that encourages an approach to free your mind up and play better golf.  I have found that many golfers have positional thoughts as well. 

They think they need to get their left arm to a certain point or to lead with their hips or to get their right shoulder through the ball.

The positional based approach can be disastrous.  While all golf swing thoughts are not bad, I have found swing thoughts such as swing freely, maintain tempo, or something as simple as keeping your head behind the ball can work.

At the end of the day, each golfer has to find what works best for their game.  My recommendation is to experiment with the different approaches below.  Practice at the range and then head to the course and see how it works out.

I have found 3 different approaches that can work, they are worth checking out and once again experimenting with what works best.

If you are someone that wants data to make sure you check out the section towards the end on how to measure what is best for your game. 

In today’s technology driven world, golfers should have access to the technology that allows them to make the best decisions in their game through measuring with today’s technology in launch monitors.

Less swing thoughts could help your game! See our top 3 approaches!

Less Swing Thoughts – Top 3 Approaches 

  • Target Based Approach (Shawn Clement)
  • Rehearse and Feel and then hit the shot
  • Directing the Momentum/Task Based Approach (Mike Malaska)

Option 1 – Less Swing Thoughts: Target Based Approach (Shawn Clement)

I have a ton of respect for Shawn Clement and his target based approach to the game of golf.  If you are someone that struggles from the positional based approach where you stand over the ball and think about getting into p2 or p4 or p5 or one of the different positions in the swing then Shawn Clement is worth checking out.

He believes and teaches a gravity based approach, where your setup plays a significant role in the direction and curve of the ball.  He often discussed the gravity genius that we are and how the mind and body will respond to a target that has been provided.

Shawn Clements wants us all to make a tension free swing and trust our amazing system inside of us all to hit the shots that we need from focusing on the target and then having a quality setup.  He makes the game seem simple and the approach is refreshing.

Start by checking out this video on abandoning control for more control:

Shawn helps keep the game simple and you can see how the body and mind can take over and respond to the target.  This approach helped me significantly.  I had primarily used the Stack and Tilt approach that has a greater focus on hitting certain positions. 

I would stand over the ball and worry about where my left shoulder was going on both the back swing and down swing.  Eventually the game became frustrating.

Check out this post – How to take your game to the next level

If you are someone that struggles with working the ball both ways, Shawn Clement has a solution.  Many of us can get locked up over the ball when trying to hit a draw or fade.  Instead Shawn Clement has the golfer make this happen through the setup.

Check out this Shawn Clement video on hitting a draw and fade:

Option 2 – Rehearse and Feel and then hit the shot

I have seen multiple teachers recommend this approach.  If you are someone that is somewhat mechanical I believe this approach might be best.  While I realize not everyone wants to get to the Shawn Clement level of giving up control and maintaining a target based approach to the game, there are those that want a more traditional approach.  I have seen this approach promoted by Shawn Clement.

Whatever you are working on in your swing can be rehearsed or exaggerated prior to getting into the shot.  After you select your club, you can stand behind the ball and focus on the movement and the feel that you want to make.  Lock this feel into your body and step up and hit the shot.

Recently, in my own game I am focusing on getting my hips and body more open at impact.  This helps me increase my club stability through impact and rely less on the timing required with my hands.

What is the best way to learn golf?

I often find myself rehearsing a slight squat and opening up at impact.  I get this feel and then stand over the ball and try to replicate the feel.  It has worked wonders.  My only thought/feel is to squat and get open.  I rehearse it, feel it and then make it happen in my swing.  No more thoughts about my left shoulder being here or throwing my hands and so on and so forth.

The best example I can think of this approach is when I am watching Justin Rose play. 

Here he is explaining what his approach is:

While his swing exaggeration might be different than what you need in your swing, it drives home the point of the pre shot routine of rehearsing and building a swing feel before stepping into the shot.

Here is George Gankas working with a student and discussing the pre shot routine.  In this pre shot routine there is a focus on building the feel and then taking a full swing practice swing and then hitting the shot. 

Check it out:

Option 3 – Directing the Momentum/Task Based Approach (Mike Malaska)

Another similar approach to keeping things simple.  Mike Malaska spent the majority of his competitive playing days chasing certain positions. 

If you are someone that feels let down by the instruction of the past, then you will feel the frustration that Mike Malaska often shares with his students about some poor instruction he received as a younger golfer.

Regardless, the Malaska approach is one where the golfer is working on directing the momentum and focusing on what the hands are doing in the swing.  The hands control the club face and Malaska believes that golfers and train their hands to work properly in the swing.  

He starts at impact and wants the golfer to start simple and work their way to the full swing.  He spends time talking about giving your mind a task to complete because our minds are task masters and will make it happen.

He also believes in the athletic abilities that many golfers already have.  I love watching him work with baseball players and talking about hitting the ball to certain parts of the baseball field.  The golfers find themselves responding naturally and completing the task.

Check it out here:

Overall, Mike Malaska wants to get away from the non sense of trying to hit different positions, which also results in the elimination of swing thoughts.  He spend time working with Be Better Golf and the thought process and feels that professional golfers try to go through with every shot.

Check it out here:

Some true gold here on what a professional golfer thinks and feels before and after every shot.

How To Measure Your Golf Swing?

Do you ever wonder what swing method or approach might be best for your game.  Or even what your mindset should be in your pre shot routine and over the ball?  

You can now test it out before you head to the course.  I personally set up a golf simulator in my garage (see more info below), but you don’t have to take it as far as I did.  However, I highly recommend a launch monitor to give you instant feedback during your practice sessions.

How many of us have 5 or 6 swing thoughts as we head to the first tee and then by the 4th hole you are just simply trying to get to the clubhouse with the same old swing? 

Now, you can have the data before you actually head to the course on what swing thoughts or any of the approaches above and what will work for you!

One of the greatest things about living in today’s golf world is the access to some affordable technology that can be a game changer in your golf game and life.  For years, golfers tried to find “the secret in the dirt,” but now golfers can have immediate feedback on the followings items:

  • Ball Speed
  • Club Speed
  • Launch Angle 
  • Spin Rate
  • Spin Axis

Being able to measure your swing at the driving range, on the golf course, or in a home golf simulator setup is a game changer.  In all learning, immediate feedback and data can be helpful to help improve your swing or to keep your swing on track!

Here are three launch monitors that I would recommend (Between 500 and 2000 dollars):

A golfer can spend up to $16,000 on a device like a Trackman or other high end launch monitors, but the more affordable options listed above work for most golfers! 

The accuracy when compared to the top models is within a quality range and a device like the SkyTrak can also allow a golfer to build a golf simulator setup and use the launch monitor in multiple settings.

Where Can I Use A Golf Launch Monitor?

Final Thoughts: My Secret To Golf Improvement

Let’s face it, in order to get really good at golf, we must practice frequently.  About three years ago, I made the leap and invested in a golf simulator build for my garage.  

I went with a SkyTrak Launch Monitor and the TGC software and can now play over 100,000 courses including Augusta, Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black, Whistling Straits. St. Andrews and many other of the top 100 courses in the world.

This golf simulator setup, which is more affordable that you might imagine, has been a game changer.  I can now play golf everyday of the year regardless of rain, snow, cold weather or time of day. 

Full review on The Golf Club (TGC) Software

I can practice or play rounds of golf.  I can stand in the 11th fairway at Augusta and with the auto-rewind feature I am able to practice my approach shots from various differences.

It is worth checking out through Rain or Shine Golf as they offer some incredible packages along with financing offers that are difficult to beat.

Some direct links to Rain or Shine Golf for pricing and financing:

SkyTrak has been a great addition to my golf game!

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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