Out of the Bunker: Passing the eyeball test

One of my favorite things to do at the golf course is to sit back and watch players playing and practicing.

No two players look exactly alike, and for that matter, no two swings look exactly alike. That’s what is so great about golf. But as an instructor, I observe certain aspects a bit more closely than others while watching players practice.

I call it my “eyeball test.”

You’ve probably heard the saying “looks aren’t everything.” Well, that may be true in certain areas of life, but I don’t believe it to be true in golf.

In golf, looks are everything.

It’s easy to spot players on the practice range who are comfortable with their golf swing. Their balance seems good, their rhythm seems good and their overall mannerisms seem good.

They appear committed and confident. It is evident that their swings feel good to them. Players who are uncomfortable with their swings are just the opposite.

They lack confidence, and they are clearly over thinking the simplicity of a comfortable golf swing.

Somewhere along the way, many golfers seemed to have bought into the idea that the golf swing was not natural, and therefore, was not supposed to feel very good.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Players who are better at golf than others seem to always look more comfortable when swinging a golf club.

There is no tension in the shoulders, the hands aren’t clutching the club tightly and they don’t spend as much time just staring at the golf ball prior to making their swing.

Better players appear to put much less effort into what they are doing, and therefore, they pass my eyeball test.

The greatest compliment you can ever receive towards your golf swing is that you don’t appear to be trying very hard.

I tell my students to strive to make swings that appear as though they don’t really care about the result of the shot. Be comfortable, be confident and don’t try so hard.

The next time you go and practice, spend time focusing on making golf swings that feel good to you. If you spend less time worrying about absolute fundamentals and instead spend your time focusing on remaining comfortable while swinging the club, you will begin to experience more success and you will definitely pass the eyeball test.

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