I know many amateur and pro golfers often have a “swing thought” they choose for the day or the practice session. A swing thought can be one word, a phrase, or a key to focus on, which helps get rid of many other negative thoughts and keeps the player focused. I’ve never been one to try a swing thought during a round, nor have I tried to work on technical parts of my swing during a round. I believe once you start going “Johnny Miller” in your head and thinking of 27 different things, you’re toast.
Yesterday I was playing okay, but realized I was throwing my (massive) weight around in the swing. I tend to sway forward. Someone years ago told me you can gain power by shifting your weight. I do that too much, and often end up off balance. Out of the blue before one swing I said the word “balance” to myself out loud just before I took the club back. The result was a towering drive straight down the middle of the fairway with zero side-spin. The contact mark was dead center on the club face. The takeaway, downswing, and follow through were all smooth with no over-shifting of the weight. The finish was comfortable and easy, like Ernie Els or Freddie. I’m sure it looked just as good or better.
A light went off in my head, and on every swing I could the rest of the round I said the word balance just before pulling the trigger. I’m a hack amateur, so not all the swings were perfect, but the overall result was a marked improvement in contact, swing quality, accuracy, and distance.
The word balance is great because it can cover so many parts of the swing. Proper balance means not shifting the weight too far back or through. It can mean bringing the club back nice and slow. It can mean a smooth transition at the top with no jerky or fast motions. It covers a lot.
When all was said and done I had shot a decent round, but was thrilled about the quality of the ball-striking.
Yes, I’ll be saying “balance” before my swings for the next round. I plan on using that thought until it wears out. Hope it doesn’t.