In today’s blog, we are going to talk about a concept we call finding your ‘inner’ swing & detailing what this means & how it can lead to you playing, and enjoying, your game much more.
While in favour of amateur golfers having a golf coach or instructor, I am also a big believer in working things out for yourself and not just taking something as gospel.
You may think that these attitudes work against each other & sometimes they can.
If you’ve got a coach telling you to do something in a certain way & your inner golfer keeps thinking “this is not going to work” you’re going to have a problem.
If you’ve put the hours in at the range and, you’re not seeing any benefits or results from what you’ve been taught, then you may be ready to embrace your ‘inner’ swing.
It’s important to stress here that lots of amateurs don’t give it enough time before giving up on the taught swing & most will fade away into obscurity, stop having lessons and perhaps even give the game up completely.
Instead of giving up, I believe you can find a swing that works for you personally (not your mate who you play with but you) by experimenting & coming up with a swing that is repeatable & consistent.
Find a way your body can work and move naturally to make a good strike and hit a consistent golf ball straight down the range.
Trust yourself and go down this path.
If you have a coach, you need to explain this to him & a good coach should ask you to show them the results of this inner swing.
Ultimately good golf is about consistency and how good you can make your bad shots so the result should justify the means.
Your relationship with your coach should be good enough for you to say this works for me and I can do it repeatedly, under pressure, with small dispersion even if I don’t hit a great shot every time.
You will need to prove to him what you’re saying, so your swing will confirm it is capable of standing up to intense pressure at this point as your coach is watching as you wander off the beaten track & demonstrate your personal version of the golf swing.
At this point, you need to say that you would love to continue working with them, but you want to go down this path and see how far it can take you and you would like there help to go in this direction.
It’s a brave thing to do and, if your coach is not prepared to do this then at this point you need to shake hands, thank them for their time and efforts to date, and part company.
You then have a decision to make, you either try to find a new coach who is prepared to follow and help you down this path or you decide to go it alone.
I don’t recommend going it alone necessarily as its better to find a coach or mentor to bounce things off who is happy for you to try to find your own inner golf swing.
I managed to find a coach who is happy for me to go down my path and embrace my inner swing & ultimately, the decision for him to do this was easy because the results spoke for themselves. I went from being stuck as a 24-handicap golfer for 2 years to suddenly taking 8 shots off my handicap in less than 12 months & it is still falling.
What I do with him now is make little tweaks if I have a specific issue with something in particular, which might be alignment, pre-shot routine, start line or rhythm and tempo, for example.
This has made our lessons together more productive as rather than trying to work on a whole ‘textbook’ swing we have been able to concentrate more precisely on certain things like follow through or speed training.
It has also meant that by embracing this natural swing, I don’t have to overthink about what I’m doing to achieve this. So it leaves a lot of my capacity free to concentrate much more on actually playing golf and, so my course managements improved significantly.
In contrast, before I was worried about getting into the positions that I found unnatural and just hoped to get the ball moving forward. My expectation of each shot is way higher than ever before, and this is purely down to embracing my own personal inner swing.
The next question is obvious, how do you find it, and what is the secret?
What this blog is not going to be is instructional, none of the Golf Geeks blogs written by me are because I’m not a PGA Professional and so won’t open that can of worms.
I won’t even tell you what worked for me because I’ve tried to explain it to a couple of guys I play with. It just doesn’t work because it’s so specific to me, my feeling of what’s happening and, as with my fingerprint, it is unique to me and is therefore useless to anyone else.
I can help you with how to find YOUR inner swing.
Please don’t think I’m arrogant or ignorant enough to put myself in the same bracket as the men I’m going to mention. If you asked Bubba Watson, Steve Stricker, Matt Wolfe, Dustin Johnson or Alex Noren what they are doing to achieve such good results I am sure they would show you, but it wouldn’t mean anything, and you wouldn’t be able to replicate it with any consistency.
There is no more of a magic formula than this, I went to the range for a few hours and got a few hundred balls, and I literally tried everything I could think of. I worked as many ways to hit a golf ball as I could think of.
Extreme opening and closing of the face, I tried wrist roll, extreme out to in & in to out. I tried getting to the top and dropping the club down into this ‘slot’ you hear some golfers talk about. I tried the slow backswing, 3/4 backswing, stop at the top of the backswing & every other scenario until something clicked.
Long story short after lots of tops, slices, hooks, pulls and pushes I started to notice a certain way begun to show some promise. This technique produced a fairly neutral ball flight and longer yardages compared to what I was used to (4-5 yards more with each club).
The other thing I noticed was the sound of the club impacting the ball compared to what I was used to. It was louder and more like a ‘crack’ sound rather than a ‘thud’ I had experienced before, and it also felt effortless, repeatable, and I didn’t need to swing hard or full of swing thoughts to get a good result.
In the end, it came down to this new technique and the one I’d been working on with my coach for around a year. At first, I tried to do some hybrid mixed swing of the two, but that was a disaster and really showed you have to commit fully to whatever way you’re going to do it.
So I reloaded with a bucket of balls, and I hit back to back with this new ‘inner’ swing Vs. My taught swing.
You won’t be shocked to learn by the title of this blog that the ‘inner’ swing won by an absolute mile.
The dispersion was tighter, the distance was further, consistency was improved with even weak strikes getting to 80-85% the range intended and would still be on the golf course opposed to my 25+ yard slice I would suffer from my taught swing if my timing was slightly out.
It was a revelation, like a weight lifted from my shoulders that had been in my golf game for 2 years and at times nearly forced to sell my clubs and never play again.
From the first round of fully embracing this new swing, I shot high 80’s instead of mid to high 90’s.
Instantly I took 5-10 shots off my game and have never looked back & golf has never been more enjoyable or satisfying.
The stress levels had reduced to almost nothing whereas before I didn’t trust my swing and so I was tense before each shot, which is not the right way to play golf.
My Inner swing is there, it’s natural, I know how to hit the golf ball, and so now I have to be disciplined about course management, club selection & pre-shot routine, but the swing is there, it’s always been there, I just needed to have the confidence to let it happen.
Some other swings felt really natural and could have been an ‘inner’ swing, but the results were not pleasant, so they were discounted.
You have to keep working until suddenly something really natural feeling also provides a great result.
Needless to say, I am not going back, and I want to take this inner swing as far as I can take it with the support of my current coach who is on board and helping me to try to find more speed or improved tempo.
Hopefully reading this blog has inspired you to go and try to find your inner swing & I really hope you find it, embrace it, and become the best golfer YOU can be.
Thanks for reading, I hope this blog has been helpful.
There are lots of other blogs and other content on the Golf Geeks Website aimed at helping fellow amateur golfers.
Matt @ Golf Geeks