“Well, I should be hitting it farther, but I think the slice is hurting me. So I’d like to hit it straighter. But I really don’t want you to change anything”
“Ok, I’ll just sprinkle some of this pixie dust on you and you’ll be breaking 80 in no time!”
It’s a common fear amongst golfers that if they take a lesson, the pro will make changes to their swing that will feel “strange”. This “strange” feeling then acts as a distraction to their usual mindset for the swing and results in poor shots. Obviously if you want to make a change in your results, you must make a change in your motion. The key here is to make this a positive process.
When you buy a new car it has that new car smell. It’s nice. You enjoy smelling it. Eventually though, you get used to the smell and you think it disappears. Six months later a friend gets in your car, takes a sniff and says “A new car huh? Nice!” So the smell is still there. You just can’t notice it any more. The same is true in golf. You hear it often in post victory interviews. “My coach noticed I was fill-in-the-blank, so I just felt fill-in-the-blank and it clicked! Every week tour players are looking for that “new car smell” in their golf swing. The one feeling they can use as a swing key to be sure they are on the right track.
The first thing you should do is change your description of the new feeling from words like “strange” or “weird” to simply “new” or “different.” It is this “different” feeling that will help you. Then, as you train, you want to use the “new” or “different” feeling to let you know that you are on the correct path or in the right position. If it doesn’t feel different, then you are still in the old move. As you continue making the new move and see better results it will be easier to accept the “different” feeling on the golf course. Eventually the “different” feeling will be the “normal” feeling. The old one will simply disappear. Then, you’ll be looking for a new “different” feeling somewhere else in your game.
By the way, I keep the pixie dust for myself!
By Rob McDonald, PGAGlenRiddle Golf Club