Because golf is such a challenging game, there is always room for improvement and areas in your game that need some fine tuning. But, it's important that you work on your game at the right time and not in the middle of an important round. That's why I think there are two different types of playing golf...practice mode and play mode.
A lot of golfers have a tendency to get caught up in the mechanics of the golf swing while they're in the middle of a round. They've got so many swing thoughts going through their head that it's impossible for them to put a good swing on the ball. Instead of feeling the swing and swinging the feel, they keep thinking about all the individual checkpoints and if they're in the right positions. It's okay to think mechanical, but there's a place for it and it's not the golf course!
Practice mode is the time for you to work on mechanics. This can either be on the range or in your own backyard like me. When you're working on improving your game through technique and mechanics, having this other mode of playing is critical in order to improve when you finally step on the course. As soon as you've left the practice tee though, it's time for you to switch gears and focus on play mode.
Play mode is completely different than practice mode. Now it's time to put up a number, so you must rely on the feelings you had during your practice sessions. Instead of overloading your brain with mechanics, take a few practice swings so you can "feel" the swing. Once you've got the swing you want, then you step up and "swing the feel." In order to have a successful golf swing, there must be a continuity of flow. All the parts must work together naturally, not robotically.
If you feel like you are the type of golfer who really has a lot of swing thoughts and constant mechanics running through your head, try separating how you practice from how you play. It's okay that you analyze and work on your game bit by bit on the range, but once you are out on the course it's time for you to feel the movements happen together and get the ball in the hole. Having a "play mode" will improve your feel for the game and allow you to shoot lower scores.
Keep it vertical,
PGA Master Professional
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