Swing Thoughts

Swing Thoughts

Andy Dear | Monday, 11 September 2023

You swing your best when you have the fewest things to think about.
---Bobby Jones

  When I found my way back to the sport of Golf in 2010, many things had changed. The equipment was different, the ball was RADICALLY different, and the technology used to study the swing itself was simply out of this world. And, although great advances had been made in the study of how to properly strike a golf ball, what hadn't changed was the golfer's obsession with "swing thoughts", and of course, I was no different!

  I used to lie awake at night obsessing over the movement patterns of various body parts and how they interacted with one another. Or even more complex, the three-dimensional geometry of how both the clubhead and the shaft move based upon the aforementioned body movements. For those of us with a propensity to want to extract every ounce of performance out ourselves that we can, swing thoughts can become a downright obsession!

  My recent friendship with former professional golfer, Phil Blackmar, has found both of us in almost constant correspondence comparing "casting thoughts". There is hardly a day that goes by where one of us isn't analyzing the components and sequencing of the stroke in our mind, and hypothesizing how it may affect distance, accuracy, and loop dynamics.

  I have some opinions on swing thoughts, and these days, I'd have to say that the fewer the better. At least the fewer the better during the actual act of FISHING. I try to save my obsession with swing thoughts and casting thoughts for long drives to and from the fishing grounds. The famous golfer Johnny Miller, who by the way gets my personal vote as one of the top 5 best swings of all time had an interesting observation about swing thoughts. He said that he used to experiment with all different kinds of swing thoughts throughout his career. Many of them however got filed under the acronym W.O.O.D, which stood for Worked Only One Day! It is interesting to note that many of these experimental movements and patterns seem to be beneficial for a short while, then lose their effectiveness under real-world circumstances.

Ben Hogan always used to say that "the downswing was not the time to give yourself a golf lesson". I would agree, and would say complementary, that that forward cast is not the time for a fly casting lesson!

Hope you all are having a great week,