Finding Your ‘Natural’ Golf Shot

Some of you will be shouting at me ‘I know my natural shot and I don’t like it one bit!’ Hold on and hear me out. I was exactly the same, I had a high draw which loved to turn into a hook and was ridiculously hard to keep under the wind. I continuously fought it and got unbelievably frustrated! One day, after one of the scrappiest rounds where I just tried everything not to hit that high draw (listening to myself now I can see how stupid that sounds) I decided that enough was enough and would spend as long as necessary on the range to learn a cut shot. What actually ended up happening that afternoon on the range was far more productive.

As the range session began I decided to just embrace my ‘natural’ swing to find out what I was up against. I took dead aim at the 150 yard marker and hit 10 balls with no swing thoughts whatsoever, I didn’t fight a single thing in my swing. I made sure to loosen my arms and hands and just go with it. what I found was that every single shot was a high draw and landed around 10 – 12 yards left of the marker. I was astounded and decided to hit more, ball after ball landed predictably left of the target, some were slightly further left and some were slightly straighter but they all nestled in a bunch no wider than 5 yards. I suddenly thought to myself ‘why have I been fighting this!’ 

It was a real eye opener, when I had no swing thoughts and embraced what came naturally I could hit a solid repeatable shot, the route of all my poor shots was fighting that natural swing! My pre round warmup now consists of hitting around 10 – 15 balls with no swing thoughts other than ‘relax’ and making a mental note of the amount of draw. 

The very next round I played after that afternoon on the range was the best for at least 6 months. I didn’t fight a single swing and hit some great shots. From then on I loved my natural shot. My advice to you is to love yours too, work out your natural shape in the same way I did and play with it, just for one round, I promise you will hit your targets much more often. In my opinion it’s the best route to consistency.

Love your natural swing and have a great day!

Do You Need a Golf Lesson?

So do you? If I was to ask you to determine if you need a lesson or not, what would you say? And what would you base your answer on? Most average golfers would respond with ‘yes’ and ‘because I hit *insert bad shot and I can’t hit *insert good shot’ What most average golfers seem to think is that because they can’t hit a towering 300 yard drive with a hint of draw, they need a lesson.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I believe in having golf lessons, they should be a critical part of every golfers improvement plans (some natural talent excluded e.g. Bubba!) but I feel people think of them in the wrong way. If I asked you to hit a target say 150 yards away, and you have a ‘natural’ (I will tell you my take on natural in just a mo!) fade but take dead aim and miss on the right (right handed golfer) then you might say you need a lesson to iron out that miss, in my eyes however you should simply aim for that ‘natural’ fade and hit target way more consistently instead of fighting it. The best golfers in the world play to their natural strengths, why shouldn’t you?

A solid golfer is one that can repeat their swing over and over especially in pressure situations, that sounds like a lot to ask when a golfer is constantly wrestling with their ‘natural’ motion. This golfer would be much better served honing their ‘natural’ swing and producing predictable, repeatable shots. When this kind of game is built, taking it to the course and playing well is much easier to achieve.

Golf lessons should be used to learn and check fundamentals e.g. ball position, posture, grip etc. and I believe that regular ‘check ups’ are a very good thing especially for building consistency. Lessons are also great when a clear technical issue is preventing you from hitting certain shots e.g. ‘casting’ the club and preventing you from hitting low shots into the wind. Now you might be saying ‘hold on a sec, you just said to practice your ‘natural’ swing!’ well, these kind of lessons are best served in the off season, giving you the time to practice and ingrain any drastic changes to your swing so that it becomes your ‘natural’ motion! That’s what your ‘natural’ swing is, what you have built through repetition and practice. For the majority of the golf season I would stick mainly to the ‘check up’ lessons and build them around solid practice plans which focus on improving your scores not changing your swing, wait for the cold rainy days to do that!

In summary, golf lessons are great, get them! With the caveat of getting the right type at the right time to maximise your potential for improvement!

Play to your strengths and have a great day!